Teething is a milestone that all babies go through. Did you know it can start as early as three months old? With teething comes drooling, some pain, crying, and then the excitement of a new tooth. We are here to help you with the in between: teething relief! Read on for tips to help baby soothe her gums as those teeth push through.
What Teething Looks Like
Get the bibs ready because there is lots of drooling to come! The increase in saliva can irritate the skin on baby’s chin and cheeks causing them to be dry and red. Aquaphor can help with the chapped skin. Along with the drool you will notice that your baby will want to chew on something hard and put everything in her mouth.
Teething can also look like baby, “all of a sudden rejecting the breast or bottle nipple while obviously hungry,” shares Carole Kramer Arsenault, an RN specializing in Obstetrics and Maternal Health. This is due to swollen and tender gums.
Another common sign of teething is rosy, flushed cheeks that are sometimes warm to the touch. This is due to increased blood flow in the gums and cheeks. Sometimes this coincide with ear pulling, often when molars are coming through and the irritation in the gums travels to the cheeks and ears. Keep in mind that ear pulling and a fever can also be a sign of an ear infection so if symptoms persist, be sure to contact your pediatrician. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Teething occasionally may cause mild irritability, crying, a low-grade temperature, but not over 101 degrees.”
Teething Relief Tips
There are many teething relief toys, food, and natural solutions that can help your baby through this pain. Here are some of our favorites to get you and your baby away from the tears and onto the smiles.
- Our go-to solution for teething relief is to make baby popsicles! We love these dinosaur molds as they are just the right size. We puree fruit and breastmilk together, pour it in, and freeze! Try two peeled peaches with 4oz of breast milk to fill six popsicle molds. For a faster popsicle solution, you can also just cut a peeled slice of apple, pear, or watermelon. Freeze it in a Ziploc bag and offer later it in this Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder.
- Carole Kramer Arsenault, RN and author of Newborn 101 advises, “Run a clean, soft, baby washcloth under cold water and wring it out. Put it into plastic bag or container and store it in the freezer.” The frozen washcloth acts as a teether and the cold temperatures soothe the pain.
- Carole Kramer Arsenault, RN also tells us in her parenting book, “Wash your hands and gently but firmly rub back and forth on your baby’s gums.” Most babies really like the pressure on their throbbing gums.
- Buy or make teething biscuits. Teething biscuits should be hard to feel good between the gums, but also dissolve easily when broken off. Children should be at least 6 months of age and showing signs they are ready to eat solids before having a biscuit. Try this homemade recipe!
- Baby Orajel Drug-free cooling swabs are great to brush on the gums with the q-tip swab for an instant cooling sensation.
- For a natural teething relief remedy, peel and slice a piece of ginger root to rub on baby’s gums for about two minutes. Since ginger is anti-inflammatory, it can soothe irritated gums and help swelling to go down.
- Purchase a gel or water filled teether that can be put in the fridge to chill.
Please note the following two remedies are no longer thought to be safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend wearing Amber necklaces as they can cause suffocation and choking. And the FDA advises parents not to give young children products containing benzocaine, a local anesthetic, which is in adult Orajel.
Favorite Teething Toys
- As discussed above, gel filled teethers can chill in the fridge. Our favorites are the Nuby Ice Gel Keys because it has lots of textures and the Baby Einstein Caterpillar Rattle because it has an easy ring to hold and rattles as well.
- I am sure you have heard of the famous toy, Sophie the giraffe. She is a teething sensation made with natural rubber from a Hevea tree. Sophie is unique in the way that she stimulates all 5 of baby’s senses.
- Silicone teethers with different textures feel great as they massage the gums with a firm material. Try the RaZbaby RaZberry or the Baby Banana toothbrush for an added benefit of gum health.
Teething unfortunately comes and goes for quite some time during the baby stage of life. Little ones can experience it up to the age of three, at which point they will have all 20 baby teeth. Comfort your baby during this time. Snuggling up and hearing your voice will not rid the pain but will soothe your baby. As those teeth come in, be sure to keep them clean with appropriate dental hygiene; learn more here!
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About The Author
Kelsey Dickson has over 15 years of experience working with children as a nanny, preschool teacher, and now a mother. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education and is a Certified Potty Training Expert. At Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny she is the eLearning and Social Media Manager. Check out our online childcare classes, such as Baby Sign Language and Sleep Coaching 101! In her free time she enjoys gardening with her children, going for walks with her family, and discovering local wineries in New England.