ALPHARETTA, GA – Teething is an important step for your baby’s development, but the discomfort of cutting teeth may make your baby irritable and uncomfortable. Luckily there are many effective ways to soothe your baby’s teething pain. Here are a few natural ways to soothe your baby’s discomfort.
Utilize Teething Toys
If you’re a recent parent, you’ve probably seen Sophie, the popular teething giraffe. Babies love chewing on her long legs and neck. There are many other teething toys out there. Talk to your fellow parents and see what teething products their babies enjoy. You can even pop them in the refrigerator or freezer to give them even more pain relieving power.
Freeze Teething Toys and Foods
A teething baby often enjoys cold, hard things to chew on. Think of how good it feels to ice sore places on your body. Your baby may resist the cold at first, but try to rub a frozen teething toy onto her gums for one to two minutes. This should be long enough for your baby to decide if she likes the cold, and it will give the gums time to cool down and get some relief.
Some parents also freeze breast milk, brewed chamomile tea, or applesauce into ice cubes. You can let your baby chew and suck on these frozen cubes through a mesh teething feeder. You can also put a wet washcloth in the freezer, or even a washed carrot or a stick of celery. Gnawing on these frozen items will help bring your baby some comfort.
Massage The Gums, Face, and Body
Use a clean, wet washcloth or a gauze pad to gently rub your baby’s gums. The American Dental Association recommends rubbing a teething baby’s gums with a chilled, clean spoon. The cool metal can feel very soothing.
If your baby will let you, massage his or her face, forehead, jaw, and chin using small circles with your fingers. You can even move your massage down your baby’s body to relax his arms, torso, and legs. Teething may leave your baby tense and slightly stressed. Use a predictable touch that’s gentle but also firm. Notice where your little one reacts, and vary the pressure until you find the sweet spot. If your little one is sensitive, she may not want you touching her face while she’s teething. Respect your child’s wishes whenever possible, and don’t force a massage.
Use the Magic of Distraction
Sure, this tip isn’t technically a pain remedy. Except that it sort of is. Mind over matter is quite powerful, and sometimes your baby may be fussy from teething discomfort simply because nothing else is holding her attention. Help your baby think of something else during the witching hour by reading her a book, singing her songs, listening to music, or doing your baby’s favorite activity.
Comfort and Calm Your Baby
Don’t underestimate the power of a good cuddle. Hugging helps reduce stress. If you breathe deeply when you hold your baby, you’ll encourage him to breathe deeply also, which will calm you both. Remember that teething is a phase and that it will pass. Support your baby with calmness and love, and you’ll encourage her to feel calm and loved in return.
Soon this discomfort will yield a happy result: teeth! Your baby will use his new pearly whites to try new foods and flash you toothy smiles. Even though it seems difficult, the work you and your baby do through the teething phase will help him grow and thrive.
If you suspect your baby is teething, refer to our previous article that outlines teething symptoms. At Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Nanna helps many mothers and their babies through the teething phase. As a pediatric dentist, she knows what methods are safe and how to do them. Feel free to call her office in Alpharetta if you have more questions.