Mamas, let’s talk about the difficult phase of baby teething. I know what you’re thinking reading this, if only this was the single difficult phase of a bub… and you’d be right, it would take me this whole blog post to cover it up. Still, despite all the challenges that come with having a baby, like all the sleepless nights because of colic, teething is among those that can be particularly tough on both babies and parents.
Even though there are some babies who are lucky to go without any signs of crankiness or pain, most of them do. You’d notice this when you’ve already managed to establish a nice sleeping and feeding schedule, and all of a sudden your little one becomes irritable, fussy, and worst of all – sleepless.
How Do You Know Teething Is the Problem?
There could be many reasons for this change in behaviour, as some illnesses, or issues like ear infections, but if you’ve eliminated symptoms like rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever over 102 degrees, then most certainly your bub is soon to have some pearly whites showing up. Usually, this happens from the 6th month to the 12th and additional symptoms you should watch for are excessive drooling, gum rubbing and chewing on objects, sore and tender gums, and decreased appetite.
How to Help Your Baby with Teething?
As a parent, you want to help your little one as best you can, and diminish the irritability and fussiness so both of you can finally get some shut-eye. Luckily, there are several comforting solutions for you to try out:
Get a Teething Toy
Yes, a soothing and practical baby teether toy offers a great deal of relief for your precious baby because it was created to address this uncomfortable issue. You’re in for a treat (or should I say your baby is) thanks to the wide range of choices available at the stores, from silicone and beechwood options varying in textures, to the cotton padded teething mittens.
Soft and chewable, they were designed with baby’s safety in mind. The reason I loved them was besides offering the much needed soothing and massage for those sore gums, they’re just as much fun and entertaining for a child as many of them come in a variety of colours and bits they can nibble on.
Such solutions are perfect for reducing the time your baby would spend with his or her hands in the mouth, and the incredible amounts of saliva around as a result, that might end up creating skin irritations and rashes. To avoid them, always be sure to wipe away the drool!
In case your baby doesn’t like these toys, or they don’t provide the needed amount of relief, you could also reach out for the designs that soothe with cold – i.e. those you can pop in the fridge. They’re just as handy as chilled fruits. Even if you don’t have a baby yet, you could still surprise a suffering mama or mama-to-be with baby teethers as the ultimate thoughtful and useful gifts!
Establish a Teeth-Cleaning Regimen
Yes, way before your bub even starts with the teething symptoms, you’d highly appreciate having set a cleaning regimen. No matter whether you breastfeed or bottle feed and know everything there’s to know about bottles, you ought to do some cleaning after every feeding.
With the help of a washcloth or gauze (clean of course!) do a little pressure massage in circular motions on the baby’s gums much like with the baby teether toy. If your baby is already teething, you could cool the washcloth or gauze for an extra dose of relief.
Down the road, this little habit would prove to be highly beneficial as it would make the teething process much less uncomfortable, and set the base for toothbrushing once all the pearly whites have come out. A word of caution, though, is to be sure you clean your hands before doing this.
Ask the Doctor for Medication
While solutions such as teethers for baby, chilled fruits or spoon, and cleanliness can make a world of difference for most babies, they won’t work for all of them – perhaps not to the extent you expect them to. If you’re worried your baby is still in a great deal of pain and discomfort after trying out the aforementioned ideas, and you’re not getting any sound sleep, your last option is to consider getting the help of the doctor.
He or she can advise you on whether or not you could try an over-the-counter remedy such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. If the baby has 6 months already, or more, you may get the green light on these, though pain medications containing benzocaine are still a big no-no.
Lastly, a mother’s hug is a medication that’s known to be comforting, and you don’t need a doctor’s advice or recipe for it. Be sure to give your bub lots of soothing hugs – besides the relief, you might both get some of the needed rest while cuddling.