Many anguished parents look for ways to ease their baby’s teething pains. Many also seek natural teething remedies rather than applying gum gels or giving their baby a plastic pacifier to suck on. Teething biscuits and homeopathic teething remedies, such as Apis mellifica, are often used, but one form of natural teething remedy that is often overlooked is vegetables.
Nearly all babies experience some discomfort from teething. In the main, teething pain can be alleviated by distracting your child or by giving it something to chomp on. In fact, excessive chewing is usually the first sign of teething. Chewing is something babies do naturally to ease teething pain. So, giving your baby something to chew on can greatly relieve teething pains.
Vegetables can be a great aid in soothing teething pain. Ideal vegetables include carrots and cucumbers (especially baby cucumbers). There are even reports of babies chewing on parsnips and potatoes! These vegetables are ideal as they have the right consistency – they don’t break up easily, but dissolve – and they are also not too strong on flavour or contain anything that might upset your child’s stomach. Vegetables are also free of any sugar – something quite often found in teething biscuits. Also, vegetables are ideal as there’s no danger of gluten intolerance – which is a possibility for some babies when given wheat products.
Sadly, there is a real problem with child obesity in the Western world. One area of medical research conducted by the University of Michigan Health System has focused on the possible connection between early feeding practices and a child’s risk for overweight or obesity. “It’s really important for your child’s first flavor experience to be something that’s healthy,” notes Lumeng M.D. “And the more a child tastes a particular food, the greater liking they’ll develop for it.”
The connection between obesity in later life and unhealthy eating habits from very early in life are still not proven; though statistics show that breastfed babies are far less likely to be overweight that babies fed on infant formula. It would seem a natural progression that introducing your baby to fruit and vegetables, rather than sugary foodstuffs, at the earliest possible chance will greatly enhance your child’s liking for healthy foods and thus avoid dietary problems in childhood and beyond.
Vegetables are one of the best and most natural of teething remedies. There are some precautions, however. First never let your baby chew on anything without your supervision. You must wash all vegetables before you give them to your baby. Also pay attention to the size of the portion you give your child. It should be large enough so that it can’t be swallowed, but small enough for your baby to hold by themselves.
One final tip; placing the vegetable in the fridge prior to giving it to your baby is also a great idea. The coolness of the vegetable will numb your baby’s gums and the introduction of a new taste sensation will help to take her mind off her teething pains.