Teething can be a nightmare for parents! This painful phase in a baby's life can cause a number of problems for your little one. Your baby can have any of these teething symptoms: swollen gums, drooling, sleeplessness, biting everything in sight, even developing cold-like symptoms or a fever. All of this can cause an overall miserable experience. Luckily, there are ways to soothe the discomfort that teething can bring.
15 Teething Toys
For infants, the best bet to combat the gnawing feeling of teething is to offer teething rings. Visit any baby store and you are going to find a bounty. Although the enormous amount of teethers available might have you asking, "Which are the best ones?"
Some are made from a safe rubber-like material that slightly bends and presses against those developing teeth. The Vulli Sophie giraffe teether is an example that is hugely popular with parents, as the company prizes their teethers on being BPA free, latex free, and lead free. Children seem to like the giraffe, making it easy to handle and bite!
14 Chilled Teethers
In your quest for a teething toy to help your little one, you will certainly come across teethers that say they can be chilled. These teethers look like they have a water or gel substance inside (that cannot be removed). These cool teething toys are often in easy to grasp shapes and sizes, many designed as rings, hands, and feet.
The cold feeling will soothe those sore gums when baby bites down on these teethers. And the fact that they're chilled may also help to ease the swelling that your baby is suffering from.
13 Frozen Fruits and Veggies
If your teething baby is on solid foods, think about freezing some fruits and vegetables and offering those. Be careful of choking risks though, as little ones who already have some teeth can easily bite off small pieces. Frozen items should never be in offered bite sized pieces. Give large chunks, like a big frozen carrot stick to have baby gnaw on.
You can also find mesh bags to put frozen food in while baby chews. This way, you can put in any type of frozen fruit or veggie- grapes, cucumbers, apples, bananas, etc, and baby will get some of the juices while he or she chews on the outside. This way you don't have to fear that your baby will choke on any of the frozen pieces.
12 Teething Biscuits
If your baby does not respond to frozen fruit or veggies, consider teething biscuits. You can find them in any baby aisle in most supermarkets. This should only be given to babies who can sit up, grasp items, and are eating solid foods. You can even make your own teething biscuits!
There are some teething biscuits that are made of rice paper and dissolve when the baby is munching on them so you don't have to worry about small cookie bits breaking of and becoming choking hazards.
Regardless of which biscuit you decide to give your little teether, it's best if you watch them closely when they have a biscuit to teethe on.
11 Use Your Fingers
You do not need anything gimmicky or special to help your teething baby. If you find your baby gnawing on everything he or she can get their little hands on, try offering your finger!
Make sure your hands are clean first and let baby chew on a finger or two. For some reason, babies seem to like this. Of course, this works best when baby is getting his or her first tooth, otherwise it may get a little painful if your baby already has a mouthful of other teeth!
You can even purchase a gum brush to put on your finger when baby wants to bite to relieve the teething pain.
10 Safe Teething Items Around the House
To a baby, any item available can be a teething toy! You have to always be careful when your baby begins to pick up items and put them in their mouth. Babies are especially more likely to chew on anything in sight when they're teething.
To a certain extent, that is okay! The baby rattle, doll, toy car, puzzle piece, the kitchen table, you name it, are all perfectly fine to allow your baby to chew on to relieve any discomfort caused by teething. Some babies even chew on their crib to find some relief. If your baby does this, there are a number of crib guards you can buy to stop your baby from chewing on their crib.
Just make sure you are always watching what your baby is using as a teether and make sure there are no small pieces that can come off and become a choking hazard. Watch what your baby chews on, it might be fine to gnaw on your travel mug, but do not let them eat up that tissue box!
9 Teething Necklaces
You may have left your necklaces in your jewelry box once your teething infant started grabbing at them and/or chewing on them. Well, if you are looking to bring some accessories back into your life, you are in luck! Teething necklaces are not only on the market (and have been for years), currently they are all the rage!
Teething necklaces these days are made from BPA-safe materials (always check the labels, though). Some of these necklaces that you are likely to find in any store catering to little ones are made of safe rubber and are just that, safe. You can find a variety of necklaces that just happen to be designed with safe materials in case your baby decides to clamp their jaw on them.
Other teething necklaces claim to offer more relief than one would get just from the chewing pressure on sore gums. These necklaces, known as Amber teething necklaces, claim that the amber they are made with (Baltic amber) releases oils when combined with the heat radiating from the baby's body (and your body) and is a natural occurring method to relieve teething pain. Some believe this to be true, while others do not find this claim worthy at all.
Just be aware of the risks of wearing any necklace around your teething baby, whether it is a specifically a teething necklace or not. The risk of a piece coming loose is always a choking hazard, and not to mention a strangulation risk if the necklace comes off of you (or even gets wrapped around their little fingers or hands).
