Teething: Easy home cures to ease pain
When your child is teething, what can you do to treat your child at home and when should you ask for help? Helen Foster finds out
Teeth start to come through at about six months, and it's normally the front ones that appear first. Some children sail through it all, while others seem to suffer a bit more and can be fretful. Signs that it may be their teeth disturbing your baby include putting their fingers or toys in their mouth more than usual, and an increase in dribbling.
Rub their gums
Simply doing this with your finger can help numb the pain, but if you want to add a little something, Dr Ilves suggests, 'Teething gels such as Bonjela can help, or Nelsons make a homeopathic version called Teetha that many of my patients use.'
Don't use adult Bonjela as it has an entirely different formulation to the teething gel and is not suitable for babies.
''Cold helps to reduce pain in the gums,' says Dr Sohère Roked, NHS GP and private integrated health specialist working in South Wales and London. 'Try chilling a teaspoon in the fridge [not the freezer] then letting them suck it. Or freeze a banana and let them suck on small pieces.'
Breastfeed more often
'There are natural endorphins in the milk that can help soothe the pain,' says midwife Sharon Trotter.
'If the baby is very distressed or the pain is stopping them feeding properly, a little infant paracetamol can help,' recommends Dr Ilves.
All the extra dribble can cause a rash. 'Keep their face and chin clean with water and also apply a natural barrier cream such as Weleda Calendula Weather Protection cream,' says Sharon.
When to see a doctor
If there are other symptoms – such as a fever – or your baby is crying far more than you would expect, it's worth making sure there's nothing else going on.