There is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain as they begin and continue to cut new teeth and knowing there is not a lot that you can do to alleviate the pain for them. You already have tools at your disposal like “Mizzie | Australia’s Original Natural Teething Toy ®" and “mini Mizzie” for your little one to suck and chew on to aid him through this painful time, with sleepless nights and then on top of this you now notice he’s suddenly turning his nose up at the idea of food. Cue exhaustive sigh.
For infants cutting their first teeth, you may find they fuss and show signs of rejection towards the bottle or breast. It is usually at this time breastfeeding mothers begin to wonder if this is an indication that their breastfeeding journey is coming to an end and begin to seek alternative solutions for their baby.
While you might already be pulling your hair out, don’t despair; this period is temporary and there is no need to throw in the feeding towel. If you have noticed other signs of teething chances are bubs feeding changes are fine, if you think back to when you have had a toothache or viral infection, the last thing you want to do is eat. The thought of chewing and swallowing gives to the shivers, well, that’s how bub is feeling during teething times.
It is important to keep up their nutrition even though they refuse to eat. If you have already introduced solids into his life, you can try feeding them soft, cold purees that can be spoon fed allowing the food to pass the gums and onto the tongue. Try to avoid citrus based fruits as the high acid concentration can further irritate the open wounds in their mouth. Conversely, you can offer harder foods to provide counter-pressure to that of the tooth pushing through such as frozen fruits, being mindful to avoid foods that can break in the mouth.
If your baby is still exclusively breastfed, there are some things you can do to aid them through this trying time that help to keep both mum and bub happy. Prior to feeding, you can offer her relief, giving her Mizzie to chew on for a moment before feeding. You can also try massaging with a cold, soft, wet washcloth to numb her gums before attempting to latch.
However, you should avoid the use of numbing agents prior to feeding as it can affect bub’s ability to latch without proper mouth feeling. You can also offer to continue your breast for smaller more frequent feeds and look at alternating feeding positions to vary the areas of pressure for both babies’ gums and your no doubt now painful nipples. Before making the choice to cease breast feeding, remember this period is temporary and to consult your GP or lactation consultant for support.
It’s a little harder to tell when baby has gone off feeding when they are formula fed as keeping a measure of milk quantities can be difficult. During teething times, you may find that bub fusses a little more, unsure of the sensation of the bottle teat in his mouth. Some may realise the bottle teat is great for chewing on to soothe their gums, along with utilising the same relief techniques prior to feeding as well as ensuring the bottle teat is pressing firmly on baby’s tongue to encourage the suck motion rather than letting the teat move freely in their mouth.
Self-weaning from milk to solids should be a gradual process as babies begin getting nutrition from solid foods. Usually this doesn’t begin until around 12 months old as bub is getting more dexterous and engaged in eating. Teething and sickness may induce a temporary strike in eating but rest assured once the worst of the teething pain is over she is going to get straight back to feeding, regardless of the delivery method.
When bub turns his nose up at the offer of food, it can be hard to know what to do to keep them healthy. Sometimes, they just need a little relief from their aching gums for long enough to get in and have a feed. Both Mizzie and mini Mizzie have been designed specifically to soothe little gums any time of day.
Soon before mealtimes, you could offer your little one their Mizzie to have a good chew on prior to feeds to help alleviate the feeling of pressure on their gums before attempting to eat or suck again. You can also let them keep hold of her whilst they feed, comforted by the knowledge that their source of relief is at hand.