Your normally sweet and easygoing baby has recently morphed into a cranky little one. While the arrival of those first teeth is exciting, there is also a brief period of discomfort that can be hard on both you and your baby. The good news is that there are tons of things that you can do to ease those sore little gums. Now that your baby has reached the teething stage, try these tips to bring them relief.
Chill Their Pacifier
Babies who rely on their pacifier to self soothe may find it irritating right now. If your baby keeps spitting out their pacifier, try chilling it in the freezer for a few minutes. The cool sensation will entice your baby to continue sucking for comfort.
Apply Gentle Pressure to Their Gums
You can also use your fingers to apply pressure to your baby’s gums. Just wash your hands and apply gentle counter pressure to the areas of their mouth where the teeth are coming in. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can try wearing a baby toothbrush that is designed to go over your fingertips.
Experiment With Teethers
Baby teethers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. When your baby rejects one, try using a different type since they may prefer a different type of texture or one that is easier to hold. You can try a classic teething ring or a cute teething toy. You can also try different temperatures. While most babies prefer a frozen teether, others may like it room temperature or slightly warmed up.
Practice More Baby Wearing
As a parent, you are the main person that your baby looks to for comfort, and being snuggled up close to your skin helps everything feel better. While you can definitely add a few extra cuddle session into your day, you might not be able to sit for hours in the nursery. This is where the baby carrier comes in handy. Simply strap your baby into the carrier and go about your day. They’ll love the soothing movements you make as you walk around, and the cuddles let them know that everything will be okay.
Clean Up the Drool
Teething pain isn’t just relegated to the gums. The other symptoms of teething can cause irritation that you might not notice right away. Excessive drooling leads to issues such as chapped lips and skin around the mouth. Your baby may be whining because this part of their mouth hurts, or they may just not like the sensation of having drool make its way down their chin. For now, have your baby wear a bib or infant bandana to catch the excess drool, and remember to wipe it away often.
Give Them a Frozen Washcloth
For a quick and easy teether, try wetting a clean washcloth and putting it in the freezer. Once it is chilled, hand it to your baby and let them gnaw on it. Make sure to wash the washcloth first using natural cleaners or just plain water to make sure that no chemicals make their way into your baby’s body. This is a great solution when your baby struggles with holding on to a teething ring since the washcloth is easier for their tiny fingers to grasp.
Use Approved Medications
Infant pain relievers are often effective when the teething pain has reached a serious level. While you definitely want to try other methods first, your baby’s pediatrician may recommend using an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease their discomfort. Always make sure that you use a medication that is approved for infant use, and follow the instructions to avoid side effects.
Make Milk Popsicles
Do you remember those fruit juice popsicles that you used to make as a kid? You can do something similar with your baby’s formula or breast milk. Use BPA-free popsicle forms to make homemade popsicles with your baby’s favorite beverage. While this method does get messy as the popsicle melts, it is an effective way to get food into your baby when they reject the bottle or breast.
Distract Them With a Baby Massage
The pain from teething can cause your baby to tense up their tiny little muscles, and this leads to the same soreness around their shoulders and arms that you might feel after a stressful day. Grab some baby lotion and lay your little one on a comfortable surface. Then, use the lotion to gently rub down their arms, shoulders and legs. Keep in mind that you will need to use much less pressure than you would on someone older. Just feeling your hands glide across their skin is enough to help your baby feel their muscles relax.
Partially Freeze Their Baby Food
Your baby’s food may also be more palatable if you freeze it until it becomes a little slushy. The coolness of the food entices your baby to eat more. For an extra special touch, try chilling their spoon beforehand, too. You’ll find that your baby keeps gnawing on it as they discover the relief it brings.
Teething symptoms usually last a few weeks, but you can expect them to return every time a new tooth comes in. As you experiment with different strategies, take note of what works best so that you can use them again as your baby fills out their adorable little smile.