Here are some tips to help soothe your teething baby:
Massage your baby's gums. Applying gentle pressure to your baby's gums can provide teething relief. Gently massage your baby's gums with a clean finger, damp gauze pad or washcloth for a couple of minutes when he or she is experiencing teething pain.
Buy teething products. Invest in products that relieve baby teething pain. Your baby may chew on toys or fingers to relieve their teething pain, so it's best for you to control what they're putting in their mouths. Make sure the object you give them is clean, safe and large enough to prevent a choking hazard. There are several types of teething rings on the market designed solely for teething help. Choose a teething ring made of firm rubber, not liquid, as the latter kind may break or leak. Teething crackers are also available as teething remedies, but can be messy.
Cool it down. Cool objects numb teething pain and help reduce inflammation. You can create your own teething remedies by using a frozen washcloth or a washcloth wrapped around an ice cube. Sticking a teething ring in the freezer for a few minutes can also provide teething relief. If your baby is old enough to eat solids, cold foods such as applesauce may also soothe them. Don't let cold objects stay on the gums for an extended period of length. Be sure you don't give them anything that's too cold or hard -- frozen objects can not only cause pain but can also bruise the gums.
Change bottles. Teething pain can cause babies to reject food. If your child is experiencing feeding problems, try changing the type of bottle or sippy cup he or she uses. If your toddler uses a bottle to help relieve baby teething pain, make sure it is only filled with water. Prolonged bottle use with sugary liquids can cause baby bottle tooth decay.
Prevent skin irritations. Consistent drooling can cause rashes on your baby's face, neck or chest. Wipe away the drool to help prevent rashes from developing. You may also consider using absorbent sheets for naptimes.
Consider pain medicine. Teething remedies do include over-the-counter pain medicines, which should only be purchased with your doctor's permission. There are two types of medicine designed for teething help: topical medicine and medicine that can be ingested. Your doctor can help you decide which, if any, of these teething pain relievers are best for your baby:
- Medicinal gels that are placed on your baby's gums provide temporary teething relief by numbing the area. The effectiveness of these gels has been debated -- if your baby experiences drooling during teething, they can be easily washed away. Your baby may also not like the taste of topical baby teething pain medicines, making it harder for parents to apply them. Too much topical gel can also numb a baby's throat, causing problems with their gag reflex and opening up the possibility for food to be misdirected into the lungs.
- Your doctor may recommend acetaminophen (Children's Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Children's Advil® or Motrin®), but ibuprofen should not be given to children younger than 6 months of age. Do not use aspirin for teething relief. An interest fact from WebMD states that no one younger than 20 should be given aspirin, as it is linked to Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious disease.