How do you know if your baby is teething?
Moms who’ve been through it know that symptoms vary, but you can expect irritability, swollen and sensitive gums, and a whole lot of drool. It’s hard seeing your baby in pain (and the fussiness isn’t fun either!), but there are many ways to help ease your baby’s discomfort. While there’s no miracle teething remedy that soothes every child, here’s a break-down of seven common remedies that keep cropping up in Circle of Moms conversations.
- Rubbing gums. It may be simple, but it works! Teething babies often find it soothing to have their gums rubbed. Just gently rub your baby’s gums with the pad of your finger (clean, of course) for a few minutes at a time.
- Cold washcloth. Teething babies love gnawing on cold items, and a chilled washcloth is an easy, safe and effective teething toy. Place a clean, wet washcloth in the freezer for 15 minutes, and then let your baby chew it.
- Teething rings. Firm rubber teething rings and teething toys come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They may have bumps, or be filled with water—the latter are meant to be chilled in the refrigerator (most of them shouldn’t go in the freezer). For an easy homemade teething toy, squeeze water into your baby’s pacifier and chill it.
- Cold food. “We froze sliced cucumbers,” remembers Julie M. in a Circle of Moms teething conversation. “Both kids loved it.” Trisha J.’s son, in contrast, loved chewing on frozen celery sticks. Cold food is perfect for teething babies that are already eating solid foods. Anything from frozen bananas, grapes and bagels to cold applesauce or yogurt can do the trick. Put the food in a mesh feeder, so that your baby can chew on the cold food without breaking off and swallowing large pieces.
- Teething biscuits. Some babies just don’t like cold items, but food doesn’t have to be cold to provide teething relief. Hard teething biscuits are also great for teething babies who are old enough to chew and eat them and other solid foods. Popular store brands include Earth’s Best, Healthy Times and Gerber. Or you can even make your own sugar-free teething biscuits.
- Teething gel. Medicated teething gels like Baby Orajel are sold over the counter, and usually contain benzocaine to numb the gums. While experts disagree over the use of teething gels, (too much can numb the back of a baby’s throat and impair the gag reflex, and in rare cases can cause allergic reactions), many approve it when used sparingly. Check with your pediatrician.
- Children’s pain medications. Some moms find that a small dose of children's pain reliever—such as infant Tylenol or Motrin—helps when nothing else does. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician before giving your baby acetaminophen or any other pain reliever,
Looking for more baby teething remedies? Got a great tip we missed?
Looking for more baby teething remedies? Got a great teething tip we missed? Check out these popular conversations about teething advice and tips, or visit the Circle of Moms Teething community, where you can ask other moms what’s worked for them and share your own tips and tricks.