Congratulations! Your baby’s first tooth has appeared, but this milestone in your baby’s development isn’t always the happiest time for baby (or parents). Although every baby’s teething experience is different, it can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience for your little one.
If your little one is waking up at night, crying more than usual or is just unusually fussy, he may be having a hard time dealing with the pain caused by budding teeth. Thankfully, with a few simple tips you can make the teething process less painful and easier for you little one.
Cold food and water can soothe achy gums and be a welcome relief for hurting babies. If you normally serve baby’s water of food at room temperature, try refrigerating it or mix with cold water. If your baby is older than 6 months, you can try giving them a cold cup or bottle of water (no ice!).
Counter pressure can help ease achy gums, which is why most teething babies will gnaw on anything they can get their hands on. To help relieve pressure, try giving your baby a soft, chewy toy or teething ring to gnaw on. If you want to make the experience even better, try refrigerating the toy. Although it may be tempting to freeze a chew toy, we advise against it as very cold temperatures can hurt baby just as much as a new tooth.
If your baby is still suffering from pain even after trying teething toys and cold comfort, speak with your child’s pediatrician about giving him an acetaminophen like Tylenol.
Teething can also cause excessive drooling, which in some cases can create a rash around the mouth, chin, and neck. To minimize discomfort caused by the rash and to stop the rash from spreading, gently pat away any excess moisture first. Once you’ve dried the area, try creating a moisture barrier with a cream like Weleda’s organic Calendula Body Cream. Try moisturizing the area regularly with a lotion like HIPP’s Babysoft Sensitive Milk Lotion
Extra snuggles and kisses during a difficult time for you baby can go a long way! Try calming your baby by singing to him or talking to him in soft, soothing tones. A gentle cheek or ear rub may also be a welcome sense of relief as aches can travel to these areas as well. Cheeks and ears share the same nerve pathways with gums, which is why your little one may be pawing at his ears or cheeks.
Lastly, just remember that your baby won’t be teething forever (although sometimes it seems that way!). Before you know it, you’ll be admiring your little one’s toothy grin.