19 Jul 2017
The arrival of a baby can be an exciting time — but it can also be a bit stressful as you learn how to take care of your newborn. One of the most challenging times for new parents occurs at the start of baby teething. This event, which typically begins when your baby is between six and ten months old, occurs when your child’s teeth begin to break through the gums. While this is an important part of your baby’s growth and development, it can also cause extreme discomfort.As such, many parents are eager to find ways to relieve the pain associated with baby teething. Unfortunately, many pain relieving treatments simply aren’t safe for infants. So what can parents do to naturally relieve baby teething pain? And how can you tell that your child is teething in the first place?
Identifying Teething Symptoms
During baby teething, your child will feel intense discomfort in the gums and jaw that begins a few days before the tooth erupts. In some cases, this can even cause the gums to appear swollen or slightly reddish in color. Other visible signs that your child is teething include increased drooling, as well as the possible appearance of a mild rash around the mouth.
However, the majority of teething symptoms are behavioral. For example, most babies become more fussy while teething. They might have increased trouble sleeping because of their discomfort, or they might refuse food because their gums are sore. Alternatively, your child might rub their cheek or ear or frequently bring their hands to their mouth in an effort to relieve the pain.
It is important to note that fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and widespread rashes are not symptoms associated with teething. If these other symptoms seem particularly severe, you should contact your pediatrician for assistance.
Relieving Baby Teething Pain
Once you’ve determined that your child’s fussiness and discomfort is caused by teething, the next step is to find an appropriate way to relieve the pain. After all, no parent wants to see their child suffer — and your baby’s increased crankiness can affect your well-being, too.
As mentioned previously, there aren’t many safe medicinal options to help infants with teething pain. Many oral medications contain the substance benzocaine, which in rare conditions can result in a serious medical condition known as methemoglobinemia. As such, many of these topical gels aren’t recommended for use. Ibuprofen and products containing aspirin are also typically not recommended for infants.
Because of this, your best option for relieving your baby’s teething pains lies with natural treatments. The most commonly recommended method of relieving baby teething pain is to apply gentle pressure on your child’s gums. This can be done by using a clean finger to rub the gums, or by having your baby bite a clean, chilled washcloth. Chilling a spoon in the refrigerator and then gently rubbing the rounded side on your baby’s gums has also been found to be an effective treatment. In addition to applying a soothing pressure, the cooler surface helps reduce inflammation.
Cold, soft foods like applesauce and yogurt can also have a soothing effect on your child by relieving gum pain and making it easier to eat during teething. Drinking from a sippy cup can also provide some comfort.
In addition to the above methods, it is worth noting that there are a wide variety of teething “toys” available to help during this difficult phase. Toys made from rubber, silicone, or fabric give your baby something to chew to relieve their discomfort. Make sure that any teething toys you give your child are free from harmful chemicals and are large enough to not pose a choking hazard.
By using these methods to relieve your child’s teething pains, you and your baby will be able to make it through this troublesome time the natural way.