Although teething is a process that every newborn goes through, it comes with its own bundle of discomfort and troubles. As the little one grows, the 20 tiny teeth sitting underneath their gum life start to emerge out from their soft gums. Most kids begin teething when they are 6 months of age, which further brings sore gums, irritability, drooling, and pain in the gums. If your baby is experiencing teething and you are wondering what to do to help them relax, below are 12 baby teething comfort tips that are going to be no less than a boon.
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Massage the Baby's Gums
Applying gentle pressure to your little one's delicate gums may help alleviate their pain. Make sure you thoroughly clean your hands before laying the child on the bed, further massaging their gums gently using your finger. You can also rub their gums using a cold washcloth, or a gauze pad to provide relief, helping the child to fall asleep. If your baby wakes up from sleep because of gum irritation, you can try softly rubbing the gums again. The pressure of teeth breaking through is rightly countered by the pressure of rubbing the gums, thereby making the baby relax. While most kids feel relieved with a massage, this might not be helpful for all.
Use a Cold Washcloth to Soothe The Baby's Gums
Soothing irritated gums when your baby is teething would seem almost effortless when you use a cold washcloth to get it done. It's recommended to grab a clean washcloth and thoroughly dip it in cold water, further wringing out the cloth until it is damp and putting it in the fridge or freezer. Once it turns cold, fold it and give it to your baby to let them chew on it. It will comfort the baby by soothing their gums and let them have a soft surface to bite down on. For added relief, you can go for a terrycloth or a ribbed texture as this creates certain friction when the baby gnaws on it. Make sure you avoid any choking hazards by never leaving your little one unattended while they chew on the washcloth.
Give the Baby Chilled Fruits
If your little one has started having solid foods, it's a great idea to freeze fruits to soothe their teething gums. For starters, you can go for chilled mashed bananas or some other fruit in a mesh feeder, further letting the baby to suck on them. Some other fruits you could give them include pears or strawberries. Cut a large piece of apple, further chilling it in the freezer for an hour before giving it to the baby. Make sure you monitor the child at all times to check that the apple stays intact and doesn't break off as this could lead to choking.
Wipe Away the Drool
Teething is often associated with lots of drooling, which further leads to drool rashes that occur due to the drool buildup on or around the child's face. This can not only be very irritating for the baby but also lead to discoloration of their sensitive skin. Make sure you comfort your teething infant by cleaning that excess drool off their face. This is going to prevent teething irritation caused due to an itchy, unsightly skin rash. You can also make the baby wear a bib while they are teething as kids often drool and soak their clothing.
Give Them Pacifiers or Teething Toys
Chilling pacifiers or teething toys is one of the most widely used ways to comfort a teething child. It combines the idea of cold treatment as well as something to chew on in one solution. And that's why, chilled teethers or pacifiers help in comforting a child in pain, as the cold works miraculously well for soothing those irritated gums by numbing the pain. Depending on your baby's choice, you can try different types of teethers, ranging from rubber teethers to wood options to teethers that work best even when you freeze them.
All you need to do is take one of the teething toys or pacifiers, further chilling it for around 10-15 minutes. This time span works just fine for making the toy or the pacifier rightly cool without taking it to freezing temperatures. Make sure you don't leave the objects in the freezer for too long, as it can turn out to be harmful to the child. In case, the object develops a layer of ice around itself, chewing on them may cut the baby's delicate gums.
Let Them Chew Teething Rings
Teething rings are a great solution to let the baby chew something safely and ease their pain. Some teething rings can also be put in the fridge for some time, thereby soothing the baby's gums even better. You can check the instructions mentioned on the packaging to know how long to chill it for. Make sure you don't freeze a teething ring as it can damage the child's gums when frozen, as stated above.
Prepare a Milk Popsicle
The discomfort of teething makes some toddlers and children refuse to eat. It's essential to keep the baby hydrated and well-fed while comforting their irritated gums at the same time. Milk or BPA-free Popsicle forms can help you do the same. However, put a bib on the child and make them sit on an easily-washable blanket or towel to ensure hassle-free cleaning as popsicles can get messy when they start to melt. Another idea is to let your infant have these popsicles in the highchair.
Give Them a Refrigerated Small Spoon
Letting your child put something cold in their mouth is a wonderful way to reduce the pain or discomfort that comes with teething. You can keep a handful of spoons in the refrigerator and always have one ready whenever your little one needs it. Your child can hold onto their own spoon, chew on the same, push it against their sensitive gums, and even play with the spoon to distract their mind from the pain without being at risk of choking.
Give Your Baby a Foot Massage
Studies have discovered connections between the toes and teeth, and that goes just right for children. Babies respond very well to foot massage when it comes to teething and its pain, or simply feeling better on a sleepless night. Massage your baby's foot gently while keeping more focus to the toes. Massaging the points found on either side of the baby's toes as well as above the nail bed on the big toe is going to work wonders. Solar plexus point stays in the center, right underneath the ball of the foot. Massaging the point induces a sense of calmness and relaxation.
Let Your Baby Have Some Extra Cuddles
There's no doubt in the fact that some cuddles work wonders for helping a baby in discomfort. If the baby seems to be in a poor mood when they are teething, rocking the little one in a huge chair or carrying them around the house is a wonderful idea. The extra cuddling will help provide the child with the needed relaxation, while also creating a calm environment for both of you to fall asleep. If you are breastfeeding, you can also try giving your baby some extra nursing sessions to make them feel better.
Going for over-the-counter pain medicines is recommended as the last resort when nothing seems to help the child feel better. Consult your baby's pediatrician for the same to find the correct pain killer that suits your child, along with the right dosage. Medicines like infant-formula acetaminophen can help the baby sleep by alleviating the pain. According to dentist recommendations, it's good to avoid teething gels and medicines containing benzocaine or lidocaine as these can make swallowing difficult and numb a baby's mouth. Additionally, you would also want to limit the use of ibuprofen or acetaminophen and herbal remedies.
Take Your Baby to the Dentist Within 6 Months of Their 1st Tooth Erupting
To make sure that your baby teethes properly, it's essential to visit their pediatric dentist within 6 months of their 1st tooth erupting. The American Dental Association recommends scheduling an appointment within the aforesaid period as a dentist will help ease your baby's teething with the right advice on how to care for them. Regular visits during the initial years of teething help healthy teeth and gums in the long run as proper oral hygiene prevents dental problems from occurring later in life.
If you live in the Chandler, AZ area, trust Kids Dental Center for all of your child's dental care needs. Once your child turns 6 months - or cuts their first tooth - they are ready to become patients. Call us today to schedule your child's first dental appointment!