When your little one arrives, there isn’t much on your mind besides feeding and a little bit of shut-eye. But eventually, they will grow, and in come the teeth. Teething may arrive calm as a lamb or it may bust through your house like a lion. As your baby’s teeth begin to take shape and oral development changes, there are some things to note.
Newborn Stage & Early Infancy
Your little one doesn’t have any teeth, but this doesn’t mean you should completely ignore your baby’s oral development. Your baby is eating around the clock and may be exclusively nursing, drinking from a bottle, or both. Some will advise staying away from pacifiers during the first few weeks while other experts encourage anything to help the baby soothe. No matter what road you travel, there are a few things to note.
First, teethers aren’t a huge necessity for this stage. Next, when it comes to pacifiers, stick with a round or cylindrical throughout the newborn stage. These are great for breastfed or bottle-fed babies. They allow baby to fully surround the nipple with his/her tongue. We love Nanobebe Flexy, Philips Soothie, and Mam pacifiers for this stage.
The First Teeth have Arrived
You have survived the first teeth breaking through and the sleepless nights that sometimes accompany. Now your little one may be drooling constantly (hello bib central!) and putting everything in his/her mouth. At this point, we recommend moving to an orthodontic pacifier to promote proper oral development of the teeth and palate. Many pacifier companies will even stage their pacifiers for 0-6 mos and 6 mos +, ideally making the change when teeth breakthrough. Boon and Evenflo Feeding have great options.
This is also a great time to introduce teethers. You will want your teether to be easy for your baby to hold and big enough to get towards baby’s mouth. Food-grade silicone is always a great material as it’s easy to clean and holds up to lots of use. Please inspect your little one’s teether before each use as they can occasionally show some wear and will need to be discarded if broken. We find ourselves recommending the following over and over again: Green Sprouts, Moonjax, and Just for Tots.
Mouth Full of Chompers
Your little one now has a mouth full of teeth and it’s time to start caring for them. Brushing is a great first step in your nighttime routine to promote healthy oral development. Also, introducing a variety of healthy foods (of different textures) is great for oral development. We still advise teethers as your little one loves to explore her environment through her mouth. Textured teethers and an easy-to-use toothbrush are a must.