Teething is an unavoidable obstacle that all parents face at some point during their parenting years. Some parents can be quite lucky, and despite a few nasty diapers hardly even notice that their toddlers are teething until that beautiful white tooth buds through the gums. For other parents, teething can be an absolute nightmare.
With our first child; our daughter Zoey; we hardly noticed that she was teething – the entire process started and was over with sooner than we could believe possible. However now with our son; Dean; the experience has been the complete opposite and we have found ourselves furiously searching for any way to relieve his pain.
These are my top 6 recommendations to sooth a baby, struggling with teething symptoms.
- Cold cloth (either cooled in the fridge, or freezer). An old favorite; not only does the coolness of the cloth sooth their inflamed gums, but the slight rough texture also helps stimulate the tooth growth if they chew on the cloth (which ends up happening in most cases). As an added bonus, the cool cloth also helps sooth them if they are running a slight fever – which is often another symptom of teething.
- Chilled teething ring. If you aren’t comfortable with your baby clinging to and chewing a cloth, there are such a wide variety of teething rings available these days. Including special ones that can be placed in the freezer. They are brightly colored to draw your babies attention and textured to promote healthy teeth growth. And because so many are made with a soft, pliable plastic they won’t harm your baby’s teeth once they start popping through the gums.
- Gum massage – another one of those things that definitely help, but don’t require any specialized equipment. You simple need to softly massage the gums of your baby to provide some quick release. This method only worked a bit on my son as he is very busy and wouldn’t sit still to allow me to massage his gums.
- Something cold (and yummy) to chew on – something like a carrot, or celery stalk that came from the fridge. My boy loves eating and especially wants to try whatever mommy has in her hands. So these cool vegetables really helped sooth his gums – and as an added benefit they are healthy, so they also promote healthy eating habits (hidden bonus!).
- Change of scenery – distracting your baby can sometimes help and I know this method worked wonders for me. Whenever my boy became inconsolable due to the pain from his newly emerging teeth. I would run a bath for him and we would take a nice bath together. He is a real water baby, so the distraction of being in the water really calmed him down.
- Teething gel – a real life saver if your baby’s teething is really bothering him. We used a product called Teejel; which worked very well as a last resort. There are a multitude of similar products available on the market. They are worth looking at if your baby really needs some immediate relief.
At the end of the day, teething is a reality we are all faced with as parents. Another fact is that all babies will experience teething differently. It will be a lot of trial-and-error trying to discover what works for your baby; and what doesn’t. Love, understanding and heaps of patience (really HEAPS) is what is required to come out on the other end; but just one toothy smile makes it all worth it!