What food to give baby when teething

What Foods to Give as My Child Is Teething? | Healthy Eating

By Alicia Bodine Updated December 06, 2018

According to the American Dental Association, you can expect your baby's first teeth to erupt between 6 months and 1 year, with the full set of 20 primary teeth showing up by age 3. As the teeth make their way through the gums, your little one may experience soreness that leaves him irritable. Fortunately, in addition to teething rings, there are a few foods you can give your child that will help soothe the tender gums and relieve pain.

Teething Biscuits

In addition to relieving gum pain, chewing on teething biscuits is also a yummy snack for most babies. The biscuits can be cracker- or cookie-like and are designed to break up and dissolve easily to reduce choking risks. Of course, parents should still keep a close eye on their children as they munch on these crumbly foods.

The treat is available for purchase in grocery stores, but parents can make their own by blending 2 cups of oat flour, 1 ripe banana and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Mold the dough into cookie or stick shapes and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes per side.

Hard Vegetables

Carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks and other hard vegetables that have been chilled in the refrigerator feel good against aching gums as your baby gnaws on them. It's important that the carrots and cucumbers be peeled first and that parents watch their toddlers closely in case a piece of the vegetable breaks off.

Popsicles or Fruit Slushies

Ice is excellent for numbing areas of our body that are in pain, so it makes sense that frozen ice in the form of popsicles and fruit slushies would give a baby relief from sore gums. You can also purchase popsicles and fruit slushies from your local grocery store or make your own at home.

Simply place your baby's favorite fruits in the freezer. Once they've frozen, toss them in the blender so they become fruit slushies that can be spoon-fed. If you'd rather make popsicles, blend fresh fruits with a little water and then pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Place in the freezer and use once frozen.

Applesauce, Yogurt and Pudding

Some babies prefer the texture of soft foods. In this case, you'll want to offer chilled applesauce, yogurt or pudding during snack time. The creamy foods won't irritate the already painful gums, and the cold temperature of the snacks will soothe the area. Pouring the applesauce, yogurt or pudding into a popsicle mold and serving it that way also works.

  • KidsHealth: Teething Tots
  • MayoClinic.com: Teething: Tips for Soothing Sore Gums
  • BabyCenter: Teething: Your Baby's First Teeth
  • Super Healthy Kids: Healthy Homemade Teething Biscuits
  • Mom Tricks: 27 Must-Know Tips to Quickly Soothe a Teething Baby
Writer Bio

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in health and nutrition. With more than 13 years of experience, her work has appeared in sites like Livestrong and eHow Food & Drink. She has also served as the Healthy Foods editor at BellaOnline.

Feeding and teething: how to help them with the pain | Baby & toddler articles & support

Your child might have just started weaning when teething creates a stumbling block. Here we see how teething can affect eating, and how to get through it.

One symptom connected with teething is a decreased appetite for solid foods (Macknin et al, 2000; Lyttle et al, 2015; Eisenstadt et al, 2017). And guess what? You’re likely to start weaning your little one around the six-month mark – the exact same time many babies cut their first teeth (eyes roll again) (Lyttle et al, 2015).

So why do they start fussing all of a sudden? It will come as no surprise that teething causes a lot of discomfort (Eisenstadt et al, 2017).

Where’s my baby’s appetite gone?

Just like us adults can go off our foods when we’re feeling under the weather, so can our little ones. The gums swell and are tender to touch just before a tooth breaks through (Ashley, 2001). So anything in your little one’s mouth could cause more pain.

That said, not all babies lose their appetite when teething. Like with everything else, they’re all different. In fact, the science shows only around one third of teething babies lose their appetite (Macknin et al, 2000).

When will my baby’s teething affect their appetite?

Interestingly, some studies show children lose their appetite with teething only when their canines come through, not when their incisors or molars emerge (Memarpour et al, 2015). Generally, these canines – the pointy ones either side of the front four – appear when your little one is 16 to 22 months old (NHS Choices, 2016a; NHS Devon, 2018).

We know from parents we speak to that many encounter food fussiness earlier than the 16 to 22 month mark. So our practical tips can apply whatever your baby’s age over six months, when weaning starts (NHS Choices, 2018). This guide shows you what to do if your baby is struggling to juggle tooth pain and munching.

Which foods are best when they are teething?

If your baby goes on a feeding strike as they start to cut some teeth, the following should help. It is a case of trial and error here, there’s no right answer. Experiment and see what they seem most comfortable with the following types of foods.

1. Soft foods

Much like us adults might eat nothing but soup after a painful procedure at the dentists, babies might just want to stick with soft foods and purees. Anything they can slurp from a spoon with minimal contact with their gums. A fruit or vegetable puree, or a soft risotto or macaroni cheese (blitzed or slightly overcooked for minimal chewing) could be just the comfort food they need right now.

