When our doctor confirmed at the four month check-up that our son was teething, I assumed that we’d see those pearly whites popping up shortly thereafter. It was another eight months (and countless bouts of swollen gums) before we finally saw that first tooth – needless to say, we were all pretty relieved.
We all know that having a teething baby can be exhausting for the whole family. Here are 9 simple tricks to help you and your little one get through this process:
1. The Mesh Bag
When I first received this bag as a baby gift, I had no idea what it was for. But when it came to early teething, this mesh bag was great! For younger babies, freeze some of your breastmilk in an icecube tray and pop it in the bag. For babies eating solids, toss in ice cubes or frozen berries. The round handle makes it easy for them to hold on to and it’s less work than making fresh popsicles.
2. Cold Carrot / Cucumber
A cucumber or carrot straight from the fridge are great for the gums. If your little one isn’t quite used to the solids yet, be sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t accidentally break off any large pieces.
3. Frozen Soother
We store our soothers in the freezer. If they’re not in my son’s mouth, they’re sitting on top of the frozen peas. While they warm up almost instantly, they provide some quick relief for swollen gums (or just to help cool him down on a hot day.)
No parent wants to use over the counter medication unnecessarily. While we don’t personally use teething gels, we do use Tylenol if our little one is having a particularly difficult time sleeping due to teething. We try to exhaust all other options before resorting to medication (we use other methods during the day, ensure that we’re using the correct dosage for his age, and try not to use it unless we feel it’s absolutely needed) but on the plus side, it does provide quick and longer-lasting relief.
5. Sophie the Giraffe
It’s nearly impossible to make it through a baby shower these days without spotting a Sophie Giraffe or two. These soft plastic giraffes have been specifically designed with a child’s mouth in mind and ours was practically glued to my sons hand for several months.
6. Frozen facecloth
Tired of buying teething toys? No problem. Place a damp facecloth in the freezer and let it chill for a few minutes. Baby will appreciate chewing on and playing with the cool texture.
7. Beaded, Chewable Necklace
If it’s around mom’s neck, the little one will most likely chew on it. Why not give them something safer than your family heirlooms to gnaw on? These soft beaded necklaces work well for early teethers and can be found at most baby stores. (Looking for something a little more “fashionable?” Check out these Mama Gems.)
8. A Gum Massage
Who doesn’t like a massage when we’re feeling sore? Using a clean finger or cloth, gently massage your baby’s gums. Just watch your fingers if the baby decides to clamp down.
9. Chew on a Toothbrush
And for teething toddlers: My almost two-year-old still only has 8 teeth and is currently working on his first set of molars. While he loves chewing on things, they don’t always reach comfortably to the back of his gums. A spare toothbrush works with dual purpose: getting them more familiar with the act of brushing their teeth, and allowing them to massage those hard to reach spots of their gums. (Just keep an eye on the bristles to make sure your little one’s not pulling them out with his teeth.)
Have any other tips or tricks for teething babies? Share in the comments!
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