When our children are born our lives no longer belong to us. The days of getting a full 8 hours of sleep are history. When they’re colicky the whole house knows it and if they’re sick we’re proactive in finding ways to get them better.
Although there are many firsts in a baby’s life, their first tooth is one of the most memorable, but also one of the most challenging. Because every parent has a desire to gain knowledge of their baby’s development, I’ve created a list of things that you can do or use the next time your little one is cutting a tooth.
1. Teething Rings-Yes its old fashioned but very effective. When a baby is cutting teeth they want to bite on just about anything, so offering them a cold teething ring will not only ease their pain it will also fulfill their desire to chew.
2. Gels-Teething gels work wonders, at least they did for my boys. They do however contain benzocaine which is commonly found in dental analgesics (novocaine). Benzocaine can cause an allergic reaction which will numb the throat and can lead to choking. It also contains antiseptics that can infect an already irritated mouth especially if there is a broken sore. Because of this, you should contact your pediatrician prior to giving your baby any kind of teething gel.
3. Teething Biscuits-Depending on the age of your baby, teething biscuits can help reduce the pain of teething. Choosing a biscuit like Gerber makes, can really help ease their suffering. However it’s important to supervise the baby while she is chewing on it, in case a piece cuts free. There are also organic, whole grain teething biscuits available for purchase on the web. Sites such as “The Find Green Shopping” and “Earth’s Best”, have many selections to choose from.
4. Foods-Cutting up veggies and storing them in the refrigerator can be a life saver when your baby starts to fuss. Carrots usually work the best and if the baby only has teeth on the upper part of her mouth, then choking isn’t a concern because she won’t be able to bite anything off. Celery sticks work just as well, but carrots have a better texture and seem to relieve pain quicker.
5. Popsicles-Children love popsicles and they work like magic when it comes to teething. They numb the gums and they also melt so you don’t have to be worried about choking.
6. Cold or Frozen Towel-Wetting a wash cloth or even a small burping cloth and putting it in the freezer works wonders. It helps ease the pain, it will absorb the baby’s excess saliva, and it’s free. You don’t have to buy anything extra for this one, just use something from your already stocked linen closet. As a bonus, some people dip the cloth into chamomile tea before placing it into the freezer.
7. Massage-Gently massaging your baby’s gums with your index finger or thumb will give relief to your fussy angel. While doing so, sing her a song, read her a story, or just talk to her. Not only will she get the relief she needs but you’ll also have a moment to connect.
8. Oils-I spoke to a mom who had two children that were teething in unison. She made her own pain reliever by mixing 1 drop of clove oil with 1-2 tbs. of almond oil and then she rubbed the gums gently. She mentioned that it can cause an irritation and possibly even blisters, so you shouldn’t use too much or too often.
9. Vanilla Extract-Vanilla Extract has a wonderful smell. It isn’t overpowering and it’s inexpensive. Placing a drop of it on your finger then massaging your baby’s gums will provide relief. Not only will it ease the pain it also helps with upset tummies.
10. Chamomile Tea-Having a cup of tea can usually calm a stressed out mom, so using it for teething only makes sense. According to an article written on WebMD (Healthwise), the benefits of using chamomile are great. It promotes sleep, reduces swelling, fights bacteria, and helps stomach problems such as colic and cramping. So not only can it relieve pain by reducing swollen gums, it can also ease the tension in both you and your baby.
If your baby hasn’t reached the teething milestone, which usually starts at 4 months, or if you are currently caring for a teething baby, keep a variety of pain relief aids on hand. It doesn’t have to be medication, it doesn’t have to be purchased, but it definitely has to be effective.