I wanted to give you a little sneak peek of my book Your Teething Baby, from one parent to another, to help you to understand what it covers and how it can benefit you. Here are some of the sections and snippets for you to enjoy.
(A snippet of the intro)
From the moment that you discover you are pregnant you find yourself inundated with information. This ranges from how long you may get morning sickness for, to what to expect at your scan, what products you should be buying and reading many pregnancy books; as well as taking in every bit of advice you possibly can from those who have been there before. We attend antenatal classes to prepare for the birth and once baby is here there is support from midwives and health visitors. You find out all about breastfeeding, bottle feeding, nappy changes, weight gains or weight losses and postnatal depression; all of which is vital information when becoming a parent – especially if it’s your first time. I, however, feel that one area is overlooked and for some families it is a very big milestone which can take over both yours and your baby’s life………… Teething.
Teething is a process that every person goes through in their life. Some babies start teething early – even being born with a few, whereas others start much later on. We know that some babies sail through the teething process showing little signs of pain or symptoms. Other babies seem to really suffer through every ‘rumble’ and tooth eruption which can last months. What I was not prepared for was teething starting from 6 weeks of age. This was where my journey began. I had not given any thought to it, I had not been told much about it and I had no leaflets to inform or help me!
I had suspected the gnawing on his hand, the dribbling and becoming grizzly was teething but when I mentioned this to others the response I received was mostly ‘oh no, he’s much too young’. As a first time Mother I listened to those who’d had children before me, but there was a niggle in the back of my mind that I was right; I was sure I had heard that some babies have been born with teeth?
What is Teething? (snippet)
Teething is the emerging of a baby’s deciduous or milk teeth through the gums at approximately 6 months of age; this will vary in each child. The teeth are already formed inside the gums and are called ‘buds’. This process occurs whilst the baby is in the womb from approximately the 8th week of pregnancy (the permanent teeth form from the 20th week). The emerging of these teeth is described as eruption or more commonly known as ‘cutting’. There are a few theories as to how the teeth actually erupt, one being that the growth of the roots forces the buds through the gums but, as of yet, none of these theories have been conclusive.
(I talk about all the teeth types and go into anatomy detail in the book)
Pre-molars or First Molars:
These appear before the much larger molars do and also before the canines. The pre-molars help to move and crush food between themselves and the canines before finally moving it on to the molars for grinding. There are 4 pre-molars in a child’s mouth with 2 on the bottom and 2 on the top. For each baby pre-molar lost it is replaced with 2 more, bringing the adult total to 8.
One issue we had with the pre-molars coming was that one side resulted in a very large painful swelling. I kept a close eye on it, but once it became too painful for my son I made an emergency appointment with the dentist. Thankfully it was not an infection but actually a cyst; which can be quite common. With all the rubbing on the gum the tooth did to try and erupt, it actually aggravated the area causing the gum to swell and fill up with fluid.
The History of Teething (This section is provided to give you an idea of how teething has been perceived in the past and the lengths that some people would go to in order to try and ease their child’s pain)
… During this time many more medicines came onto the market to help with teething and the other ailments that were associated with it. The list of ingredients within these medicines included Opium, Morphine and Mercury. As manufacturers did not legally have to show an ingredient list on their bottles until 1941, parents did not know what they were willingly giving to their children.
Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup initially contained Morphine which led to numerous cases of babies falling into comas, becoming addicted or dying from the use of the syrup.
This was eventually removed as an ingredient in the UK in 1909 and 1915 in the US.
In 1885 you could even buy Cocaine toothache drops. Yes, this would not only numb the pain but also put the child in a better mood!
Remedies on the Market
(I talk about medicinal remedies, natural remedies, parental remedies, teething toys, homemade remedies and more. These are just parts of 2 examples)
Weleda Baby Chamomilla 3x Granules
Weleda have been making natural medicines since 1921, and have put 90 years of expertise into growing their own chamomile flowers entirely organically at their Derbyshire herb gardens to ensure quality and purity. Weleda Chamomilla Granules contain no synthetic ingredients, no artificial additives, sweeteners, flavourings or preservatives.
This teething remedy is a 3x homeopathic potency of Matricaria Chamomilla (Chamomile) root. The difference in this product to the others mentioned is that Weleda uses sucrose as an ingredient and not lactose, so can be given to babies who are lactose-intolerant.
Amber is a natural remedy – a fossilised resin sourced from ancient trees. It has been used for many hundreds of years, with necklaces having been worn throughout Europe, during the teething stages, for generations. It works by being worn against the skin, either as a necklace, bracelet or anklet. The warmth of the skin is believed to allow the Succinic acid, found within the amber, to be absorbed by the body. Succinic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain reliever). It claims to reduce inflammation of teething, clear flushed cheeks, ease the pain, reduce dribbling and irritability. It also has a calming effect and helps with a better night’s sleep.
