Why your baby can go off their usual feeding routine because of teething and what to do with Siobhan Berry
Why your baby can go off their usual feeding routine because of teething and what to do.
By Siobhan Berry
Your baby’s teeth do not usually appear until around 6 months old or later. However, they may show signs of teething from about 13 weeks. Teeth coming in around 6 months of age can then affect the feeding routine.
When we start to introduce solids at around six months of age parents can have a lot to juggle with in terms of introducing new textures, adding finger food, and adding a variety of foods. I would focus on the idea that it’s as much about the experience and environment as it is about the foods on offer. Its best to skip to the next activity if your baby rejects the food in the early stages, we can do more harm by offering alternative foods or forcing the meal.
Add in that your baby may be getting their teeth in around six months and this can disrupt the weaning process. Here are a few signs that your baby is teething, however always check that they are not unwell due to an illness and consult with your health provider to discuss this.
- Your baby may be fussy around mealtimes rejecting both the milk and food on offer
- Have red, flushed cheeks and tender gums
- Chew on their teething toy more than usual
How to soothe your baby
I am a firm believer that if you think your baby is teething that you soothe them before offering food. What we don’t want happening is that your baby has a negative experience with mealtimes and begins to reject food or not want to sit in their highchair. The following steps are ways to soothe your baby but do remember if your baby is very upset it’s possible to skip the meal and then offer an extra portion later. We do however need to ensure they are getting the correct amount of milk as advised by the HSE.
- Teething toys (cooled in the fridge) will offer relief to your teething baby. They will also stop your baby from chewing their hands! Teething toys are the easiest way to get Teetha® Granules or Gel onto your baby’s gums.
- Massaging the Teetha® Granules or Gel onto your baby’s gums can relief the soreness and you can also check to see if the tooth has come through.
- Tie a knot on a wet washcloth and chill in the fridge or If freezing place the wet washcloth in a zip lock bag for about 25-30 minutes and make sure to thaw partially before offering to baby.
- Offer an ice lolly like our Strawberry, Vanilla baby ice lolly or our Green smoothie lolly
Regression, don’t panic!
As I mentioned in the introduction your baby’s feeding routine can be affected by teething. Just like when your baby has been unwell or you have been on holidays getting back to the usual routine is important. I recommend that as soon as your baby is feeling even a little bit better its important to get back to the usual food offerings. If you have swapped cold food for the usual hot dinner switch back when baby is more settled. Most importantly don’t see this as a set back your baby will be back on their usual food in no time.
Siobhan Berry is the founder of Mummy Cooks. Her mission is to empower and educate parents about feeding their children healthy, homemade food ensuring they grow into happy, healthy, adventurous eaters. The Mummy Cooks product range supports this with a weaning set to help parents portion and store baby’s food, a food flask to safely carry food while out and about and two best-selling recipe books packed with advice and recipes for baby and older children.
Siobhan has written three books; her first Baby & Family recipe book is heralded as the weaning bible for families starting out on their exciting journey. She has recently updated this with a 2nd version packed full of up to today advice and recipes for the entire family. Siobhan also published her Lunchbox Made Easy recipe book to help parents navigate the tricky area of feeding older children.
Siobhan is a familiar face on Irish TV and media and makes regular appearances on Ireland AM breakfast television show promoting tasty and healthy dishes for families.
Siobhan lives in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband Dave and daughters Ashleigh & Jessica.