Fun with Mama - Embracing Motherhood, One Activity at a Time

Cute baby with a teething ring

Has your baby been irritable, putting everything in his mouth and generally seeming uncomfortable? He could be suffering from teething pain. Lesley Malachowski From Rhubarb and Custard set out to give Fun With Mama readers some important information about teething along with some tips to make this time easier for you and baby. She has also graciously offered to give away a Tea Hamper with 2 sets of Dribble Bibs to my South African Readers. To find out more, keep reading:

Some babies will cut their first tooth without ever seeming to notice, while others will experience significant pain and discomfort. So, since no two baby’s symptoms are exactly the same, how do you know when your little one is teething?

Signs & symptoms

There are couple of ‘fail-safe’ indicators that your little one is, indeed, getting a tooth. The main indicator of an impending tooth eruption is a swollen area of the gum, which can either be red or white (if the tooth is very close to the surface).

You could also put a clean finger-tip into the mouth and have a feel. Putting a bit of pressure on the gum and rubbing it gently will help with the pain too, so if you find that baby’s mood improves straight after you’ve done this, you’re probably going to see a tooth in the next couple of days.

You may also see the following symptoms:

  • restlessness or grumpiness
  • more dribbling than usual. The body produces exta saliva to lubricate thier sensitive mouths
  • lack of appetite
  • difficulty in sleeping
  • a rash develops on the chin because of the excess drool
  • compulsive chewing of anything brought close to the mouth
  • slightly elevated temperature (although anything above 38 degrees celsius will be caused by something other than teething)
  • rubbing the cheek or ear. This is due to pain transferance and not to ear infection. Sometimes the pain of a tooth erupting will be felt in the entire jaw and into the ear on the side of the eruption.

Symptoms can start up to three days before the event, but should disappear as soon as the tooth is through. If they persist, you should seek medical attention.

Care and hygiene

The care and cleaning of your baby’s teeth are important for long-term dental health. Baby teeth are as prone to decay as adult teeth, so you should start a daily dental care routine for your baby even before their first tooth emerges.

Wipe your baby’s gums daily with a clean, damp washcloth or gauze. Once your baby’s first tooth appears, start brushing using a very soft brush from. No need for toothpaste. Just a gentle brush with a soft baby toothbrush will do.

10 bite-sized tips for teething

  • Symptoms of teething distress can include: dribbling, red cheeks, crying, sore ears, runny tummy, sore gums, a rash on the chin, a slightly elevated temperature.
  • Some illnesses can look like teething symptoms! Consult your doctor if you’re not sure.
  • Natural remedies include: breastfeeding, dribble bibs, put favourite teething toy in the fridge a while (not frozen), let baby chew a finger, barrier balm for chin rashes.
  • Some medical remedies include: paracetamol (never aspirin), teething powders, teething gel for babies. Speak to your pharamcist about what’s available on the market, and what they recommend.
  • Breastmilk is full of natural painkillers, so can help to soothe soreness.
  • Teething toys are great, especially if they’re cold – but don’t put any teething toy or ring into the freezer. A frozen toy is too hard and can bruise baby’s delicate gums.
  • Place teething toys in various spots around the house so that you’ll always have one to hand when needed. Wash them every day in warm, soapy water and rinse well before giving to baby.
  • Do be vigilant about what your teething baby puts in her mouth. Random items, from car keys to puzzle pieces will go in if they’re in reach. At around four to six months, a baby loses the antibodies passed on from the mother. This is also the time when they start putting anything and everything in their mouths. Many kinds of worms and bacteria can enter the body this way. (This can also be the origin of the myth that teething makes babies get sick more easily.)
  • Make sure you have plenty of dribble bibs on hand to keep baby’s neck and clothes from getting wet.
  • Above all, try to keep calm – which is no easy feat when your baby is distressed – as your mood affects your baby’s. If you have a support network, use it when the going gets tough so that you can take a break, have a long bath or walk, and unwind.

Nadia’s teething product recommendations:

These items made teething a little more bearable for my child and I:

  • Hyland’s teething tablets - Hyland’s teething tablets are a homeopathic remedy. Give child two tablets to help with the pain. (Do not give more than 2 tablets at a time.)
  • Sophie the Giraffe – Sophie is a teething toy made of 100% natural rubber and food paint. No need to worry about harmful chemicals and paint on a toy your child is sucking and biting on. Sophie is Phthalates and BPA free. It has an attractive design for baby and the length of it makes it easy for babies to grasp and get into their mouth. We do not leave home without Sophie and have find ways to make it easier to travel with her.
  • Raz Baby Teether – My kids LOVED this! When child puts it in her mouth she can suck on it and it massages her gums. I didn’t leave home without this at one stage. Make sure to order the blue one or the pink one as some have complained that the red one came apart.

  • Amber Teething Necklace – Baltic Amber Natural immune system boost, anti-inflammatory & analgesic capabilities. The warmth from your child’s body allows the benefits of the Amber teething necklace to activate. Great alternative to medicine.

Optional teething image

Rhubarb & Custard Dribblies bibs

Rhubarb & Custard Dribblies stay-dry dribble bibs are the simple, practical, and stylish solution for soggy chests when teething.

As excess saliva builds up, your baby starts to dribble. And, without a bib, drool ends up making a regular wet patch on your baby’s neck and chest. However, Dribblies’ bandana style ensures that there is enough extra fabric under the chin that the dribble can’t escape as your baby chews on everything in sight.

And, while the absorbent top layer of cotton soaks up the wetness, the bibs’ soft polar fleece backing effectively draws the moisture away from your baby’s clothes.

Rhubarb & Custard Dribblies come in a variety of colours and designs. Available in 3-packs, 5-packs and 7-packs online and 3-packs from baby stores nationwide.

Order a pack of Dribblies before 30 April 2015 and receive R40 off – exclusive to readers.

In order to take advantage of this offer, please do not order through the website, but email

 Giveaway time!

Hamper & bibs

Take a time-out from teething with this tea and treats hamper

Hamper contains: 10 fruit teas for mommy, rooibos tea for baby. An assortment of treats for mommy and 2 sets of Dribblies PLAINS – one boy set and one girl set.

To Enter – Leave a comment below with any teething tips you might have AND make sure you like Fun With Mama’s Facebook page.

This giveaway will end on the 23rd of April and is only open to South African readers.


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