If your baby is teething, then you’re probably familiar with how much stress this can cause for the whole family. Even though the number and intensity of symptoms varies between children, the majority of babies go through at least one of the usual signs of teething – drooling, gnawing, crankiness and irritability, loss of appetite, restless sleep, rubbing cheeks and ears. Symptoms occur around four days before the tooth erupts and usually last for another three days afterwards. In order to help your child go through the teething process as painlessly as possible, we’ve compiled a list of possible teething remedies you could try.
Gentle massage of the gums
Gentle pressure applied to the gums feels great to a teething baby. You could use your own finger or a moist gauze – of course. Make sure that whatever you put into your baby’s mouth is clean to avoid causing an infection.
Teethers are chewing toys that will successfully distract your baby from chewing on household items, blankets or you! They are designed to be safe while chewing, with no delicate parts that could break off and present a choking hazard for your child. Even so, if you notice excessive damage on the toy after days of your baby gnawing on it, make sure you replace it before it becomes a health risk. There is a wide variety of teethers on the market – rubber, wooden, vibrating, plush toys, etc. You can even find “teething jewelry” pendants that are safe for your baby to chew.
Cold temperatures act like local pain killers, by numbing the area and reducing discomfort. That is why a wet cold washcloth or a chilled teether can do wonders for a teething baby. Just make sure that the item is not frozen since direct contact with ice can damage the gums. For a super calming effect, soak the clean cloth in chamomile tea, and then cool it in the fridge. Chamomile is known to be relaxing for children, so it can help your baby calm down. Since many babies lose appetite because of the pain they feel when chewing on solid foods, chilled applesauce, yoghurt or mashed fruit could be a healthy snack while offering some relief as well.
Protect the skin from irritation
A common symptom of teething is excessive drooling, which can result in skin irritation. Wipe your child’s face often with a soft cloth (pat, don’t rub) and apply a protective cream on the chin area.
Gels which are specially designed for teething babies can provide soothing. There are several things to consider when choosing a teething gel, to ensure that it is completely safe for your child. It shouldn’t contain any anesthetic drugs, since these can cause harm when swallowed, by anesthetizing the throat and increasing the risk of choking. The gel shouldn’t contain sugar which increases the risk of cavities, but it should have a pleasant taste. You can apply the teething gel directly to your child’s gums with your finger or you could spread it on a chewing toy.
If nothing we’ve mentioned helps, you can consult your physician about using some child-appropriate pain killers, such as paracetamol.