Advice Column, Baby, Pregnancy & Baby, Toddler

Teething Tears No More with these Natural Healing Tips & Safe Soothers

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  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Pregnancy & Baby, Toddler

As first-time parents, as you get into the groove of caring for your gurgling bundle of joy, you will need to prepare ahead of time for your next baby milestone, that of teething, which usually occurs around six months of age.  

While the appearance of those first red bumps on their lower gum is a sign your little one is growing and developing, it also brings with it a slew of symptoms as your infant experiences pain for their very first time. Be aware that teething usually coincides with the start of separation anxiety as baby’s emotional needs start to develop too.   

Knowing the signs, planning for the symptoms, and soothing responses required from mom and dad by their side, will ensure teething is a natural growth spurt handled with love, care, and knowledge-based safety. 

Baby’s First Experience of Teething Pain 

Baby’s first signs of early-stage teething include irritability, disrupted sleep, swelling and sore inflamed gums, drooling, reduced appetite, mild temperature, increased biting, gum-rubbing and sometimes ear-rubbing.

Teething does not cause fevers and diarrhoea. If your baby has a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius and has diarrhoea, you need to speak to a medical professional. 

Not all babies’ teeth to a timeline however and teething can start as early as 4 months or as late as 13 months of age in some children. 

The bottom incisors or two lower front teeth usually appear first, followed by the top incisors. Next to appear are the canines, also known as eye teeth. Then, anywhere between baby’s first and third birthday, eight molars will appear, as the biggest teeth, this is said to be the most challenging and painful stage of infant teething. 

Teething & Infant Tooth Decay  

Many parents are not aware that children’s baby teeth are at risk of decay and tooth cavities can start as early as 6 months, with cavities forming faster in baby teeth than in adult teeth.  

Putting a child to bed with a bottle each night can cause more severe, rapid tooth decay as milk, formula or juice soak the thin enamel of the baby teeth in sugar for many hours. The same is true for breastfeeding infants who fall asleep while nursing with unswallowed milk remaining in their mouth. 

Start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears. Early signs of decay include white spots which begin to form on the teeth in affected areas which means the enamel is starting to break down.  

An early cavity is light brown in colour, turning a darker shade of brown to black. Cavities are infectious and can spread, sometimes causing infections in the adult teeth growing beneath then. If left untreated, cavities in baby teeth can cause more significant infections such as dental infections and cause long-term issues for your child’s oral future. 

Use a soft infant toothbrush and toothpaste made for children to clean their teeth regularly. If your baby does not like a toothbrush in their mouth, use a clean, damp face cloth or gauze to wipe the front and back of each tooth.  

How to Safely Soothe Teething Pain Away: 

#LoveMeDo Extra comforting or one-on-one play time with your baby can distract them from the pain in their gums and help them to feel loved and safe. 

#TrustedTeethingTools Invest in a choice of superior quality teething rings. Paediatrician-approved teething remedies include chewing on something cold. Not all teething rings are created equal however and you will need to consider if it is made from safe materials, is easy to clean and mould is prevented from growing inside.  

BPA free and suitable for children from 0+, the Infantino Chew and Play Ring Teether R104.95 (main  picture) is an all-around activity teether which is soft and flexible with an easy-to-grab shape, soothing textures and spinning rings and covered soft teeth able areas.  

Babies are drawn to bold colours, playful prints, and soft fabrics and the cute and friendly Infantino Cuddly Teether Penguin R169.95 features unique textures and crinkle sounds baby will love exploring. It encourages sensory development, and along with mobiles and overhead gyms can be helpful in encouraging eye tracking.   

The 3-stage Infantino Crystal Clear Teether Set R198.95 is a lovely gift set for first time parents as they tackle the three stages of teething with a BPA, PVC, dye, and phthalate-free teether full of textures and shapes needed to meet all stages of teething. This 100 % pure teether cools in the refrigerator providing extra comfort and is easy for small hands to grasp with interesting textures which relieve sore gums. Most importantly, they are also easy to keep clean. 

#TastyTeetherTreats When no help is at hand, you can massage baby’s gums with a clean finger to relieve the pressure of the tooth pushing through. You can also warm a face cloth or dip it in chamomile tea and give it to your baby to chew on.  
 Freeze breast milk into ice cubes to distract baby and calm sore gums. You can also give them cool or frozen foods such as carrots, bananas, or apples which are safe for your baby to gnaw or gum on.  

Happy Family Organics provides delicious safe snacks and a teether with their Happy Baby Teether Sweet Potato and Banana R157.40 with 12 x 2 packs per box made with jasmine rice flour and a touch of organic fruits and veggies, which dissolve easily, making them a perfect first snack for baby’s developing gums.  

The Happy Baby Teether Crackers R157.40 with Strawberry & Beet with Amaranthus an easily dissolving cracker made with ancient grains and organic fruits and veggies, which is not only tasty for baby, but easy on their gums and encourages self-feeding. All the Happy Family Organics baby products are gluten-free, Kosher, certified organic, contain no GMO or high fructose corn syrup, artificial food colourants or flavourings.  

#DroolersDelight Keep baby comfortable by keeping them dry. Drool creates constant moisture around their hands and face which can cause a wet rash around their mouth, adding to their gum distress. Keep the teether as dry as possible and invest in a durable bib so drool does not soak onto their clothing. 

#TeethingNoNos Before trying any over-the-counter remedy or teething gels for your teething baby, check the label and the ingredients with your medical professional advisor first. What was acceptable in the past, may now be advised against including ingredients such as benzocaine, an anaesthetic commonly found in many over-the-counter teething gels. Following FDA recommendation, parents and caregivers should not use benzocaine products for children younger than 2 years as it causes a rare, but serious (and occasionally even deadly) condition called methemoglobinemia, in which the oxygen carried through the bloodstream is reduced to dangerous levels.  

#BewareTheMyths Old wives’ tales and well-meaning advice can also be risky for your vulnerable child. Do not rub whiskey on your baby’s gums! Alcohol can be potentially toxic to your little one. And, while Amber teething necklaces for babies have seen a trend in past years with claims of it releasing a pain-relieving substance when warmed by the baby’s body temperature and absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, there is no scientific evidence. In fact, the chance of your child biting the necklace and choking on the beads or being strangled by the necklace while sleeping is a potential risk.  

#SettledforSleep Nighttime teething can be the most disruptive. As you settle baby, distract from the teething pain with the addition of white noise to redirect their attention or a soothing night light with revolving roof reflections or hanging mobiles to soothe and settle them in for sleep.


The Infantino Mobile Musical Projector 3-in-1 R1174.95 ensures your little dreamer can sleep soundly through the night featuring a mirror reflecting a friendly face and an auto shut-off timer after 20 minutes. This nightlight can transform in 3 ways: mobile, star projector mounted onto the crib and a bedside projector. 

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