While the emergence of a first tooth is a significant and exciting event in a baby’s life, it can be really uncomfortable – for both the baby and the parents. Whether it’s your first child or your fifth child, teething is a stressful situation. Crying, drooling, and an overall level of crankiness is likely to leave you anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, and feeling hopeless.
If you’re at your wits end with your teething baby, there’s good news, Here are at-home steps that you may take to help your little one move through teething quickly, easily, and with as little pain as possible.
What are the Signs That a Baby is Teething?
Most babies initiate the teething process between 4 to 7 months of age. While each child exhibits various symptoms, the following outlines the most commonly-experienced symptoms:
- The gums may become swollen and appear to be quite tender.
- Most babies will become highly fussy and will cry regularly when they are teething.
- It is possible for teething babies to suffer from a mild temperature.
- You will find that your child will start to drool more than usual.
- The child may start to chew on hard surfaces.
- There may be a change in the way that your baby eats and/or sleeps.
While you may be at the point where you simply are unsure of how to help your child, there are several strategies that may be utilized to help in comforting a teething baby. The following techniques are considered to be both safe and effective:
- Clean your finger completely or use a lightly moistened pad (gauze is an excellent choice) and gently rub over the gums in the mouth. You may apply a light amount of pressure. The combined pressure application and rubbing motion will help in alleviating the discomfort that your child is experiencing.
- It has been found that extreme cold temperatures have the ability to be highly uncomfortable for a teething baby. Based on this conclusion, frozen teething rings should be avoided. Cool temperatures – on the other hand – have been found to be comforting. Therefore, you may place a teething ring in the refrigerator or run it under cool water and provide that to your child. Make certain that the teething ring is composed of a hard rubber material. You may also provide a bottle filled with cool water.
- When you start to notice the drooling, it is important to handle it right away so that the skin does not become irritated. Simply clean the area around the mouth with a clean cloth that is very soft. If you start to notice irritation, you may use a water-based skin moisturizer that is designed for a baby’s sensitive skin.
- If your child is older and they have started consuming hard foods, you may be able to provide them a hard, edible object – such as a piece of a carrot. Always supervise your child so that you may help in preventing any type of choking.
- There are over-the-counter products that may help with the pain associated with teething. These include children’s acetaminophen products and children’s products that contain ibuprofen.
What NOT to Do
In addition to what can be done at home for teething, there are things that you should not do for a teething baby. These include the following:
- Do not give a child any product that contains benzocaine because it could result in lower blood oxygen levels.
- Do not use homeopathic-based gels or tablets that are advertised for teething babies as these have not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
- Do not use amber teething necklaces as they may result in choking.
- Do not use products that contain lidocaine.
- Do not use any products that contain belladonna.
In most instances, teething takes patience. It comes and goes without any complications; however, there are instances in which you should seek the assistance of a pediatric dentist or another type of medical professional.
If your child develops diarrhea, rashes, starts to vomit, runs a very high fever, starts to experience a cough, or seems to be congested, assistance is required. Contact us today for help in these cases: 765-966-7602