Any parent knows that the crying from a baby who has painful gums due to teething is heart wrenching. My little boy suffered badly, and screamed so loud I thought my heart would burst.
Any help you can give to ease the pain in the gums is most welcome; both to parents and to the teething child. Other symptoms of teething may include:
- Loss of appetite, as the gums are so sore, chewing just hurts them too much
- Rashes around the mouth, these are caused by excess dribbling and can be irritating for your baby
- Bad nappy rash and diarrhoea,giving your little one a pain in the bottom as well as in the gums making one very irritated baby
- A higher than normal temperature
- Restlessness at night, which makes for a grumpy mum as well as a bad-tempered baby. Oh the nights we had!
According to NHS Choices, it is worth noting that there is no direct evidence to suggest that a higher temperature, bad nappy rash and diarrhoea are caused by teething. So if you suspect that there is something else wrong with your baby, it’s safest to seek medical attention.
The majority of techniques to ease teething pain focus on the gums, and include various ways to reduce inflammation and cool the affected area.
I found these were the five best ways to ease my little boy’s teething pain:
Something cold to chew or drink
Give your child something cold to get their gnashers around. My boy was a big fan of the teething rings which you can put in the freezer. Chewing these really helped ease the pain in his gums. An alternative to this is that you can just make a cloth or flannel cold and wet and give it to your baby to suck and chew on. Don’t forget you can also give them a drink of cold water too. It doesn’t have to be water, though. Any cold drink will do, as long as its sugar-free.
Cuddles do the world of good when you are upset; they distract and make the teething child feel that little bit more secure. So don’t be afraid just to hold them that little bit longer. You could even get a sling to carry them close to you when they are suffering badly. I found that a front carrying sling really helped my little boy. It also helped me as I was able to do the odd bit of housework despite having a teething child!
If you are cuddling while wearing a teething necklace; your baby even has something to grab hold of while they are being soothed. Two for the price of one!
Allowing them to suck more
Babies may want to nurse more or drink more milk from their bottle when they are teething. I found the sucking was a great relief to my boy, and it helped him to a healthy weight too. If they do want to nurse more when they are teething, just let them. It should only be a temporary thing while they are in pain, and they will get back to their old routine once the pain eases.
Using homeopathic teething granules
You can, of course, give traditional painkilling medicines to your baby, but we found that homeopathic teething granules were wonderful. They provided an instant distraction, and quick pain relief. They are now available in most high street chemists.
Chewing raw vegetables, fruit or salad
There is nothing like a good chew to relieve the pain of teething. Don’t be tempted by the sugar-filled rusks that you can get; try to use a healthy alternative. We had great success with fruit and vegetables including apple, celery, green beans, raw carrot and even broccoli when my children got a bit older. If you put them in the fridge they are also that little bit colder for them too. An advantage of using these types of foods is your baby becomes used to seeing and eating them. That could mean when they get older they are more likely to be a fruit and veg fiend!
Make sure you keep an eye on your baby when you give them something to chew. Just in case.
Unfortunately, teething is one of those things that babies have to go through. Some sail through with barely a whimper. Others find those erupting teeth become the bane of their lives; resulting in sleepless nights, and restless days.
How did you ease teething pain for your baby? Do you have any tips you would like to share with us?
Note: this article first appeared on the Yahoo Contribution Network, authored by Helen Neale. It has been reproduced by permission of the site, where it is no longer available.