Has your baby become more irritable? Has she or he started drooling more? Sleeping less than usual? Chewing or gumming everything? Your baby is probably teething! This can be a hard time not just for baby, but for you as well. Your baby can get their first tooth as early as three months or they may not appear until baby is a year old. Teeth can come through one at a time or several at once. Take notice of your baby’s gums. Don’t worry if the teeth coming in are not all straight, they should straighten out over time.
Here are some tips to get you both through the teething phase:
There are lots of teething products out there. Some have rubber parts or tags that are comfortable for baby’s gums to chew on. Others are filled with a gel that, after some time in the refrigerator, can help ease discomfort. Another tried and true method is a damp washcloth that has been refrigerated.
If you baby is eating solid foods, they may experience some relief from eating cold applesauce or yogurt.
Sometimes a gentle rub with your clean finger on your baby’s gums can help. The firm pressure from your finger can temporarily give them some relief from the pain.
Hard, unsweetened teething biscuits are great to give them something to chew on. Expect a messy baby, floor and highchair, but teething biscuits should offer some relief. Just be sure to monitor baby to be sure the biscuits are being handled well.
Adjust their diet.
Lowering inflammation should help decrease pain. Do this by reducing white foods – bread and rice – and increasing their fruit and vegetable intake. Over time, stress can contribute to inflammation. Try and lower their stress. Getting enough rest and healthy foods will help.
These natural solutions should help your baby get through the teething phase. You can consider some over-the-counter remedies such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Be sure to avoid any teething medications and gels that contain the pain reliever benzocaine. These products have been associated with a rare condition that can reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood. You should also avoid aspirin. Even rubbing aspirin on the gums can cause another rare but potentially serious condition called Reye’s syndrome.
Take time to try these solutions and see what works best for you and your baby. One of the best sources of information will be other parents who have recently been through teething and can offer the tips and tricks that worked for them. Keep experimenting until you find the right combination of remedies to ease your child’s pain. For additional questions, talk with your pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of Franklin.