Babies and Teething Pain
Nothing can make you feel more helpless than when your baby is in pain and discomfort from teething.
Even though you know that teething is part your baby’s normal development you’re still never quite prepared for how uncomfortable and painful it can be for your little one.
Some babies will have a harder time cutting teeth than others. If your baby seems to be having a difficult time there are some things that you can do to help him feel better.
Teething is often more painful at night than it is during the day. This is perhaps because at night there are fewer things for your baby to focus on.
Suddenly in the dark of night, he’s noticing just how sore his gums are. Teething can interfere with your baby in more ways than just a painful and sore mouth.
Some babies will refuse to eat because of the discomfort. Others will try to bite when nursing to find some comfort.
Still, other babies will chew on anything they can while they drool continuously. Having as many options as possible for easing this pain and discomfort is going to help you and your baby through the teething phase.
When do Babies Start Teething?
Babies are all very different, so you’ll need to pay attention to any of the signs pointing to teething. Some babies will start to teethe as early as three months and some as late as twelve months.
The bottom front teeth are usually the first to come in. When some babies start to teethe their stool will become smelly and soft. Other babies will display mild symptoms of having a cold.
There is no way to know just how your baby will react when his first teeth start to break through, so be prepared for anything. You also don’t know what to expect from one tooth to the next.
What worked to soothe your baby with his first tooth coming in might not work for the second tooth.
Cold to Ease the Pain of Teething
One of the most common ways of helping your baby with his teething pain is to offer him something cold to chew on. Giving him a wet washcloth to gum is going to give him a bit of a break from the teething soreness.
Teething rings that you can put into the refrigerator are another good choice. Just be sure that he doesn’t bite a hole into it.
Some parents give their babies whole carrots to chew on. Again, you’ll have to be supervising your baby the entire time so that you can be there if the carrot should break.
Still another good choice is giving your older baby a popsicle that is made from herb tea, such as chamomile, or diluted apple juice.
All are good options to give your baby so that he can find some relief from teething pain.
Should You Use Over-the-Counter Teething Gels and Medication?
You’ll want to avoid using over-the-counter teething gels to soothe your baby while he’s teething. These products typically contain benzocaine and lidocaine, both of which are harmful if they’re not used correctly.
Teething gels are meant to numb the gums. If the product is swallowed by your baby his throat can become numb and this can cause difficulty in swallowing.
If your baby is going through a really hard time teething, you can give him a mild pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil.
Be sure to read carefully to see what the dose is for your baby’s age. Make sure that you never give aspirin to anyone under the age of 20, as this drug has been linked to a serious disease known as Reye syndrome.
Homeopathic Teething Remedies
There are some homeopathic remedies that you might want to consider using to help your baby through his teething experience.
Chamomile is good to use when your baby is irritable and his cheeks are red. Soak a washcloth in chamomile tea and let him chew on it.
Belladonna is good to use when his cheeks are red and he’s running a slight fever. Again, soak a washcloth in belladonna tea and let your baby chew on it to soothe his gums and ease the pain.
Calming Your Baby
One of the best things that you can do when your baby is teething is to help him calm down.
Sometimes the emotional stress of teething is more difficult for him than the actual pain of cutting a new tooth.
He may be overwhelmed with the new sensations in his mouth and just needs a bit of extra cuddle time to help him through this growth phase.
Try putting on some soothing music and then giving him a massage to relax him.
Remember that all babies going through some discomfort when teething. Also, remember that this time won’t last forever and is just a natural part of your baby’s development.