Tips on Teething for Toddlers and Babies

I love giving live seminars with mom and baby together as it's so helpful and satisfying when moms can get the information they need and ask their specific questions.  I was also introduced to an amazing new teether by doddleandco.com that's great for small hands to play with and chew on, made of high grade silicone, dishwasher safe, and no place for germs to hide. Here's a few take aways from my talk and enjoy the live video as well below

Teething 101 Tips and Myths

Developmental age 3-4 month babies drool alot and learn to put hands together this is normal development and not necessarily at all teething

Hereditary -    most babies start to have teeth erupt around 6 months of age (yes it can be sooner) or  even not until after age 1

Helpful Hint-   massage gum with clean finger

                        use high quality teethers to gnaw on for comfort

                         try  a cold wet wash cloth to suck on 

                        if severe use a pain reliever only as needed

Dont's        

                      Use alcohol to rub on gums for pain- it can get absorbed and potential                                       intoxication

                     avoid gels with numbing properties (benzocaine) potential serious side effects   and can numb back of throat  difficulty swallowing

                    avoid homeopathic teething tablets (unregulated and may contain                                                   belladonna)  thats's a  hallucinogen

                    No to Amber teething necklaces- no evidence to support decreases pain of                                   teething  and is a choking and  strangulation risk

Myth- teething causes fever

                     Fever is not a symptom of teething-, nor is severe diarrhea , vomiting and if not drinking:or extremely irritable- if concerned see your pediatrician-

Truth           Teething is a diagnosis of exclusion- toddlers get sick often with colds, fevers stomach bugs, ear infection  and more, so don't blame teething until other causes are ruled out. We don't want baby to suffer if he has something else that needs treatment.

            

 

 

 

Introducing Solids to Baby- When to Start and What Foods to Give Baby

This is one of the most fun and exciting milestones in the first year of life, when you start to feed solids to your baby. Its gonna be messy so be prepared , relax and have fun with it. Don't get too crazed right away about how much baby eats ( most will end up on face, bib and floor) Just as a guide, baby need only a few tablespoons to start out as a meal. Most nutrients are  still supported by either breast milk or formula.

When to start?  Baby is often ready between 4-6 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends if exclusively breastfeeding can wait until 6 months then add in supplemental food.  Also baby needs to be able to sit with little support, keep head up, look interested in food, reaching out, and ability to swallow purees without tongue thrust reflex- spitting it all out. 

Rice Cereal- The biggest Dr. Jen  NO- NO  Avoid putting rice cereal in bottle!  It's unnecessary sugars, often adds on too much baby weight/ calories than necessary, interferes with long term health and no evidence it promotes sleep. Please wait to feed baby purees with a spoon unless your pediatrician tells you otherwise. And another word about that rice cereal. - I tend to tell parents to avoid it, as again its just starch/ sugar and has unfortunately a lot of Arsenic in it even if you buy organic or brown whole grain rice. If you give cereal try barley, or oatmeal . But remember cereal does not need to be your baby's first food. Read on....

What foods to offer at the start ? I recommend giving purees before going to finger foods.  Introduce fruits, veggie, as well as beans, meats and grains. In addition (unless your pediatrician says otherwise, or your baby has very bad eczema or food allergies) you then want to add in the most highly allergic foods around 6 months  (peanuts. tree nuts, fish, seafood ,eggs, wheat, soy ,milk) in small amounts  but frequently throughout a week. We now have research to back up early introduction of these foods can help reduce the risk of a food allergy in your baby. So don't be scared to start these foods- if you have more questions please speak with your baby's doctor. And remember to avoid any foods that can be choking hazards , so when moving on from purees makes very small soft pieces of  foods and avoid honey until age 1 due to risk of botulism.

The whole idea of food introduction is to give a wide array to your baby to get them used to different flavors and then soon textures as well. The bland days are gone for baby. You can add spices and seasonings just avoid adding excess salt and sugar..It's especially important to have baby start taking foods high in iron like the fortified cereals but also meats, beans, eggs, dark green veggies too. Watch my video to hear what I have to say about the best order to give new foods to baby .I think you may be surprised by my answers!! - Dr. Jen