One of the most difficult periods in a child’s development for many parents is the development and emergence of teeth in their baby during teething. This process typically results in a first tooth arriving between five and twelve months. It is tough on many parents because their child can experience a large amount of discomfort that parents often feel they can’t do much to alleviate. If this describes you or someone you know, keep reading for some of our favorite tried and true teething tips.
Chew on Hard Cool Foods
We have included cold hard foods as one of our teething tips because it serves a dual function in helping your child. First, the cold from the food helps to soothe their aching gums as well as numbing the pain they may be experiencing as a result of the process. Additionally, allowing your infant to chew on something hard while teething provides friction and counter-pressure that can work wonders for a tooth trying to erupt through the gum tissue. One of our favorites for helping with this tip is frozen celery because it is a natural way to relieve discomfort. Since there are no plastics, you don’t have to worry about chemicals getting into their system or your baby swallowing little bits of plastic. You can also try soaking the celery in chicken broth or other flavoring before freezing it to provide an interesting flavor for your child
Read Your Baby’s Cues
While your child is teething, you want to be particularly mindful of their mood and any symptoms they may be showing to you. If they seem like they need extra attention or affection, take some time to snuggle with them or be with them. If your infant looks like they are in pain, then it is time to find a way to help soothe them as best you can. Finally, if they are content, then just be thankful and enjoy the moment with them. The reason baby cues made our list of teething tips is because a little attentiveness and quick response can make a world of difference for your child.
Rub Their Gums
Similar to chewing, rubbing an infant’s gums provides friction that can be especially soothing for them. The main difference between the two (and why both are included on our list of soothing tips) is that when you rub your baby’s gums, you can concentrate on the specific areas that are sore. Baby teeth generally start with the bottom incisors coming in followed by the top incisors and the rest of the teeth coming thereafter. Here is a helpful chart from Mouth Healthy (from the American Dental Association) that shows the typical order and timeframe for baby and adult teeth to erupt. You can use this chart as a guide for where to apply pressure that may help to soothe your child.
There are many schools of thought on medication and it is a personal choice that parents must make for their children but it is important to read all warning labels before administering any medication to your infant. It is also not a bad idea to discuss the use of medication with your pediatrician to get their professional opinion on your plans. Finally, avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine because it has been associated with Methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia is a rare but serious condition that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. As a result, taking care in using medication is one of our teething tips.