All of your baby’s needs seem to be met, but she’s still irritable. If she’s drooling a lot and trying to chew on her fingers and toys, she’s probably begun teething. It’s hard to see a baby upset, so parents have come up with many techniques to soothe her.
Some parents will offer their teething baby a frozen washcloth to chew on. If you want to offer a frozen banana or a popsicle, there are mesh covers that will keep pieces from posing a choking hazard. There are also water-filled toys on the market which are meant to be chilled first in the refrigerator. Your baby may prefer chilled foods at this time, like applesauce or peaches. The cold helps to bring down painful swelling that is caused by the teeth pushing from underneath. Note: It is important to remember not to give your wee one anything that is so cold it can freezer-burn her fingers.
There is a reason your baby wants to put everything in her mouth. Gnawing on clean, hard toys can really soothe your infant. Massaging her gums with your finger can also help. (This will also assure you don’t miss the exciting day when the first tooth does make an appearance!)
When my little darling has her drool-covered fingers in her mouth and her sweet eyes looking at me in distress, I often try to divert her attention. If she can become absorbed in her momma’s silly face or distracted by a change of scenery, teething doesn’t bother her so much.
Chamomile is safe for baby and can help her relax. A few drops of tea can enhance a gum massage. Breastfeeding mothers who drink the tea can pass along the benefits in their milk.
As always, the magic cure is love. Getting cozy with your little one and making her feel safe can soothe so many different ails.
I have heard that amber teething necklaces can work wonders for a teething baby. The necklaces are meant to be worn against the skin, not chewed on. Amber is a fossil resin that contains succinic acid, which strengthens immunity. It is said that these amber necklaces can reduce inflammation and help control drooling. Note: Only use necklaces that are made to break if necessary, and only let baby wear necklace while supervised.
Once you have exhausted all other possible soothing techniques, it may be time to turn to pharmaceuticals. Acetaminophen is the most commonly prescribed pain medicine. Ask your pediatrician for the proper dosage, and keep in mind the drug’s liver toxicity. Many parents also rely on topical pain-relievers like Baby Orajel or Ambesol, but these carry a risk of numbing the throat as well as the gums, which can cause a baby to stop breathing.
There are many ways to soothe a teething baby. Though it might seem like it at times, parents, you are not helpless! Try cold and pressure. Try distraction. Try herbal tea and cuddles. Invest in an amber teething necklace. If all else fails, try some medicine. Remember that the pain won’t last. Be strong to help your baby be strong, too.