You might be thinking, "Are you kidding me? Acupressure on infants!" Sounds odd, but many claim it works wonders! Acupressure is an easy (and cheap) solution for many ailments.
It involves using the fingers to apply pressure on specific pinpointed areas on the body. Applying pressure to certain points can alleviate many aches and pains. Points on the body, specifically the wrist, forearm, and cheek areas, have been identified to relieve toothache pain, and can be applied to infants and young children suffering teething discomfort.
A baby may not understand what you are doing, but if he or she lets you, it does not hurt to try! Consider administering acupressure during bathing, dressing, and even during nursing. The idea to is to apply the pressure while the baby is calm and relaxed.
7 Jaw Massage
Think about when your jaw might hurt and how much a nice little massage can do wonders for your sore gums. The same works for your baby. Teething can cause a ton of pain in the jaw area for our little ones. Try administering a massage in small, circular motions around the jaw and mouth, and with clean hands, you could even massage his gums.
It may be difficult do this with a teething baby who is squirming, but if he lets you try, it may be just the ticket to calm him down and help ease some of the pain. Again this is something you can do when you're towelling off your baby after a bath or getting them dressed.
6 Distraction From the Pain
Babies are usually easily distracted. Taking their mind off of that tooth or teeth that is bothering them might be easier than you think. Pull out baby's favorite toy, maybe one that is highly stimulating with bright colors that plays some music. These toys will help you distract your little one from the pain they're feeling in their gums.
You could also try going for a long walk. Or let your baby make some noise by pulling out all the pots and pans and letting them drum away. Heck, turn on the television if you think it will help! Try out any idea you have, it might just be enough to take your little one's mind off of the pain they are feeling from teething, even if just for a little while.
5 Rock Away the Pain
Teething can disrupt your baby's sleep. Because of this, she may be more tired and irritable during the day, which can make teething even more uncomfortable. Turn on a lullaby and gently rock your baby. She may drift off to sleep or just enjoy the closeness and quiet.
Try to not worry if she is napping at a different time than she normally would, either. With a teething baby you are likely to learn to get by on little sleep yourself, so prepare to have a flexible schedule!
Breastfeeding can be a surefire way to ease the pain of teething- for some babies. If you're breastfeeding your baby and you find that your baby sucks on things, like his hands to help with his teething pain, try feeding your little one if you notice that they're in pain. Even if it may be off of your typical feeding schedule.
You may even find that your baby may want to breastfeed more often when teething if they find that it makes them feel better. It may also give him more comfort to be close to you when he is not feeling at his best.
However, on the flip side, some babies refuse to breastfeed when they are teething, as it just makes the pain worse. So just prepare for teething to change more than just your baby's temperament.
3 Time for a Sippy Cup
If your baby is old enough, maybe about six months old, and they haven't gotten to try out a fun sippy cup, give it a go! There are all kinds on the market. Soft spout, hard spout, handle, no handle, straw, the possibilities are endless.
Pick up one that you think will be appealing and give baby a hand at something new and cool. This is something that is safe and clean for them to suck on and bite and just play around with. Put some cold water in their sippy cup if you would like, the coolness may help ease the teething pain.
2 When to Use Medication
Strolling through the baby aisle and you will see many medications for teething. Everything from gels to drops to sprays and tablets. Be hesitant to give your baby any of these so-called teething remedies. There can be side effects, such as numbing of the throat, gagging reflexes, and allergic reactions.
What these medications won't tell you is that after repeated use, they become less effective and it takes increased amounts of the medication to work on the gums. Other side effects can be very serious. The FDA has put out a warning against a drug found in many of the over the counter baby teething medications.
The ingredient known as benzocaine can cause a serious, but rare, condition that can reduce the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream that could ultimately result in death. Do your homework before purchasing any baby medicine, and ask yourself the question, is it really worth it? Is my baby really in that much pain?
Try other strategies, such as chilled teethers and cold foods before even thinking about purchasing these. As with any medicine, always speak to your baby's pediatrician first before ever giving any to your baby.
1 Combating Toddler Teething Pain
A teething baby and a teething toddler can be completely different ball games! Remember, teething is not limited to the infant years. Baby teeth can take up to three years for all the teeth to come in, and then just a few years after that the adult teeth will start to push those baby teeth out (and that's a whole other article of advice!).
Your whiny teething toddler may be able to pinpoint the pain and tell your about it. You can try all the above with older teething children, but you are not as limited with older teethers as you are with infants. Toddlers can be given one thing babies cannot have- popsicles!
Keep in mind that as with some babies, toddlers may not have much of an appetite when they are teething. Offering cold foods, such as yogurt and cheese, may help their sore gums. Drinking cold water from a cup can help too.