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Teething and Reflux

Teething may or may not worsen the symptoms of Reflux in your baby. Teething is known to cause digestive disturbances in most babies (evidenced by loose stools etc), but this can cause significantly more distress in a Reflux baby. My baby struggled terribly cutting her first two teeth, and we now have 18 more to look forward to!

 

Signs of a teething baby:

  • Nappy rash

   

  • Excessive drooling, which can cause a red rash around the mouth

   

  • Loss of interest in food

   

  • Irritable, fussy and sensitive

   

  • Baby seems to want to bite everything and sticks his fists into his mouth- this is however also part of their developmental process, ie sticking things in their mouth, so it may not always indicate teething.

   

  • Swollen and red gums

    

  • Sleeping Problems- just in case you thought you were ever going to get some sleep! I was once given some very good advice; if teething is causing Sleeping Problems at night, then your baby will be grumpy and miserable during the day too. Teething is not only a nocturnal activity!

    

  • A mild temperature is believed, by some, to accompany teething, but always check with your Health Care Practitioner to ensure that the source of the temperature is in fact teething. It can be extremely dangerous to leave a small baby with an untreated temperature.

     

Suggestions to help with Teething:

  • Amber necklaces offer anti-inflammatory properties as the oils from the amber beads are absorbed through the baby’s skin. This thereby reduces the inflammation and pain associated with teething.

   

  • Teething Necklaces that Moms wear, are a great idea for providing baby with something to chew on. Firstly baby’s love necklaces, secondly it is always available and thirdly it is unlikely to be dropped on the floor or trailed through the mud, as other toys often experience, making it a bit cleaner for chewing. Make sure the beads will not come off and are not a choking hazard.

    

  • Placing water filled teething toys in the fridge or freezer also offers cold, numbing relief to babies.

   

  • Freezing a wet face cloth can also work in the same way.

   

  • Topical gels and creams can be applied to ease discomfort- obtain suggestions from your Health Care Practitioner.

   

  • Teething Biscuits or Biltong (which some people swear by!)

    

  • Pain medication can also be given to help the baby rest more easily. Ask your Pharmacist or Health Care Practitioner to advise you on which medication to use, and at what dose.

   

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The information in this article was reviewed for medical accuracy by, Paediatrician and Allergy Specialist, Dr Claudia Gray (MBChB (UCT), MRCPCH (London), MScClin Pharm(Surrey), DipPaedNutrition (UK), PostgradDipAllergy (Southampton), Certified Paediatric Allergologist (SA))

Dr Gray works at the allergy clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, and has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, contact 021 531 8013.