Teething. It's one of the necessary evils in life and also one of the hardest things to watch our little ones go through. As a parent, you never want your child to feel pain and teething can certainly be a long and painful process for many babies. While you will never be able to make this an easy experience, there are some things you can try to ease the pain or discomfort of teething for your baby.
Some of the best methods for soothing teething discomfort can be put together with things you already have around your house. One of the most immediate methods is to rub baby's gums with a clean finger. What this does is equalizes the pressure over the surface of the gums rather than having all of it focused on the exact area where the tooth is coming through.
Washcloths can be an extremely valuable tool in your "teething" arsenal! You can give your baby a clean, wet washcloth to chew on. This was one of the favorite's of my children and so quick and easy that it's certainly worth a try! You can also keep a supply of your child's pacifiers in the freezer so that they're nice and cool for your little peanut. I came across one mother who used a Nuk pacifier and squeezed the nipple of it and sucked up some water inside and then she put it in the freezer for her baby. I would use caution when employing this method because frozen teethers have actually been shown to cause frostbite on the gums of some babies. However, the pacifier holds such a small amount of water that your child's exposure to the ice would be limited as it would melt quite quickly. The one method that really piqued my curiosity is to put crushed ice into a wet washcloth and then rubber band or tie it closed, and let baby chew away. I think this would work quite well and as soon as my little angel starts teething, I plan on trying this one out! You could also soak some clean cloths in a pot of brewed chamomile tea and then store them in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator. Chamomile is an ingredient in many homeopathic teething remedies because of its soothing qualities.
Mesh feeders can also play a big role in providing teething pain relief for your child. There is no end to the amount of things you can put in these feeders and you can feel safe letting your baby chomp away! The most common are cold or frozen peaches, grapes, apple slices and bananas, but you could use just about any food! I saw one ingenious solution and that was to freeze breast milk or formula in an ice cube tray and then put the ice cubes into the mesh feeder! Whoever thought of that idea should be given a medal â that's some serious creativity and these would work perfectly for a baby that was teething young and not ready to start food yet!
There is also a massive selection of teethers on the market and you might have a hard time choosing which one will work for your baby. My #1 favorite is Sophie the Giraffe, made by Vulli. They also make some great, vanilla-scented teethers as well as a wide selection of other teething toys. My daughter loves her teething blanket. It is basically just a small square of cotton with a texturized, rubber piece on each corner. She loves to chew away on each of the corners and it's also easy for her to hold onto! I also found this great vibrating teether that is shaped like a bunch of grapes. When my little one bites down on it, a gentle vibration soothes her sore gums, and who wouldn't want a gum massage?
Some of the hottest trends in teething relief include the Smart Mom Teething Bling necklace. It is a necklace that is worn by mom, dad, grandma, or whoever, and at the end of a black cord there is a firm rubber "donut." The "donut" has the appearance of a stone pendant and they come in a large variety of designs and colors which make them very wearable and attractive. With one of these, there will be no more searching in the diaper bag for a teether and this one won't get dropped on the floor! Also trending right now are unfinished wooden teethers. Many of them are made out of maple, or another hard wood and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I'm skeptical as to how well they would work, but it might be worth a try if nothing else is working for you!
There are also many "medication-type" teething remedies out there ranging from homeopathic tablets to anesthetic topical gels. Many mothers these days are shying away from the topical gels in favor of the more natural treatments like Boiron Camilia Teething Relief. This treatment consists of small, single-dose, liquid-filled packets that you squeeze into your child's mouth. They are homeopathic, all-natural and have some extremely positive reviews. Out of the 36 reviews I found for this product, only 2 indicated that the product didn't work for them, while all the others were very happy with the performance of the treatment. There are also some different types of dissolving teething tablets made by Hyland's, and Humphreys. The reviews on these were pretty mixed as to whether or not it was an effective method of treatment, but it couldn't hurt to try them as they are all-natural.
Topical gels can be a very useful tool during teething time. They don't bring long-term relief but they are quite effective for immediate pain relief. Sometimes all you need is a little help with soothing your child's discomfort so that they can fall asleep and topical treatment can be a great way to achieve that. The most common brands are Baby Orajel and Anbesol, but you can also find some all-natural versions by Hyland's and Gentle Naturals.
One of the most basic methods of treating teething pain is by using acetaminophen or ibuprofen. When teethers and topical gels aren't working and neither you nor your child is getting any sleep, giving them a little of either of these pain relievers can bring a lot of comfort and get both of you through the rough spots. I recommend using one of these medications before bedtime and hopefully your little one can get some much needed rest.
There is no miracle cure that will make teething a pleasant, or even easy experience, but there are many things you can do to make it a little less difficult. Don't get too disheartened, teething is just a phase and it will eventually come to an end. Just hold your baby close and comfort them as best as you can. When it comes to figuring out how to ease the pain and discomfort of teething for your baby, there are a lot of options. You may have to try several different methods before you find one that works for you, but hopefully something will bring you enough relief to make this experience a manageable one. As the old saying goes, this too shall pass!
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