6 remedies for a teething baby
Typically, a child’s first teeth come in around the six month mark. However, there are cases in which a baby’s teeth erupt earlier, and some can come in immediately after birth. The signs and symptoms of your child’s first teeth include lack of appetite, drooling, irritability and sleep issues. In addition, they may have sore or itchy gums and swelling gums that may cause them to try to bite everything. You can sometimes feel the new teeth by running your fingers gently along your baby’s gums. If you feel any unusual hardness along the gum line, then it could indicate an incoming tooth.
If you have a teething baby, you know what it is like to go without sleep. The drooling, crankiness, and incessant crying are enough to bring you to tears as well. In addition to the fact that you have not slept in days, it is difficult to watch your baby in pain. The solution is to learn to soothe your baby’s sore gums.
1. Apply gentle pressure
One of the most prominent symptoms of teething is itchy or sore gums, so applying gentle pressure can help solve the problem. You can use your freshly cleaned finger to gently rub your baby’s gums for several minutes. The gentle pressure will ease the itchy feeling and help combat the pain.
2. Use medications
There are many over-the-counter medications available for this purpose. Although many babies and parents can survive the teething phase without medications, some find that drugs can help. If your baby is extremely cranky, prone to fevers or unable to sleep because of their teething, then you may want to ask your pediatrician about medication options.
The most popular options include brand names such as children’s Tylenol and Motrin in addition to generic ibuprofen and acetaminophen. There are also several teething gels that can soothe the itchy feeling and pain. They can help to reduce swelling and prevent teething rashes. However, you want to consult a doctor before giving any type of medication, and you want to avoid aspirin because it can cause Reye's syndrome.
When looking for medications, you may also want to avoid those that contain benzocaine. The FDA recently issued a warning that teething medications containing benzocaine can lead to methemoglobinemia, which is a rare condition that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood.
3. Know when to call the doctor
Most of the time, the parent and child can endure the teething process without medical help. However, it may become necessary to call the doctor. If your baby develops a fever, seems particularly uncomfortable with the symptoms, develops a teething rash or develops other signs or symptoms of illness, then it is time to get expert attention.
4. Keep it cool
The gums generally puff and swell when teething, so a cold compress can be the perfect remedy. A cold washcloth, spoon, chilled teething ring or chilled baby foods can help to soothe the swelling and improve the symptoms of teething.
However, you want to be careful with chilled items for your baby’s teething. You may want to avoid giving your baby a frozen teething ring, spoon or other item. Frozen products can become too hard and may actually cause damage to the gums. A little time in the refrigerator instead of the freezer is enough to create the chilled effect without going too far.
5. Chew away
Your baby will want to chew on everything until the teething phase is over. You can help by providing a variety of chew-friendly toys such as gel teething rings or other items. If your baby is eating solid foods, you can also offer a carrot or chilled cucumber for them to chew.
6. Wipe away drool
Excessive drooling is a prominent sign of teething, but it is best to wipe it away immediately. Too much drooling can cause skin irritation and a condition known as a teething rash. You can keep a soft, clean cloth nearby to wipe away the drool and prevent the rash.
The teething phase does not have to be torture. When you recognize the signs of teething and know how to manage it, your baby’s teething quickly becomes more bearable.