Toothless and Tender- Teething Remedies for your Baby
Toothless and Tender – Teething Remedies for your Baby
Baby’s first year is full of exciting milestones. Sprouting teeth is a big one, but your infant might not be very happy about it. Teething can be uncomfortable and wake your baby (and you!) up at night. While some babies get teeth much earlier or later, most will cut the first tooth between 4-7 months. This is about the time when you might finally be helping your newborn baby settle into a sleep routine, only to have it frustrated by baby teeth coming in. Fortunately, there are many teething remedies to try.
She might be teething if…
Unsure if your baby is fussy because of a tooth? Baby might have a tooth coming in if she:
- Is drooling excessively
- Is putting her hands or toys in her mouth
- Has swollen gums
- Seems extra fussy or irritable
- Has a low fever (lower than 100.4°F)
If baby has alarming symptoms outside of these, teething might not be the problem. Consult baby’s doctor for help.
When baby has a tooth (or teeth) coming in, the crying and disruption in sleep can be frustrating. There are many baby teething remedies and strategies to try with your little one; you might find something that really works for you both. Some teething remedies you may come across include:
- Teething rings – A great option for teething babies. These plastic or rubber toys are perfect to “chew” on, and many are filled with water so you can keep them cold in the refrigerator.
- Amber necklaces – The claim is that amber releases a pain reliever when heated by your child’s body temperature, soothing those aching gums. However, there has been no supporting evidence. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) does not recommend that infants wear any jewelry as strangulation and choking are serious risks.
- Topical teething gel – Gels and creams claiming to numb baby’s sore gums might work for a moment, but they quickly wash away. They can also be dangerous. Avoid using any medication that contains benzocaine, as it should not be given to babies younger than two years of age.
- Gentle pressure – Softly massaging your baby’s tender gums might help, especially right before breastfeeding.
- Cold items – You can put many of baby’s favorite items in the refrigerator (not the freezer, though) to cool her tender gums. A pacifier, metal spoon, wet wash cloth, or teething ring work well – just be sure to clean them after she’s done.
- Teething crackers – If your baby is older than six months, she might enjoy gumming a teething cracker or biscuit. These hard crackers last a long time but are very messy.
- Teething tablets – Experts question the effectiveness of teething tablets. Hyland’s teething tablets, for example, have been recalled recently for serious adverse side effects due to the poison belladonna. Consult with baby’s doctor before trying any teething tablets.
- Teething egg – The teething egg is a plastic toy shaped like an egg that attaches to baby’s wrist. She can chew on the small end but the large end prevents the egg from fitting fully into her mouth.
- Pain relievers – If nothing seems to help, ask your baby’s doctor or pediatrician about using infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
To take care of your baby’s teeth, scrub them with a soft-bristled children’s toothbrush. You shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste until your baby is old enough to spit it out rather than swallow it (around 3 years old). Schedule an exam with a children’s dentist when new teeth emerge or at 12 months of age, whichever comes first. Most importantly, don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle as the milk promotes rapid tooth decay. Teething is an exciting milestone for your baby. She’ll have many more solid food options once those teeth come in.
Do you have any teething remedies to share that worked for your little bundle? Share with us in the comments!