Baby Teething Early?

Is your baby teething early? How to relieve your nursing baby's teething pain and prevent him from biting you.

Teething babies can be very trying for a mother and even more so for a breastfeeding mommy! This is especially true when they bite down hard on the nipples. Not only is this painful, it can often leave a breastfeeding mom with sore and sometimes bleeding nipples! Below are some ways to save you and your baby some pain during this unpleasant period.

1. Identify when your baby is going to bite by observing his nursing. Most babies bite at the end of a feed. As they are nearing the end of the nursing session (when they slow down their sucking), wait for a pause in their nursing and detach them quickly by inserting your last finger into your baby's mouth to open it. Never, ever, pull your nipple out! Not only will you stretch your poor nipple, you will be guaranteed of sore nipples and plenty of agonizing pain because your baby is bound to bite down hard, in an effort to prevent you from removing your nipple.

2. Relieve their sore gums by giving them teething rings/toys to bite (try not to use those that contain liquid - if your baby already has some tiny emerging teeth, they may just puncture those toys). It helps if you place these toys in the fridge/freezer first because the coldness actually eases the pain.

3. Apply teething gels onto their sore gums. Teething gels like Dentinox and Bonjela numb the gums and the urge to bite becomes less pronounced after application. Teething tablets can ease teething pain as well. These are often placed in a baby's mouth and allowed to dissolve. You can buy these teething gels and tablets at many pharmacies.

4. Give them cold treats like ice-cream, Popsicles and pieces of ices to suck on, to relieve the biting urges and the soreness. These work temporarily to numb the gums and hence reduce the urge to bite.

5. Rub the sore gums with a cold cloth. You could also give them a clean frozen cloth to bite on. This is often a good chewy thing for them to bite and is popular with many mothers.

Some things to note:

When babies are cutting their teeth, they sometimes nurse very often or very little - so don't be surprised if your baby's nursing habits changes. If you take the above steps, your baby will probably nurse better because he is in less pain. However, some babies do not respond to the above methods to reduce teething pain. You could express your milk during the missed feeds to prevent any engorgement, if the nursing sessions reduce drastically.

In addition, you must remember that babies can't bite when they are nursing, so you have to make sure your child is latched on properly and preferably take in as much of the aerola as possible, so his teeth cannot reach the nipple to bite it at all.

Lastly, if your child develops a mild fever or cold, it can sometimes (not always) be attributed to teething because in the course of gnawing on things, he may have picked up a germ or two. In any case, do consult your baby-doctor should your baby fall ill.

The biting does not last for a very long time, so do not fret! Like all things in babyhood, this too will pass.

© High Speed Ventures 2011