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Have you ever noticed the way babies seem to explore the world with their hands and mouth? It’s all by design. As a new parent, you’ll see a big increase in oral exploration when your baby reaches about 3 months of age. Mother Nature timed this clever oral phase with what’s happening below the gums — new pearly whites are slowly starting to show up.
For new moms, it’s helpful for you to know what goes on during this child development process.
If it’s your first baby, you can rest easier by understanding what your teething baby might experience, and when. Here’s generally what you can expect, by age:
Teething can be a stressful time for you and your baby. There are many remedies offered up, from homeopathic teething tablets and teething gels to liquid-filled teething toys.
Some little ones will eat less due to inflamed gums and discomfort. During food play, they are likely to suck and mouth their own fingers, especially when they chew on chilled foods. This in turn helps to soothe the gums, and may encourage eating.
TIP: Keep purees and foods such as peeled, soft pear slices in the refrigerator. Serve a small amount each time so that it won’t get soggy too quickly on the high-chair tray. You can put semi-frozen fruits in hand-held silicone feeders to keep the baby’s fingers from getting too cold holding the frozen foods.
When you give your baby something to mouth, he’ll tend to swallow that saliva instead of letting it spill over his little lips. It’s a great way to keep him happy, and it reduces the need to wash so many baby aprons and towels.
TIP: Keep a supply of dissolving teethers on hand, like Healthy Times Organic Baby Teethers. A dissolving teether will help your baby be more aware of his drool and stimulate swallowing. Shaped like an adult finger, they’re easy for babies to hold and munch. And munching is a good thing — it helps the teeth push through the gumline for quicker relief over time.
The silicone is like a cold compress on sore gums. The liquid from the smoothie will ease through the silicone very slowly as the smoothie melts.
TIP: Give your baby a nutritious snack with plenty of omega-3’s, protein and vitamin C. Make his smoothies with Healthy Times Organic Toddler Formula, like this Tropical Dreamsicle Smoothie. It’s a great way to add nutrients to your baby’s diet and ease baby’s sore gums.
If you add these solutions, it may be easier for you and your baby to get through the teething stage together. If you sense that your baby isn’t able to soothe himself with any of these tips, or if he shows more than a very slight increase in body temperature, it’s time to contact his pediatrician.
Always remember that per The American Academy of Pediatrics, a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or above would not be due to teething, so you’ll want to be sure to call your pediatrician to talk about any symptoms related to the fever.
About the Author: Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, is an international speaker on the topic of feeding babies, toddlers and school-age kids. She is the co-author of the award-winning Raising a Healthy Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating (2015) and Baby Self-Feeding: Solutions for Introducing Purees and Solids to Create Lifelong Healthy Eating Habits (2016). The tips in her latest book, Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes (2018) are based on the latest research and Melanie’s 20 years of success as a pediatric feeding therapist. Melanie’s advice has been shared in a variety of television and print media, including The New York Times, CNN.com, Huffington Post and Parents Magazine. Visit her at www.MelaniePotock.com for more articles, professional tips, and helpful videos to raise your adventurous eater!
The content provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not recommended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical questions or concerns. See additional information.