Teething: it’s bound to happen. Your bouncing bundle of joy is going to be in lots of pain and discomfort once it starts, so here are 5 of the best ways to deal with teething pain.
Distract your baby from the pain of erupting teeth by applying gentle but direct pressure to their gums. Using either a moistened gauze pad or a thoroughly clean finger, you can give your baby some relief by a soft rub. Can’t do it directly? Many babies enjoy chewing on hard teething toys to simulate the same kind of pressure. Some of the best are rubberized and textured, both for better gum stimulation and for easy cleanup – often you can simply toss these gummed-up toys in the dishwasher.
Introducing cold to your kid’s gums is another excellent way to reduce the swelling and pain associated with teething. If it works to help you recover from a twisted ankle or bruised knee, it’ll work on your baby’s gums! Just make sure to provide moderate cooling – a washcloth that’s been refrigerated is fine, but not one that’s been frozen. Additionally, you’ll often find teething toys that can pull cooling and pressure double duty; these liquid-filled, rubberized gummy toys are meant to be left in the fridge for a while to cool them off, so your baby gets the chill as well as the feeling of pressure when chewing on them.
Feed the Pain
Has your baby moved on to solid foods as they’re teething? You can provide some hard foods for them to gnaw on. A piece of chilled cucumber or carrot, cut and peeled to a size appropriate for chewing but not choking, offers babies a tasty distraction that’s good for them as well. Such methods are, of course, highly similar to using a chilled teething toy, but without having to clean up as much afterward, since your baby will just eat the evidence. Still, make sure you keep an eye on them to avoid any possible choking hazards!
Be Cool to the Drool
You’re going to see a lot of drool if you’ve got a teething baby. It’s just natural – having things popping out of your gums – and chewing on things to keep the pain and discomfort at bay – will produce a lot of saliva. Do you and your kid a favor by keeping his or her chin clean and moisturized with a baby-friendly cream or lotion. This will avoid the skin on your kid’s chin from getting red and irritated – that’s the last thing you – or your baby – need to deal with on top of the already annoying pain of teething!
Turn to the Experts
If nothing works, it may be time for an over-the-counter remedy. There are plenty of options when it comes to teething medications, and most major pain relievers come in child’s versions that feature smaller doses appropriate for smaller, still-developing bodies. However, not all of these OTC pain relievers are created equal. Before you go running to the pharmacy and grabbing the first thing you see on the shelf, do your due diligence – turn to the experts to find out what they recommend. This means approaching your pediatrician – or better yet, call up your family’s dental health practitioner – and asking them about what’s the best over the counter painkiller for your teething tot.
Good for You and Your Kid
One last word: as tiresome as teething can be for your kid, it can be just as exhausting for you as a parent. These remedies don’t just help your baby – they’ll help you get a little relief as well!