At around 5-6 months, babies begin cutting their first teeth. Although it's exciting to see your little one growing up, this is a challenging and painful time--for babies as well as mothers. It's heartbreaking to watch your child suffer the pain and unpleasantness of teething. As mothers, we often become almost desperate to find some way to provide them relief.
Cold, hard objects are great pain relievers for sore, inflamed gums. Although store-bought popsicles may seem like the perfect option, these tasty treats can do more harm than good. The long, thin shape of most popsicles presents a dangerous choking hazard. Also, store-bought popsicles are often packed with high sugar levels, artificial flavoring, and chemical dyes. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents to keep their children away from solid, "adult" foods until their children are at least 6 months. Popsicles fall into this group of unsafe foods. Store-bought ingredients may cause future food allergies and other unpleasant reactions. If store-bought popsicles aren't the right option, as mother's we have the perfect freezer alternative: Momsicles.
What is a Momsicle?
These homemade popsicles are completely safe and by far the best option for your teething baby. Using your own breastmilk, you can safely create the perfectly shaped, cold treat for your little one. These momsicles are tasty and provide great relief for sore gums. Because you are using your own breastmilk, there is no chance of food allergies or chemical sensitivities. Momsicles are an all-natural, pain-relieving treat you can feel safe giving to your child! How good is that?!
Momsicles have many benefits and unique variations, making them perfect for any baby. The fun popsicle shape gives little ones an exciting sensory experience; many babies enjoy playing with them on their high chair trays. For younger babies that lack the hand-eye coordination to hold a popsicle, freeze breastmilk cubes and offer them in a safe mesh, teething bag. Older babies will enjoy feeling "grown up" holding their momsicles, especially if they see older siblings enjoying their own popsicles.
As mothers, we often hear of the huge number of benefits present in our breastmilk. During the stress of teething, our little ones need these vital benefits more than ever. Breastmilk keeps them healthy and strong during this trying growth phase. Some of these important health boosts include:
- Antibodies to ward off viruses, bacteria, and infection risks.
- Vitamins, protein, and healthy fat to keep them safe from malnourishment and deficiencies.
- Lowering the risk of future health concerns such as obesity, allergies, and diabetes.
Many studies have highlighted the positive benefits of prolonging your child's exposure to your breastmilk. Even after you've weaned them onto solid foods, an occasional momsicle is a powerful health boost to keep your young ones healthy and growing strong.
Selecting the Momsicle Mold
These treats turn out better and safer when you take the time to gather all the necessary supplies beforehand. Finding a popsicle mold in the correct shape and size is key. Improvising with pacifiers and basic molds can be risky; without the proper popsicle mold, your treat may turn into a choking hazard. Always use specially designed molds from trusted baby retailers. Baby-safe momsicle molds are designed with a shorter, rounder shape that prevents possible choking. Even after your little one grows up, these molds are still great for safe toddler popsicles. So take the time to find a mold specifically and safely made just for babies.
Mixing Your Ingredients
Momsicles are best when made in bulk. This allows you to have a good supply on hand that you can grab on the run. Pump and save at least 4 ounces of your milk. Although you can create a basic momsicle with nothing more than your milk, some babies enjoy these treats much more when their popsicle is mixed with one of their favorite baby foods. Fruity, sweet flavors give this treat a special appeal. Select one of their favorite flavors and mix well to ensure the milk and food do not separate.
Freezing the Treat
Make momsicles with a baby-safe popsicle mold, follow the mold's directions and pour your mixture properly. Give the mold several hours to freeze completely.
Leave the popsicles in the mold for safe storage. This keeps them ready and waiting and reduces the chances of them breaking or sticking together.
When to Offer a Momsicle
The first time you offer a momsicle, your child will no doubt be struck with wonder at the novelty of this fun and tasty treat. After they finish playing and gnawing on it, they'll probably want another one right away. Because these treats are natural and healthy, there's no harm in giving them momsicles frequently.
However, keep some boundaries in place and plan specific times you plan to give your child a momsicle. These boundaries keep you from running out at inopportune times when your little one really needs this treat. The best times for a momsicle include:
- When your child is suffering severe teething pain and gum inflammation.
- When your child is in feeling too fussy from teething to manage their food.
- When your child is bored and trying to steal your food or keep you from eating.
- In the summer to keep them cool and comfortable in the heat.
- To keep them happy and satisfied when they see others with treats, especially older siblings.
Momsicles are fast and easy treats to create. Your child will enjoy the flavors, particularly if you add some sweet baby food. The texture and chill will keep their sore, inflamed gums soothed during the worst of the teething phase. If your child is starting to cut their first tooth, arm yourself with this tasty, safe treat. Even if they've finished most of the teething, momsicles still offer great health benefits to keep your child happy and healthy well into toddlerhood.
Continue on your breastfeeding journey with more comfort and ease as your child gets older by stocking up on savvy nursing tank tops and tee shirts. In cool or cold weather, try a cozy nursing hoodie so you can breastfeed anywhere and anytime while keeping warm. Incorporate regular breastfeeding and momsicles and you are well on your way to a successful nursing relationship with your developing little one.