2. Cool foods

Chilled foods can take the heat out of those burning gums (Ashley, 2001). Yogurt is an easy option here. A ready-made pouch popped in the fridge. Or try some fruit or veg straight from the fridge such as cucumber sticks, a whole strawberry or avocado mushed up.

Just remember foods containing meat, or prepared in advance will need reheating for food hygiene reasons so might not be suitable (NHS Choices, 2015). And make sure you stay with them while they’re eating to watch out for choking.

3. Hard foods

To chew and bite down on have been proven to provide relief in around half of teething babies. Why? Their firmness provides counterpressure to a rising tooth (Memarpour et al, 2015).

Try carrot sticks, whole green beans or sugar snap peas, sliced pepper, breadsticks or bread crusts for babies over six months (Ashley, 2001). As above, just ensure you are on watch to avoid them choking on the chunkier items.

Avoid rusks, because nearly all brands contain some sugar. And sugar can cause tooth decay, even if your child only has a few small teeth (NHS, 2016b). You can read more about how to ease their pain with hard foods and teether toys here.

Does it matter if they are not eating as much as usual?

Try not to worry if not much is going in at any one mealtime. If they are still drinking their usual milk, they’ll be getting nutrients from that. That said, if their hunger strike seems to last more than a few days and you’re worried, see your GP or health visitor.

Try to keep them hydrated. While some babies want to suck and therefore breast or bottle-feed more during a bout of teething (Macknin et al, 2000), others go off the idea. If they are refusing milk or drinking less than usual, try to get them to sip some water, or add milk to their purees. Some parents we speak to also make breast or formula milk lollipops to get milk into their little ones, and soothe their gums at the same time. Win, win.

If they are chewing down on everything, including their bottle teat, try a teether toy instead, which might be more sturdy. If your baby is chewing down on your nipple (hideous), then read our article on feeding and biting.

When will the fussing end?

Your baby will probably have a reduced appetite for solids for the five days ahead of a tooth peeping through, the day it surfaces and for three days afterwards (Macknin et al, 2000). So in general, your baby should be more into their food again in just over a week. That is, unless another tooth is on its way (...you guessed it, another eye roll).

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of NCT's Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

For guidance on how to look after those teeth once they appear (and what foods and drinks they should avoid) read our article on brushing baby’s teethand why teeth hygiene is important for babies.

NCT has partnered with the British Red Cross to offer courses in baby first aid.

How to help a child with teething

The appearance of a newborn in the family is an indescribable joy. Great relief comes when the period of infantile colic passes. And as soon as moms and dads relax and begin to enjoy life, a new problem appears - teething. And it all starts over...

In order to somehow help their baby, parents are ready to do anything: buy, put on teeth, cover up, drip, etc. During this period, advertising on TV fits very “successfully” - “Drops when teething”. Parents run to the pharmacy, give a miracle drug to the child, but there is no result. Another advertisement is "Teething Gels". More like a pharmacy. And there was no result, and no. nine0003

STOP! In this situation, you need to stop. Remember that people lived on the planet a long time ago. And children constantly face teething. Yes, sometimes it brings discomfort, both to the baby and to his whole family. But that's completely normal! You should be a little patient and you can forget about teething, like a bad dream.

Teething medicines

The first thing parents think about when faced with the problem of teething is how to help the baby? What funds to buy at the pharmacy? Let's deal with all their diversity. nine0003

Local anesthetic gels

There are currently 2 painkillers found in dental gels: benzocaine and lidocaine.

1. Benzocaine.

Benzocaine has been banned from use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The reason for the ban is toxicity and lack of safety. Benzocaine products can cause methemoglobinemia, the main symptoms of which are gray-brown skin, lips and nails, headache, shortness of breath, tachycardia, nausea, and even death. nine0003

These symptoms may appear minutes or hours after the use of benzocaine.

2. Lidocaine.

This drug can cause numbness in the throat and, consequently, a violation of the function of swallowing. If the dosage is not observed, there are violations of the cardiovascular system, convulsions, allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock and death.

Since 2014, lidocaine has been banned for use in children's teething by the US FDA. nine0003

Homeopathic gels

There seems to be nothing wrong with homeopathy - after all, there is no active substance in such preparations. And if children become calmer after them, then we can remember the placebo effect. They smeared the gums - the parents calmed down - the child calmed down.

However, there is still a catch. In 2016, a number of homeopathic dental medicines were recalled due to the discovery of a toxic concentration of belladonna in these products. As a result of the use of these drugs in children, convulsions, difficulty breathing, and lethargy occurred. nine0003

Herbal gels and anti-inflammatory agents

Theoretically, these drugs can be used, but we should not forget that they can be washed out of the oral cavity after a few minutes. From this it is clear that the effect of them will not last long at all and the child will begin to cry again. In this case, you need to remember about the likelihood of allergic reactions and individual intolerance.

