Parenting can be a joyous rite of passage but, when kids are teething, you’ll likely find that for baby—and you—joyful doesn’t describe the days and nights of baby’s state of discomfort. Here are some helpful tips to get you through the Trials of Teething!
Tip #1: Know What’s Normal
Most babies begin to teeth around the age of 6 months. The first to appear are usually the two bottom middle teeth, then the top two middle teeth. It’s normal for baby to drool, want to chew on hard objects, and to be cranky and irritable due to sore gums. After sleeping through the night for months, a teething baby may suddenly start waking up in tears in the middle of the night due to the discomfort.
What’s not normal? According to research, although many parents say otherwise, fever and diarrhea aren’t commonly associated with teething. So long as your child is not dehydrated or crying for hours on end, you’re likely having a normal teething experience.
Tip #2: How To Soothe Sore gums
- Rub gums with a damp gauze pad to see if that eases baby’s pain
- Cold helps: chilled teething rings, cold wet washcloth or even a cold teaspoon can soothe baby’s sore gums
- Wipe baby’s face when drool wets her skin to prevent irritation and rash.
- Fill a Munchkin mesh feeder with cold fruit to soothe gums and boost baby’s nutrition.
- Children’s Tylenol or other NSAIDs can help on the toughest days but it’s best not to make this a habit.
- Avoid any medications with benzocaine, which is a dangerous pain-reliever for kids.
Tip #3: Take Care of Yourself Too!
While teething discomfort is hardest on your baby, it can be hard on you, too. Lack of sleep, hours of trying—in vain—to comfort a fussy baby, can diminish the serenity of the most unflappable parent. Get support from family, friends or a paid babysitter so you can get time off to refresh!