Baby teething: 9 tips for soothing sore gums
Whether you’ve noticed your baby becoming fussier as it chews on its hand or you see a tooth popping through where there only used to be adorable baby gums, you’re going to have to start thinking about teething solutions.
Teething time can be challenging for babies as well as their parents. We hate to see our children suffer when they struggle with teething pain, and as parents, we miss our happy-go-lucky babies while they go through this phase.
Here are 9 tips to help you sail right through this challenging phase of your baby’s life.
1. Know When To Expect That First Tooth
If you’re going to fight teething pain, you have to know when it’s going to start. Most babies will have their first tooth by the time they reach 6 months old. But some babies may get them a couple months earlier, or even a couple months later.
Don’t stress out about the timeline too much -- there is a wide range of time which is still considered normal for a baby’s first tooth to make an appearance.
2. Know the Signs
As much as we wish they could at this age so we could know what they’re thinking, babies can’t tell you with their words when something is hurting them. But they can tell you with their actions, and if you know what you’re looking for, it will be easy to figure out when they’re feeling teething pain.
Watch for drooling, coughing caused by that thick drool, a rash caused by all that excessive moisture, biting, fussiness, crying, problems feeding, waking up often, and pulling on the ear. If you see a combination of these signs, those tender gums are likely bothering your baby.
3. Get a Teething Toy
Teething toys can give your baby a lot of relief, and they can help you feel like you are actively doing something to help your baby at a time when you start to feel pretty helpless. Teething toys come in all different materials, including wood, plastic, and silicone.
You can get them in different shapes that will catch a baby’s eye, such as cute birthstone ring teethers. And since babies have a natural love for making noise and exploring items that rouse their curiosity, you can get them a combination teether/rattle.
4. Distract Them From the Pain
Sometimes a simple distraction can make a baby forget all about their discomfort. Taking your baby for a walk in their stroller, or taking them to a park so they can see other children playing can do a world of good when it comes to improving their moods and keeping their minds off of the pain.
5. Fill a Sippy Cup With Ice-Cold Water
Ice can take the sting out of sore gums, but you don’t want to put it directly on your baby’s tender gums. Instead, put it in a sippy cup with some water and let them sip it whenever they’re showing signs of pain.
6. Let Them Play Around in the Kitchen
Is your baby obsessed with all the kitchen gadgets it can get its hands on? Whether you’re dealing with a baby or a toddler, there’s something magnetic about kitchen utensils that draws children in.
Put that love of kitchenware to good use by letting them chew on a silicone spatula. The silicone will be food grade, which puts your mind at ease, and it will ease the achiness of their gums.
Another way to get that cold relief on a child’s gums and incite excitement at the same time is by offering a popsicle. No child can resist a popsicle when they’re offered one.
One word of caution: You might want to use these sparingly unless you want your child to start thinking they can have a popsicle every time they start crying.
8. Reach for the Acetaminophen
If your child is really struggling with the pain and you’ve tried everything else, it’s okay to give a dose of acetaminophen, which is found in Tylenol, to help them manage the worst of the pain. Again, it’s something you shouldn’t do every day, but it can be another weapon in your arsenal against teething pain.
Just make sure to follow the dosage carefully on the bottle. It won’t provide immediate relief though -- it may take about an hour to fully kick in.
9. Teething Necklaces
Teething necklaces are a unique piece of jewelry that your baby can gnaw away on when their gums are feeling super sore. There are two types of teething necklaces, the ones made for moms, and the ones made for babies to wear. While it might look cute, it is advisable never to let your baby wear a necklace as it poses a significant strangulation or choking risk.
The Bottom Line
Teething won’t have your child down for long -- the first couple of teeth always seem to be the worst.
Using the tips in this guide, you’ll be able to soothe your baby in no time. And when baby is happy, everyone in your household is happy!
About the Author
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two and a blogger for Mom Loves Best, where she documents her journey through parenthood and writes about her passions for health, safety, and everything related to keeping her family happy and spiritually grounded.