What then to smear?

Nothing. The American and Canadian Dental Associations do not recommend any gels for use in children during teething. nine0003

How parents can help their child:

1. Give your child pre-chilled rubber or silicone teethers. If they contain liquid inside, they must be cooled in the refrigerator and not in the freezer. When cleaning teethers, do not boil them, as high temperatures can damage the plastic.

2. Offer your baby teething toys with a ribbed silicone or latex surface. nine0003

3. If the child has already learned to eat solid food, offer him chilled pieces of fruits and vegetables, as well as dried ones. This is a good way to distract the child from pain. The main thing is to be at this time next to the child and make sure that he does not choke.

4. Offer the breast more often (when breastfeeding). The baby calms down thanks to the action of several factors at once: massage of the gums, closeness to the mother and the calming effect of the milk itself. nine0003

5. Give chilled water from a cup or bottle (suitable for children over 6 months old).

6. Massage the gums of the crumbs with clean fingers or special silicone fingertips.

7. Just be there during this difficult period, hug, hold, stroke and try to distract more often.

8. In case of severe pain, give the baby painkillers (you need to consult a pediatrician!). Children's Nurofen or Paracetamol will help relieve pain. The dosage is calculated according to the weight of the child. nine0003

9. The American Academy of Pediatrics gives advice that is rather unusual for a Russian person: let your child chew wet rags or socks pre-chilled for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator.

10. Constantly wipe excess saliva from your baby's lips and chin. This will prevent the occurrence of irritation and thereby alleviate the suffering of the crumbs. Additionally, you can apply a neutral baby cream to the mouth area.

Do not worry. After all the "torment", the teeth will finally appear. And now your task is to keep them clean and healthy. Solemnly give your baby his first toothbrush and baby toothpaste (0+), and boldly brush your teeth in the morning and evening. nine0003

How to relieve the pain of teething in a child

  • Fever
  • Children
  • Teething

Read the article for mothers on the official Nurofen® website about ways to relieve the pain of teething in a child.

How to help your child cope with teething

Teething is a difficult time for both children and parents. Most often, children become excitable, capricious, irritable. In addition, there are other signs of teething, such as excessive salivation or salivation. Do not worry too much, as there are several ways that can help reduce discomfort and pain. nine0003

What is teething?

When teething in infants and children, the growing teeth begin to penetrate the underlying gum tissue and come out. Some children experience more severe pain, others less. Here are some signs and symptoms that you can tell that your baby is teething:

  • The gums where the teeth are expected to become inflamed and swollen.
  • The baby's cheek on the teething side may be red and hot. nine0070
  • Children may constantly rub their ear on the side of teething.
  • The child begins to chew everything that comes to hand.
  • Increased salivation, which may cause irritation on the chin.
  • The child becomes irritable and shows other signs of discomfort such as restless sleep and refusal to eat.
  • During this time, children may occasionally experience slight temperature fluctuations.

What is the average teething time for children?

Usually the first tooth appears at the age of 6 months to a year.

A baby is born with all 20 baby teeth already under the gum just waiting to erupt. And there is a clear pattern or order of teething. The front teeth (incisors) usually erupt first, and all subsequent teeth, upper and lower, appear one by one. The first molars at the end of the gums begin to appear around the age of 12-15 months, while the canines usually erupt by the age of one and a half years. All milk teeth usually appear by the age of three. nine0003

How to soothe the pain of teething

There are several ways to help your baby with teething to make this difficult period of his life more comfortable:

Chew toys

in this period. These rings help to significantly reduce the discomfort in the child and help in the speedy appearance of the tooth.

You can also use chew toys (made from a special soft fabric) and various baby bottle nipples. nine0003

Proper nutrition

Cool water is the best option during teething, especially if the baby drinks from a special baby cup. Drinking a chilled drink will somewhat soothe irritated and inflamed gums in the same way as drinking fruit purees or drinking yogurts in a cool form.

Creative distraction or special play

Try to distract your child with some creative activity from discomfort and pain in the mouth. Hug him, play with him, prepare a warm bath for him. If your baby is still breastfeeding, feed him. nine0003

Gum Massage

If you gently massage your baby's gums with a clean finger, the pain will subside a bit. It can also help the tooth erupt.

Skin protection

You can use baby cream to reduce irritation of the chin skin. It is also necessary to change the bed linen of the child in a timely manner.

Dental gels

These preparations are available from many pharmaceutical companies. They may contain local anesthetic ingredients. Gels give a temporary result, as they are easily washed off with saliva. nine0003

Baby tooth gels contain ingredients with a high safety profile, some of which can be used as early as 5 months of age. It is recommended to follow the instructions for use and use only drugs that are registered for children of the appropriate age.

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