Babies are very delicate creations of god, their mouth when they are just born is so tiny that even our index finger in the mouth would seem like something really really big, so let them be for the first 3 to 4 months of life when they are just milk-fed. The white layer that forms on their tiny tongues day after day should be cleaned with the finger at the time of giving their bath, just open their month, bend your index finger and bring it from top to bottom, no application of force, it is just like wiping the inside with your finger and that should be more than enough. Isnt that baby breath with milk smell the most beautiful smell in the whole wide world... well, for me it is. :).
Some time around the end of 3rd month or so, when the frequency of feeds came down to once or twice a night, I began to wipe the gums with a clean cloth in luke warm water so that there is no germ activity overnight when the baby is fast asleep.
However, by 4th month or so, the layer formation kind of becomes more rapid. At that point I found something called like a finger glove with very very soft bristles by Hello Baby (price not sure, may be in or around 100 rs/-) which is awesome, you just fit it to your index finger, kind of brush the gums, the tongue and everything inside is clean :). I found out from the doc and he says it is absolutely fine, just ensure the plastic in the product you are using is good and clean.
I am advised by my doctor not to wake up the kid at nighttime to feed and it is perfectly alright if they are not getting up even once.. Just ensure they have a large quantity around 10 or 11 p.m. and then again only when they wake up or say around 4 or 5 a.m. This is a good practice in two ways, you and the baby get uninterrupted whole night sleep which is must for their growth as well as your rest and most importantly, it will prevent cavity formation with milk feeds at night.
However, I had a tough time getting the kid to stop from feeding at nights, she used to wake up around 2 a.m. for one feed no matter what drinking only little at 11 p.m. So, the best alternate I could think of was feed the baby milk and also feed a little amount of water so that there is no residual milk left over in the mouth :).. (pat on the back).. good idea na.
Now, after a few initial hiccups we have fallen into a routine.. 10 and 4 it is :) with a cloth wipe after the feed at night and a sip of water in the morning and let the baby sleep again until she is completely charged up for yet another day.
The gel-filled nibbler with buds for teething times, freeze and give to chew on.
Hello Baby also offers soothers which are water filled, no hazard even if ingested as it is plain sterile water but with no handles to hold on, it is too cold and the kids tend to put it down unable to hold the cold. With the one in the above picture, the gel is in the ring area and the kid can hold on to the plastic which gets to normal temperature very soon. Again, a pasool vasool item for somewhere between (250 to 450 rs/-).
When teething and after teething is a different point of post as to what my pains/discoveries at that time are...