Has your teething infant suddenly stopped feeding himself? You might be thinking that a few teeth have finally popped through and he should be back to his normal self and feeding until the next ones pop through. In reality, his gums as a whole are probably bothering him in general. So what can you do to help him along with eating while he is teething?
Tips for Feeding a Teething Infant
Teething tablets: If you give your child a teething tablet about 10 minutes before feeding, it will help alleviate some of his pain. Most of these are not approved by the FDA and are homeopathic, so the choice is yours. Some brands to look into are Humphrey’s, Hyland’s and even Orajel makes a teething tablet. Keep in mind that some teething tablets contain belladonna, an herb that is actually highly toxic in larger doses. Those that don’t contain it actually make a point of letting you know, so look for labels that say “belladonna-free” or “without belladonna.”
Teething gel: This is a temporary fix (well, they all are really). My suggestion would be to maybe use this while he is sleeping. If you try this before he eats, it will affect the taste of his food, and he wont eat (which is what we are trying to get him to do). We all know about Orajel, it seems to be the most well known teething gel, but you can get a knock off brand. The pain reliever you are looking for is benzocaine.
Keep him hydrated: A sippy cup with water might help him a bit. You might find him gnawing on the spout. Keeping him hydrated will at least help him if you are having trouble getting him to eat anything.
Amber necklace: Now before you completely rule out this option, give me a chance. There are many people who see a necklace on a baby and think “what were you thinking putting a choking hazard on a baby?” I would be thinking the same thing, if I hadn’t looked into them myself. The amber stone has healing properties. When it continuously touches the skin, it absorbs pain and allows the body to rebalance itself.
If that sounds too ‘new-age’ for you, humor me and try it. I have asked every person whose child has one on, if they work. Their response is always, “I don’t know, but he never had trouble teething, and I never take it off”. A genuine necklace will have the beads individually strung and knotted (if it breaks, the beads do not become a choking hazard) and it will unfasten with less than one pound of pressure. If your toddler tugs at it, it will come off (everyone who I spoke to has also said their child has never bothered with it).
Just remember, teething is temporary and he will eat again! Keep him as comfortable as possible. You can always consult your child’s pediatrician as well. Also, in the mean time to make sure he is getting what he needs for nutrients, you can always try to give him some Pedialyte.
Share with us your teething (horror) stories and what you tried to help your teething infant!