Here’s a question for the Teeming Thousands: Why does it feel better for teething babies to chew on something? (This subject is currently near and dear to my heart.)
The pressure from the chewing counteracts the pressure from the new teeth which are pushing their way out. Basically it’s soothing to the wee one. Plus the fact that the baby has no idea how to get rid of the pain, so it gnaws on anything it can find. This is according to my dear Mom, who is a certified nurse midwife.
The oral stage?
My son did not go through the chewing/teething stuff, but there was a period where absolutely everything he touched as well as every part of his body within reach automatically went into his mouth. An incredibly singular purpose of mind that defied belief! If I had a nickel for every time I said “Take that out of your mouth”… well, you know the drill.
My guess is they chew on things because it relieves the pressure on the nerves in their gums by moozshing the tissue around.
Special note to you, David… wear gloves. My experiences with Bowen’s teething process have taught me that nothing is as good for relieving that pain as Mom-mum’s fingers.
Oh, yeah… keep your face well out of the way, too. Noses are very interesting creatures…
I was just about to suggest that Chris. I’ve got four younger siblings, and I’ve babysat millions of little babies, and they just love gnawing on a tasty index finger. Plus, I think it can be a bonding time for father and son. (In David’s case)
“Life is hard…but God is good”
I’m just guessing, but I would think those frozen teething rings would numb their gums and ease the pain.
Remember- If you’re angry it takes 42 muscles to frown, and only a few muscles to smack the idiot that mad you angry in the first place.
Heres a WAG. Maybe its an instinctive reaction that facilitates the process. The chewing speeds the process of the teeth breaking through the skin, and therefore shortens the discomfort. Second it may stimulate the region and make the growth occur faster.
According to the Powers That Be in Parenting Magazines, you are not suppose to freeze the teething rings because it can damage their teeth. So, I freeze mine and let it thaw out a little to the slush stage, then let my son chomp away on it.
I have read the oral stage babies go through is due to the fact they are more aware of their senses than adults are.
Whereas we see an unfamiliar object we judge it by sight or sound but a baby who has less developed senses in those areas will taste it to judge it.
Well that is the theory anyway.
Actually, one of the best things you can offer a teething baby is a frozen waffle. Not only does the cold soothe their gums, but hey – built-in drool catchers!
Here’s a couple of vintage Oklahoma remedies:
Wet a wash cloth.
Give it to the baby.
Fill a tumbler with scotch.
Dip your finger in the scotch.
Run your finger over the baby’s gum.
Drink the scotch.
However, David, in all fairness, I must point out that neither of these “alternative” treatments have been validated by double-blind, placebo-controlled studies published in peer reviewed journals. Perhaps, you’d better wait…
Sue from El Paso
Good last line there Sue! Had me laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes!!!1
Actually, the frozen washcloth idea is recommended by the two children’s health websites I looked at. Just wash it after each slobber.
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