Transcript: How to Help With Teething Symptoms
This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called How to Help With Teething Symptoms and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.
Back in the very first episode of first Time Mum’s Chat, I had a chat with mum of 4 Hayley who shared her experiences of teething. I spend quite a bit of time showing parents how to help with teething during my baby massage classes, and I’m often asked by my listeners for more tips.
So this week I’m revisiting teething and you’ll hear me talk about some common symptoms of teething and how they relate, and I’ll also share a number of holistic tips to help soothe your little one during this challenging time.
Teething often starts when your baby is around 4 – 8 months old and later in some cases, every baby is different. Signs that your baby is teething, which I discuss in this episode, include general irritability, drooling, or a skin rash, biting and gnawing, low grade fever or a temperature and diarrhea.
So how can you comfort your baby when they are teething. Babies thrive on touch and love to be cuddled. In fact, touch is one of the most developed senses at birth. Many of the sensory receptors are located around their face, especially in the mouth, as well as their hands and fingers. So you can imagine how important it is to cuddle and communicate with them through positive touch when they’re having a hard time teething.
Did you know that you can help relieve teething by gently squeezing your baby’s toes? One of the techniques I teach parents in my baby massage courses is how to do this, by squeezing from their big toe to their little toe. Also, rubbing your baby’s cheeks in a circular motion can ease their sore gums as their teeth begin to come through. Massaging with your fingertips from their cheek down to their chin also helps release endorphins in the area, which will help hot, itchy, and painful gums. To help ease their teething during the period leading up to their bedtime, simply massage the padded area of their palm near their thumbs for about 30 seconds, every two hours leading up to bedtime.
If your baby is drooling, which is a common symptom of teething, then what I have learnt from many years as a childcare educator and more recently as a baby massage instructor is to ensure you keep the area as dry as possible and wipe it frequently. This can help prevent rashes occurring around the mouth, cheeks, chin, and the neck area, due to the extra bacteria on their skin from the excess saliva. If your baby does get a rash, then I suggest that you ask your doctor or pharmacist for a barrier cream, which will help the chapped, sore skin. The counter pressure from biting on almost anything can relieve the pressure from under their gums.
In a previous episode of first Time Mum’s Chat, which I’ll share in the show notes at the end of the episode, my guest suggested using frozen fruit or vegetables to help relieve their discomfort, and this is also a healthy option for them as well. Anything cold works, which is great to help relieve teething because it is cold and refreshing and they can bite and gnaw it to reduce the soreness in their gum.
Another baby massage technique that I teach to parents in my classes is jaw circles. This helps to relax the jaw, which can become very tense during teething. To do this, simply massage the jaw with two fingers in front of their ears and gently move down to their mouth area. This will release oxytocin, which is known as the love hormone. It is also a pain relief, so when you are massaging your baby, you are releasing oxytocin into their bloodstream, and it may help to make them feel better To see this in more detail check out my Instagram page, which I’ve included in the show notes at the conclusion of this episode.
Babies can, on occasion, but rarely, experience a slightly raised temperature, a low grade fever as a symptom of teething. A low grade fever is when your little one has a temperature ranging from approximately a little over 98 to just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the fever is higher than 100 degrees, then it is advisable to contact your doctor as it may be something more serious.
When in doubt, it’s always best to be safe and get it checked out. You can also use a cold flannel to reduce their temperature and if needed, try some pain relief medication, which is intended for children. Again, always check with your doctor before giving any medication to a small child.
It is believed that increased levels of saliva produced during teething can cause your little one’s stools to become loosened. Of course, diarrhea is often a symptom of a more serious infection or problem, so always contact your pediatrician or doctor if their stool becomes watery. This is particularly important where diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting or a high fever.
I hope you found the tips I’ve shared in this episode helpful in identifying and helping ease your little one’s suffering when they’re teething. It’s not an easy time for them, is it? And I know that it often makes your life as parents difficult with stress and lack of sleep. Earlier in the episode I referenced episodes and other resources to help you.
I’ve included links to each of these in the episode show notes, which can be found at MyBabyMassage.net/podcast/107. During this episode, I’ve shared a number of techniques that I teach parents in my baby massage online courses, to help them ease conditions including teething, constipation and colic, whilst building a closer bond with their little one. I’ve created a free introduction video to baby massage that demonstrates its many wonderful benefits and how it can help both you and your little one get started on their journey.
You can access this video by going to MyBabyMassage.net/Intro. Next week I’ll be talking all about coping with being a mom and a working mom, both at the same time, with guest Nicole Cumberbatch.