Mom holding her baby.

Tips To Soothe Your Baby When Teething

Although inevitable, teething is a difficult part of your baby’s development. It can make many new parents feel helpless and filled with anxiety. Watching your baby struggle is something no parent wants to endure, but with the proper support, your baby will eventually get through it. To help alleviate discomfort, consider the following tips to soothe your baby when teething.

 

  1. Teething Rings

    Teething toys and rings are often the most popular option when trying to soothe your baby’s discomfort. That’s because these toys were designed to help alleviate pain specifically associated with teething and are safe for babies to use. There are several different types of teething rings and toys available on the market, so browse your options and choose your favorite. However, teething toys should be made out of solid plastic and free of any liquid or other substances. You can also use a refrigerated spoon as a teething toy. If you’re overwhelmed by your options and want to ensure you find something that’s 100% safe, ask your pediatrician for recommendations.

     

  2. Cold Washcloth

    Using a cold washcloth to soothe sore gums and teething discomfort is a common practice. To prepare, find a clean washcloth and soak it in sterile water. Once it’s saturated, remove the washcloth from water and wring it out. The cloth should be damp, not dripping. Next, place the washcloth in the refrigerator or freezer to bring the temperature down. If you put it in the freezer, take it out before it’s completely frozen as this can be too cold for your baby.

    Once the washcloth is cold, not frozen, remove it and give it to your baby. Naturally, they’ll put it in their mouth and begin to chew. This has a numbing effect and gives your baby counterpressure to alleviate discomfort. Always supervise your baby when they’re chewing on anything, including washcloths, to reduce the risk of choking.

     

  3. Frozen Milk Popsicles

    A lot of babies develop a food aversion while they’re teething, as the sucking motion of nursing can actually increase their discomfort during this time. This can be problematic, especially if it persists for long periods of time. To help alleviate discomfort and provide them with essential vitamins and minerals, consider making some homemade frozen breast milk popsicles. All you need to do is breast pump then fill a BPA-free popsicle mold with breast milk and put them in the freezer to set. You can also use formula to make milk popsicles. Simply prepare it as you normally would and fill the molds with the mixture.

    Frozen milk popsicles are a great way to soothe your baby when teething and keep them fed, but these tend to be pretty messy once they start to melt. Make sure your baby has a bib and try to keep their popsicle eating contained to an easy to clean room or in the highchair.

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  4. Chilled Food

    Babies who have already started eating solid foods can also enjoy relief from eating chilled foods. The best options for these are fruits or sweet vegetables that they’ve already tried and enjoy. Some options include apples, pears, strawberries, mashed bananas, or mashed sweet potatoes. You can also let them eat anything pureed and partially frozen out of a mesh feeder to prevent choking and offer similar benefits of the cold washcloth with plenty of nutrition. Again, this should only be used on babies who have already started eating solids and tried out the foods you provide. This helps reduce potential problems with allergies and aversions.

     

  5. Teething Biscuits

    Teething biscuits are specially designed biscuits that don’t crack or crumble easily. This gives your baby an opportunity to chew on them slowly over time and enjoy the relief that the counterpressure provides. These biscuits will slowly dissolve upon contact with the gums, so they also provide a degree of nutrition if your baby is struggling to eat. Only give teething biscuits to babies who are around eight to 12 months or older and make sure you clean their gums after to maintain good oral hygiene.

     

  6. Gentle Massage

    One of the main causes of discomfort in teething babies is the pressure that’s placed on gums from developing teeth. This is why babies who are teething like to chew on anything and everything they can get their hands on. A great way to help alleviate this discomfort is to gently massage the gums with a small amount of pressure. This can help ease pain and calm a fussy baby. Always make sure that you thoroughly wash your hands prior to massaging your baby’s gums. Then, lay them down on your lap or in a comfortable position and begin. This is great for baby’s who have had trouble sleeping—you might even notice that they quickly doze off from your soothing touch.

     

  7. Wipe Drool

    During teething, many parents focus on alleviating the discomfort of erupting teeth. However, excess drool can also cause problems with your baby’s skin. Excess drooling associated with teething can lead to rashes on or around your baby’s face. To help reduce the risk of this occurrence, be diligent about wiping the drool from their face during teething.

     

  8. Add White Noise

    White noise can provide a distraction that gets your baby’s mind off of the discomfort. If you already have a white noise machine for sleeping, great. Use it at night to help your baby drift away into sleep. If it seems to work, you may even want to use it throughout the day. Alternatives include playing music, having the television on, or engaging in conversation with your baby. Whatever you can do to distract them from the teething experience will provide some degree of relief.

     

  9. Provide Comfort

While it won’t necessarily make your baby’s gums feel better, simply giving them some extra cuddling time provides substantial mental benefits. This can also help your baby get some added rest if they haven’t been sleeping while fostering the feeling of safety while they’re experiencing this milestone. These mental benefits of skin-to-skin contact and cuddling can extend far past teething time and will help your child feel safe and loved unconditionally in his or her environment.

 

Things to Avoid

In addition to the above tips to help soothe your baby’s gums while teething, there are some products that should be avoided. These can be dangerous and often unnecessary. They include the following:

Teething Gels

While there are several advertisements across platforms and stores for teething gel, many doctors recommend avoiding this. These gels usually contain some degree of numbing agent or painkiller, which can be dangerous if consumed in excess. Since there are plenty of options for safe alternatives, avoid teething gels.

Topical Medications

Unless directly prescribed by your doctor, do not use any topical medications or numbing agents to try and alleviate discomfort in your baby. These can be extremely dangerous and cause issues with swallowing, making them more problematic than beneficial. Talk to your doctor for alternatives to the above if you cannot find relief, and never apply something topical without getting approval first.

Teething Necklaces

Amber teething necklaces were once advertised as a great way to help soothe your baby’s discomfort. They claim to release a succinic acid through skin-to-skin contact, which “provides” a natural anti-inflammatory effect. This is unsubstantiated and there is no scientific evidence to suggest it occurs. Instead, amber teething necklaces pose a high risk of strangulation and choking. There have even been reported cases of deaths from these products, so avoid them at all costs.

 

When to See a Doctor

If your baby is suffering from a substantial amount of pain during teething and you can’t seem to find relief using any of the methods above, talk to your doctor about other options. While they should only be used as a last resort, there are certain over-the-counter pain medications that can help alleviate your child’s discomfort. These are often used when your baby isn’t sleeping or eating and needs additional support. Your doctor will provide you with information on which products to use, what the correct dosage is for your child’s age and weight, and how often to take them.

Teething can be a difficult time for new parents, but your baby will get through it. If your baby isn’t breastfeeding as often due to increased discomfort during teething, make sure you have an insurance covered breast pump from Byram Healthcare to expel milk and make frozen popsicles. Breast pumping is also a great way to supplement feedings and make sure your baby is getting what they need, especially during teething. To get started with our easy, three-step ordering process, visit our breast pump selection page today.