Soothing Your Baby During Teething

Here's what you need to know about teething.

The first few years of your baby’s life are a very special time. You’ll be able to see the changes every single day. From walking to eating solid foods to his or her first word, it will be incredible to watch your child grow. However, not everything will be smooth sailing. Some changes can be uncomfortable and even painful for your little one. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to make your baby feel better. Here’s how to help soothe your baby while he or she is teething:

The teething process

Teething is when babies’ first set of teeth break through the gums. These are called primary teeth. The first tooth usually breaks through around 6 months of age, however, it is normal to start teething anywhere between three and 12 months. By the time your little one is 3 years old, he or she should have all 20 primary teeth.

“It’s normal for your baby to be fussy.”

The process of teething is different for all babies, but it’s normal for your little one to be fussier than usual. If you notice your baby constantly putting something in his or her mouth, it’s a good indication of teething. If your little one seems to be drooling more than usual, it’s because his or her teeth might be coming in. Be sure to always carry a cloth around for wiping to prevent chapping, chafing and overall redness from the constant liquid. If your little one is experiencing redness around the mouth, try a moisturizing solution like Vaseline or Aquafor to create a barrier so the problem doesn’t worsen.

Biting down on something helps relieve the pressure. Swelling and soreness of the gums can happen but these symptoms disappear as soon at the tooth breaks the skin. As a result of all this mouth action, your baby may refuse to eat or drink. Some parents experience fevers or diarrhea, but these symptoms are not caused by teething, they’re just coincidental. If your baby is teething, he or she may be in contact with more viruses. However, if your baby is experiencing severe health issues, you should contact your physician.

The soothing process

As a parent, there are a lot of steps you can take to soothe your little one while he or she is teething. One of the easiest ways is by using your clean fingers to rub along your little one’s gums. Apply a little bit of pressure for about two minutes to relieve the pain. Your baby might fuss at first, but then he or she should find this action soothing. Teething rings are also very helpful during this transition. However, you’re going to want rings that are filled with sterilized water and free of harmful chemicals. These rings when frozen can calm your baby’s mouth and even lull him or her to sleep at night.

Hands in mouth is a sign of teething.
Hands in mouth is a sign of teething.

Another safe option is wetting and chilling a washcloth for your little one to gnaw on. Just don’t put it in the freezer because it will be too cold. Be sure to test the cloth before handing it to your baby – just to be sure. If your baby is old enough to eat solid foods, chilled applesauce or yogurt could provide temporary relief.

The last resort

If natural remedies aren’t working, age-specific medication is another option for relief. Be sure to contact your doctor to ensure you’re giving your little one a safe and correct dosage. Just remember that teething is a natural part of your baby’s growth.