Teething is one of the major milestones for babies. Not just for babies, it is a major milestone for parents as well, as parents will also be a part of this roller coaster ride. It is exciting to see the first tooth erupt, but the entire process is filled with a lot of pain and discomfort. So, this is the time to look up to teething remedies and know the dos and don’ts.
Most babies start teething from 4 to 6 months. Major symptoms of teething are drooling, fussiness, biting, resisting food, interrupted sleep, rash, diarrhea, etc. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Most children get their first tooth around 6 months of age and have a complete set of 20 deciduous teeth by 30 months of age.” This is what happens on average, not necessarily what should happen to all the babies. Some babies get their first tooth quite late and it is perfectly fine.
There are many teething remedies that we can try to soothe a teething baby, while there are some which should be avoided for the safety and baby’s health.
What are the dos to soothe a teething baby?
There are certain things that you can do to soothe the sore gums, especially if your baby is fussy. Try some of these simple tips:
- Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger. It can provide some comfort to your baby. Make sure you have washed your hands properly before doing so.
- Use cold water to make a cloth damp (probably one of the baby wash clothes you already have) and give it to the baby to chew. Make sure the baby is under adult supervision during this time.
- Use teething toys that are available, though do some research before buying the right one.
- Give baby a cold or chilled spoon. I would prefer using a baby spoon as baby might get hurt with a steel spoon.
- Try giving some teething snacks that are available in different flavors.
- If you give your baby a pacifier, try giving a chilled one.
- Dry the drool as it can cause skin irritation
- If the baby is really fussy and cranky due to a lot of pain, or not able to intake food, talk to your baby’s pediatrician for the right over the counter medications. Infants’ and children’s over the counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen are the commonly used ones.
What are the don’ts or the remedies that you should avoid?
There are certain things that are best to avoid and certain things that should be strictly avoided:
- It is best to not use teething toys that can cause strangulation of babies, like teething necklaces, bracelets, etc.
- According to Mayo Clinic, “Teething medications containing benzocaine or lidocaine should be avoided as these pain killers can be harmful- even fatal to the baby”.
- Avoid teething tablets, gels, or homeopathic remedies available over the counter.
- Don’t give a frozen teething toy, like a teething ring as contact with extreme cold can cause harm.
- Don’t add sugary stuff in the pacifier or teething toy, as it can harm gums and cause decay.
- Parents (esp. first-time parents) tend to receive a lot of advice from a lot of people, so if you do receive some advice that you have never heard of before, do consult a professional before trying it out.
Please consult your pediatrician before using any over the counter medications.