Teething is inevitable, albeit not the most fun part of watching your little one grow up. As each new tooth makes an appearance, your baby will likely be uncomfortable. Frozen fruit does double duty during these months, introducing your baby to new foods while also soothing sore gums.
When prepared in age-appropriate sizes and textures, frozen fruit is a simple solution to teething pain and makes mealtime easy on your baby’s sore mouth. The chill from frozen fruit helps to numb any teething pain. Think of it like icing an injury, only much tastier!
Even though frozen fruit is a safe solution to teething pain, the hard texture gives many parents pause. No matter if you’re following baby-led weaning or starting solids with purees, frozen fruit can be one of your teething pain tools. I’ll break down the different options, as well as offer easy serving suggestions.
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Is Frozen Fruit Good as a Teether? When is it Safe?
Teething can get uncomfortable for babies, so it’s no wonder that parents are willing to try just about anything to minimize the pain. From old-school home remedies to modern medicines, there are a lot of options (and opinions) about the best and easiest way to stop teething pains.
Offering frozen fruit is a simple, safe, and cost-effective way to soothe sore gums at home. Not only do most babies love the sweet taste of fruits, but chances are good that you already have fruit at home.
Frozen fruit is just as nutritious as fresh, and in colder climates might even be better during the winter months. Frozen fruit is also easy to keep on hand for when your baby shows signs of teething.
Most importantly, the cold temperature brings down any swelling and numbs the area, reducing your baby’s discomfort (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine).
Babies’ gums are quite sensitive, however, and fruit straight from the freezer can actually be too cold. Before handing your little one any frozen fruits, let them sit out at room temperature and lightly thaw for 2-3 minutes.
Whether you are following baby-led weaning or starting solids with purees, once your baby has started solids offering frozen fruits is safe for at-home teething relief. Coincidentally, many babies will see their first tooth around 6 months of age, the same time pediatricians recommend starting solids (source: AAP).
Fruits are high in natural sugars, which can cause cavities if allowed to sit on the teeth for long periods of time. To avoid cavities, keep up with good oral care and alternate between frozen fruit and other safe pain relief methods. A few other recommended options include:
- Cold, wet washcloth. This can also help wipe the gums clean for cavity prevention.
- Cold teether toys
- Gum massage
- Over-the-counter pain reliever (children’s Tylenol or Motrin). Be sure to follow your pediatrician’s recommendations when it comes to medications.
While there arere many safe ways to help your baby through teething, there are also a number of strategies that are best avoided as they can cause more hame than good.
Avoid teething necklaces or other jewelry, topical gels, homeopathic tablets, and the old-school home remedy that suggests rubbing rum (or other liquor) on the baby’s gums.
Fruits to Freeze for Baby Teething
Just because your little one is teething doesn’t mean you need to stop introducing new foods or repeating the fruits you previously offered. Your baby might even have a favorite fruit for you to incorporate into the frozen fruit lineup.
Below are the most commonly asked about fruits and serving suggestions.
- Bananas: Try freezing a half banana on a stick (popsicle-style) or wrapped in plastic wrap to give baby an easy place to hold the banana.
- Watermelon: Slice into spears/sticks and freeze. Other fruits that work well when served in spears include pineapple and mango.
- Fruit Puree: Freeze purees into ice cubes or mini popsicle molds. You can also dot purees onto a parchment sheet and freeze them for babies whole have developed their pincer grasp. This is a great way to use up smaller amounts of leftover purees or a small amount of leftover breast milk.
- Fruit put into a “frozen fruit teether”: Silicone and mesh feeders are becoming more popular. This a great way to bridge the gap between purees and larger pieces of solids, as you put whole pieces of fruit into the mesh, for your baby to suck and chew on. These feeders are also handy for fruits that would otherwise be a choking hazard or leftover pieces that are too small to offer “as is.”
Avoid offering whole frozen grapes, blueberries, or other small-sized fruits. These are choking hazards even when frozen.
How to Use Frozen Fruit for a Teething Baby
Frozen fruit is a simple yet effective teething food that requires little prep.
Frozen fruit can be offered plain, or you can choose to add breast milk or seasonings like cinnamon to frozen purees.
Just like fresh fruits, it’s important to serve frozen fruits in age-appropriate sizes for your baby. Larger spears/stick-shaped pieces tend to be easier for small hands to pick up and self-feed.
Do keep in mind safe feeding practices. Solids should be offered when your baby is in a comfortable and safe seated position. Whether you are offering fresh, cooked, or frozen fruits always stay in the room with your baby while they are eating and monitor them closely.
Are there any tips, tricks, or best practices for preparing and serving frozen fruit for babies who are teething? Can you add anything to it, should you monitor whole pieces being served, and so on? What’s the best, safest way to go about this?
Teething is inevitable, but soothing sore gums doesn’t have to be hard. Between whole frozen fruits, frozen fruit spears, and handy feeders there’s a way for everyone to use frozen fruit for teething pain relief.
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