As your baby’s teeth begin to emerge, they can cause a bit of discomfort. The gums will be sore, and you may find that your baby is crankier, has trouble sleeping, and begins to chew on toys — or anything else within reach. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to help soothe the irritation that comes with teething, so your baby (and you) can rest a little easier.
1. Give A Gum Massage
Applying gentle pressure to your baby’s gums can help alleviate some of the pain. To do this, wrap a soft cloth around your index finger and moisten it with a little bit of warm water, just like you do when you’re cleaning your baby’s mouth. However, instead of doing your usual sweep of the gums, very slowly and gently rub the gums in circular motions, applying an even pressure. Re-moisten the cloth as needed. The heat combined with the massage motion will help relax away the pain, and may be a great way to help your child fall asleep during teething.
2. Chill Out
Chewing on cold objects is another great way to help alleviate teething discomfort, as it allows your child to indulge their instinct to chew while the cold numbs the gums. We recommend keeping an extra teething toy or pacifier in the refrigerator for when your child begins to get fussy. Or, put some small ice chips or cold fruit into a mesh bag for your baby to chew on.
3. Find The Right Teething Toy
There are tons of teething toys on the market. Some can be chilled in the refrigerator, some have lots of bumpy textures to sooth the gums, and some are made from smooth wood or plastic. Try a few different kinds to see what your child likes best and be sure to keep at least one at home and one in the car, so you’ll never be without a teether when your baby gets fussy. It’s important, however, to make sure that the teether is solidly constructed, so no pieces break off and cause your baby to choke. If you’re worried about plastics, there are now a lot of great wooden teethers on the market that are sealed with food-grade oils and contain no harmful chemicals.
If your child is still in a lot of discomfort after you’ve tried the above methods, talk to your pediatrician and pediatric dentist about whether an over the counter pain reliever is right for your child. Baby aspirin or a topical baby-safe numbing gel can help alleviate cases of extreme discomfort in your child, though be sure to use just as your doctor instructs for best results.
Teething is an important developmental stage for your child though it’s unfortunately not always fun! As those little teeth begin to emerge, it’s important to know how to appropriately soothe any discomfort your child may be experiencing in a safe way. Remember, you may need to try a few different methods before you find one that works well for your child. If you’re still having difficulties, feel free to give us a call anytime.