1. Give Your Baby Something to Chew On
This is such a big deal, as it achieves two things. One, baby gets busy self-soothing those irritable, itchy, drooly gums. Two, you get some calm from worrying about how to help them. Chewing and rubbing are effective ways of helping babies through the discomfort they feel during this time, and a suitable BPA-free silicone teether will help immensely! Fingers work great too, but that requires you to sit or stand through it. If we get real, you'll quickly realise the finger method only offer emergency relief. If offering a teether, you can chill (not freeze) it for added effect, but honestly, unchilled teethers work just the same.
2. Use Teething Gels or Medication
If your baby is experiencing significant discomfort, you may consider using teething gels or medication. Consult with your pediatrician to find a suitable option for your little one, and remember to follow instructions on the recommended dosage. Personally, my children used : Ashton and Parsons Infants' Powders - 30 Sachets - Boots or Amazon.
3. Keep Things Cool
I stated earlier that cold teethers give added effects. That is because cold temperatures can help numb the gums and provide relief. So when your baby is especially uncomfortable and distressed, try offering chilled foods, such as pureed fruits or yogurt, and use a cold silicone spoon to gently massage their gums, or chill the teether. Just make sure the food is age-appropriate and safe for your baby to consume.
4. Distract and Comfort
Like with most parenting techniques, distraction is a good tool during the teething process. This is because teething will make some babies more fussy, irritable, and or needy than usual. Engage in activities that distract and comfort them, such as singing, reading, playing or cuddling. The extra love and attention can go a long way in soothing their discomfort.
5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Even before your baby's first tooth emerges, it's important to establish good oral hygiene habits. Gently wipe their gums with a clean, damp cloth after feeding to remove any bacteria. You can also get a soft baby toothbrush and use that to massage the gums, ever so gently, especially once teeth start to come through. If you are feeling comfortable, introduce a small amount of fluoride-free toothpaste to give added freshness and protection.
6. Offer Cold Water
Hydration is key during the teething process. If you are not breastfeeding, then it is okay to offer water to your baby. Breastfed babies do not need water. Bottle-fed babies can be given little drinks of cool boiled water if under 1 year old, or tap water if above, to help soothe their gums and keep them hydrated. Avoid sugary drinks, as they can contribute to tooth decay.
7. Be Patient and Understanding
Remember, teething is a temporary phase that all babies go through. It can be frustrating for both you and your little one, but try to remain patient and understanding. Offer extra cuddles and reassurance during this challenging time.
8. Consult with a Pediatric Dentist
If you have concerns or questions about your baby's teething process, don't hesitate to reach out to a pediatric dentist. They can provide guidance, answer your questions, and ensure that your baby's oral health is on track.
Teething may be a bumpy road, but with these tips in your parenting toolbox, you'll be well-equipped to support your baby through this milestone. Remember, each baby is unique, so find what works best for your little one and trust your instincts. Soon enough, those adorable little teeth will make their grand appearance, and you'll be rewarded with heart-melting smiles.