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24Oct 13

How to soothe your teething baby

Teething can be a very uncomfortable time not only for baby, but also for first-time parents. Parents want to do all they can to help their baby, but because little ones cannot communicate exactly where and how they are hurting, it can be difficult to know what to do.

Teeth usually begin to emerge in infants around the six-month mark, although all babies are different. Some of the sure-fire signs of teething include red gums, flushed cheeks, and more frequent or excessive dribbling, and although some babies happily get on without any discomfort, others have a rough time of it.

If your baby’s symptoms are severe, contact your physician. For mild to moderate discomfort, here are some tips on how to soothe your teething baby.

A teething toy can help soothe your baby.

A special toy can help soothe your teething baby.

Teething rings and face cloths

It can be very painful if you are breastfeeding and your baby tries to teethe on you breast. Fill a bottle with icy cold water and let your baby teethe on your breast. This will save you from the pain, and soothe theirs. But don’t use alcohol! Even the tiniest amount can be poisonous for an infant.

You can also purchase a teething ring and keep it in the fridge. The cold of the ring is a great way to soothe pain. But don’t put it in the freezer – the ring may become too hard and too cold and damage your baby’s gums.

If you don’t have a teething ring or toy, you can use a clean, damp face cloth chilled in the fridge. Teething babies seem to really enjoy the texture, and the cold will help their pain. Make sure that you place the cloth in a plastic bag or on a clean plate before sticking it in the fridge to cool so that it doesn’t pick up any stray food bits.

Calming your baby

If your baby is in a lot of pain, try giving them a warm bath. This will calm your baby and take their mind off his or her sore mouth. After bath time, a baby massage using olive or baby oil can further soothe your little one.

For babies who dribble a lot while teething, make sure that you wipe their face regularly to avoid rashes. You may also wish to use an absorbent sheet in their cot.

For higher levels of discomfort, a teething gel might be in order. Most have a local anaesthetic to numb the pain locally, and contain antiseptic ingredients to prevent infection in any sore or broken skin inside the mouth. Try to use a gel that is sugar-free, alcohol-free and aspirin-free, and as always, ask your physician for advice.

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