Deep breaths, guys. Between the sleep deprivation, clogged ducts, and projectile vomit, teething is one of the hardest parts of the first year with a baby. Apparently, some babies show no signs or symptoms of cutting teeth. Neither of my babies have been so lucky. My oldest started teething at 4 months and cut his first tooth at 7.5 months. (He then cut teeth 2, 3, and 4 within 24 hours of each other.) My current baby has been actively teething* for almost 4 straight months now and still hasn’t had her first cut through her gums.
*Actively teething: drooling, gnawing on things, fingers in the mouth, irritable, etc
While there is little us parents can do to help our babies cut their teeth, there are a few things that can temporarily help them through this challenging period of their baby lives!
- Rub their gums. With a clean finger, rub the irritated gums to apply pressure and ease the pain.
- Teething Toys. There are so many options out there, depending on your (and your baby’s) personal preference. Some very popular options: Rubber | Wood | Keys | Pacifier | Rings | Novelty | Toothbrush
- Frozen Wash Cloth. The cold feels great on their gums.
- Mesh/Silicone teether. Depending on your baby and their age, you can fill these feeders with a large assortment of things. Frozen fruit, ice cubes, frozen breastmilk or formula cubes, or frozen baby food all make great options. Mesh | Silicone
- Hard foods. If your baby is old enough, offering large slices or sticks of hard foods can be great to gnaw on. Apples, cucumbers, carrots, or melons are all great options.
- Over the counter medicine. Be sure to consult your baby’s doctor first, but offering an over the counter remedy could help ease their pain. There are many options, and it’s all up to your comfort level, but tablets, gels, and plain old medicine are out there.
- Teething necklace. There are two different kinds of teething necklaces – one baby wears and one mom wears. An amber teething necklace is made for baby to wear (NOT chewed), and it is thought that amber helps with inflammation and pain. A teething necklace that mom wears is made of silicone and is meant for baby to chew on.
- Go outside. Sometimes, when all else fails, I bring my daughter outside. The change of scenery can at least temporarily help her focus on something other than the pain. Even if it’s nothing more than walking around the driveway for a few minutes, it’s better than nothing. And I’m a huge believer that everyone benefits from fresh air!
- Nurse (for comfort) If you are able to nurse, try! Comfort nursing can be extremely beneficial to help, well, comfort your baby. If nothing else, snuggle your baby!