Your beautiful baby is four or five months old. He is fed and bathed, and he is well-rested from his afternoon nap. You just can’t seem to understand why he is so fussy and looks a bit uncomfortable despite your best efforts. If this sounds like your story, your little one may be starting to teethe.
Although the emergence of teeth is an exciting signal of growth for your baby, teething is often associated with some negative symptoms; namely, fussiness and disrupted sleeping caused by mild gum pain. Never fear! Baby Blankets Blog is here to arm you with some tricks to soothe your little one’s aching gums.
The best way to alleviate your teething infant’s pain is to apply pressure to his swollen gums. Wash your hands thoroughly and identify the area where the new tooth is budding. Spend two minutes massaging the swelling with your finger, or wrap an ice cube in a wet cloth and use that as a massaging agent.
Teething = Chewing
In an attempt to self-soothe, your teething baby is about to put anything and everything within his reach directly into his mouth! The requirements of this new habit: Baby-proof even more aggressively than before, and be combative against germs.
Surrounding your baby with safe options to chew on prepares an environment conducive to self-soothing and less fussing. Lay your “teether” onto his best baby blankets and spread an array of hard, smooth toys which he can bite down on for relief. Teething rings, firmly-stuffed animals with smooth materials, and even frozen washcloths are all great options.
You can turn snack time into pain relief, too, by choosing frozen bananas, frozen bagels, chilled apple slices, or chilled pickles! To be on the safe side, avoid ice pops, as they may cause freezer burn to the gums when applied directly on baby’s sensitive mouth.
Medical Pain Relievers
If pressure from gum massage or chewing does not seem to be enough to quell your bundle of (usually) joy’s teething pain, doctors have given the green light to recommended doses of acetaminophen, such as Tylenol. If you’re going for a more natural approach to medication, try rubbing peeled ginger root directly on the swollen area of baby’s gums.
It is difficult to see your child in any sort of pain, but remember that teething is only mildly painful … not painful enough to induce crying. Some uneducated parents blame teething on crying, fevers, earaches, or diarrhea, but these are not typical symptoms of teething. It is more likely that viral infection is to blame, so contact your pediatrician.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, we cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your baby and everything he is teething on as clean as possible! Not only is your infant at risk of infection, he can also build tooth decay. Even before your baby’s teeth are entirely cut through the gum, begin establishing the habit of cleaning his gums with fluoride-free “training toothpaste” twice every day.
You might also notice excessive drooling when baby begins to teethe. Some overlooked baby shower gifts include teething bibs and burping cloths that will really come in handy to keep up with teething drool! Change baby’s shirt if it is soaked and wipe his cheeks and chin often, in order to prevent chafing to the skin.
With your help, your baby can sail through teething with minimal discomfort. Whether you give him a soothing gum massage or let him chew to his heart’s content, be diligent in keeping your baby’s toys and mouth free of germs.