Babies begin getting their first teeth in right around the age of six months. Although it’s possible for babies to be born with teeth that have already emerged through the gumline, most children will go through the regular teething process as they grow.
Teething can be a challenging time for babies and their parents, causing symptoms that range from drooling to irritability to trouble sleeping. Your child may also be trying to chew on objects, rub their face, or be difficult to soothe.
You can help your baby through the teething process with the following tips to help reduce their teething discomfort.
Massage Your Child’s Gums
Applying light pressure to your child’s gums via a gum massage can help temporarily alleviate their teething pain until an episode passes. Be sure to always wash your hands before putting your finger in your baby’s mouth.
You can gently massage your child’s gums to help soothe them while their teeth are coming in. Be sure not to apply too much pressure and if your baby shows signs of additional distress, discontinue this practice.
Keep Stress to a Minimum
Inflammation during the teething process causes your child’s mouth to hurt. Any additional stress on your baby can exacerbate their symptoms, so keeping your baby as comfortable as possible during this time is important.
For some babies, soothing activities such as breastfeeding (if you choose to breastfeed your child) or a warm bath can help distract a baby from their discomfort and calm them down.
Give Them a Cold Object
There are many objects on the market today that can be chilled or frozen for your baby to chew on to help numb their mouth and stop their teething pain. These include:
Teething toys. These may include teething rings, wooden toys which can help apply pressure, or even teething necklaces that go in the freezer and can be given to baby for them to chew on for cool relief.
Frozen fruit. Never give your baby whole frozen fruit as they may choke; instead, you can try putting the fruit in mesh bags that are tied off or sealed and allowing your baby to chew and refilling as needed.
Other frozen objects. You may also choose to try a cold spoon, a frozen washcloth, or other objects to help alleviate your baby’s pain, just be sure your child cannot choke on the object and always supervise your baby!
Your dentist may recommend a teething gel to provide your baby with quick relief in the event that they are inconsolable with these other tips during the teething process. Your dentist can let you know what gel they recommend and where you can find it as well as how to apply it. Typically, any type of pain medication is used as a last resort for babies who are teething.
Is your child going through the teething process? Emerging teeth can be uncomfortable for babies and anxiety inducing for parents who have to comfort their baby during this time. You can help alleviate your baby’s discomfort and stress with the above tips for teething pain!