As it is a fossil and not a stone it is not heavy to wear or cold. In fact, the jewellery is very lightweight and warm to the touch making it very comfortable to wear.
Old Wives Tales
(A couple of examples provided here for you. There are more in the book)
There will be many a tale you hear about all your baby’s woes from sleeping to tantrums, settling stomachs and teething. Since these homemade ideas have been created and passed down we know an awful lot more about the human body and what is good for you and what isn’t. Take advice but always doublecheck with a healthcare professional or in baby books or on medical websites.
For example, you may hear of some people suggesting clove oil to rub on the gums. The trouble with clove oil is that it is pretty potent and too much can cause irritation on the gums. If too much is ingested it will also cause an upset stomach.
The same applies to alcohol being rubbed into the gums. Baby’s livers are not yet developed enough to cope with breaking down the toxins which can lead to very serious problems. It could also put them into a deep sleep and they may stop breathing. NEVER put alcohol into a bottle, even if an older relative did it with all their children, we know better these days.
Your Teething Baby Front Cover
Symptoms of Your Teething Baby
(just 2 out of the 22 I cover)
This is the main symptom that most of you will see in your child at some point when they are teething. It may start long before you see a tooth due to the ‘rumbling’ going on below the gum line. The teeth move in the jaw to prepare for eruption and this can cause your child to rub their cheeks, chew and bite, rub their heads and ears and become irritable – leading to lack of sleep (this is covered further on).
Crying and screaming will be your main indicator of pain. Keep your baby as calm as you can through cuddles and give medicine as required throughout the day and evening.
If your child becomes much more distressed than usual, can’t stop crying, has a high temperature and becomes limp you must seek medical attention immediately. Teething will upset them but will not have this sort of effect.
Red, hot or rosy cheeks are caused by the inflammation of the gums. This will clear once the tooth erupts and doesn’t bother them in any way. It is one of the most common sights of a teething baby.
Do check your baby’s temperature if you become concerned that they are very red or hot (see fever for temperature guide).
‘For us the rosy cheeks were our indicator of when she was teething. They would always be the first thing we noticed and would stay flushed until the tooth came in. She would also always have loose bowels and became so clingy. We would use teething granules and gels to try and soothe her, but her favourite thing to do was to chew on hard plastic toys which really seemed to help.’
Leia, Mother of one
Oral care can start from as early as newborn, but must definitely be introduced as soon as their first tooth erupts. Newborns will most probably only be gummy (unless yours is born with teeth), so gently brushing the gums will remove bacteria and will benefit by getting them used to the brushing sensation and hopefully making it easier to do as they get older.
*In Your Teething Baby book I also include top tips for brushing during those tricky times. I also cover toothpaste use, fluoride, when to visit a dentist and tooth decay.
Today in the UK tooth decay is one of the most common causes of hospital admissions in children. The main reason for this decay?… Sugar.
Sugar can be found in so many of our foods and drinks meaning we can become unaware of what we are giving to our children. Brushing well and twice a day will obviously help in ways, but if you continue to provide too much sugar in their diet you may find yourself in a losing battle. So what can you do? (just 3 out of the 10 items I list in the book)
1. Water for a drink (as well as milk) is all a child needs in their first year. They don’t know what juice is until you hand it to them, so make it easy and don’t open their minds to different drinks. As long as they are hydrated they are happy and healthy.
TIP: I know it’s hard when you go out with other parents who do give juice, because you can become the ‘mean’ parent as you won’t let your baby have something tasty. I’ve been there, I’ve explained myself many a time and I’ve pulled drinks out of his hand just before he’s had a taste! Don’t feel pressured. Stay strong and stand your ground, you are doing what is best for your baby, just remember that.
2. Don’t give sweets and biscuits as snacks. Yes, fruit does have naturally occurring sugars but these are far healthier, so opt for grapes, raisins, an apple or satsuma instead. They have the rest of their lives to discover tasty treats and different drinks!
3. Don’t brush their teeth straight after eating. The teeth are at their weakest after food due to the sugars. Wait at least an hour before brushing.
Your Teething Baby back cover
More Info: The remedies are linked in with the symptoms section for ease of use. Once you determine a symptom you can look at the list of remedies and refer back in the book for details of these remedies and learn how to use them, how they work and to make a decision on which would be best for your child. The images are provided to make it much easier for you to find the products on the shelves… the book is also a handy size which can easily it into a handbag so you can always take it with you into the shops.
I also provide recipes for biscuits and ice lollies, top tips and quotes from other parents to help you with your teething baby.
All the companies I talk about have provided information, images and have checked the book before it was published. Most have purchased their own copy and are very proud of it.
I hope I have covered all you need for your teething baby in this book. It is certainly everything I wanted to know and could only find out through hours of research on the internet and speaking to those who had been through it all before.
You can buy my book on Amazon Kindle for £4.50: Your Teething Baby: From one parent to another
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