Parent Time

When Babies Are Cutting a New Tooth:
Tips for Parents on Soothing Infants Through the Discomfort of Teething

Nothing makes parents feel more helpless than seeing their child in pain and being unable to help. You can prepare for your baby's first tooth by reading advice columns, talking to your pediatrician and getting tips from other parents. Cutting teeth is a normal process, but it can be uncomfortable and some babies will feel it more than others. If your infant is one who experiences problems with teething, you have a number of options for helping him feel better. Topical ointments, pain medicine, massage, herbal remedies and cold, wet washrags can all help ease your child through teething with minimal discomfort.

Teething can be especially tough on parents because the pain seems to worsen at night. It's probably because there isn't as much stimulation at bedtime, when things tend to get quiet, so the baby notices sore gums more right when you're hoping he'll get to sleep. A painful mouth can interfere with all the body systems, causing babies to refuse food, bite when nursing and gum everything within reach while emitting enough drool to fill a swimming pool. A first tooth is cause for celebration, but bruised and bleeding gums can cause problems eating which can upset the stomach, which can effect digestion, which can cause diaper rash and so on. The bigger your storehouse of potential pain remedies, the more likely you and your baby will be sleeping at night.?

Tip#1: Cold or Anything From the Freezer May Help
One of the most popular ways of helping infants deal with mouth soreness from teething is to let them chew on cold things. A wet washcloth is ideal because babies like the rough texture and the cold water eases swelling in the gums. Best of all, you can mop up some of the drool before it makes its way all over your shoulder! Other cool items include refrigerated teething rings (check them to make sure your child doesn't bite holes in them), popsicles (preferably made of juice or low-sugar liquids like frozen herb teas) or chilled vegetables that can be gummed without falling apart and causing choking (whole carrots or parsnips are good for this). Recently, one parent described how he gave his teething daughter the round, marrow filled bones from cooked ribeye steaks. He would cook the steaks, chill the bone overnight, then put her in her bib and let her gnaw on the bone. "Hey, who wants to let their kids eat plastic when you can give them beef?" he said. "She loved it!"

Tip #2: Numbing Gums: Natural or Drugstore Finds
You can buy numbing gels at the drugstore, and some parents swear by things like Orajel. But you have to be careful to use only a tiny amount, and some babies don't like the feeling of having numb places in their mouths. Rubbing a little clove oil, diluted with a carrier oil, into the gums can also help numb them a little. Frozen things can also help numb the area, and massage can assuage pain by applying downward pressure to counteract the pressure of the uprising tooth.

Tip #3: Help Infants Calm Down and De-Stress
Sometimes, the stress of teething is worse than the actual physical pain at any one moment. Try soothing your baby with soft music, talking or massage. You can give infants cool, weak chamomile tea, which may help them to sleep while cooling the mouth. Have some yourself, for a little break.

Tip #4: Fighting the Pain and Discomfort of Teething
When your baby is in pain, you may find yourself weighing the decisions you have to make. Do I let her wail, or is it okay to give her medicine? Some parents give their children baby doses of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the pain, especially at night if the baby has trouble sleeping. Consult with your doctor about dosages.

Baby Teething Articles and Infant Information


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