Tips for Teething Survival
Teething is a tough time for all those involved - the panic stricken parents and the distressed babies, thankfully there is a lot that can be done to alleviate the discomfort of tender, inflamed gums and other common teething symptoms.
Finding relief from teething can come in a variety of forms and some of the most common techniques may not work for your baby alone. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the myriad of different solutions on offer, both the conventional and the alternatives.
The Cooling Method
Applying something cold to the gums will work similarly to how an ice pack is used on a swollen body part, it will reduce sensation in the area and help to alleviate the swelling.
You can easily find a spare cloth hanging around (of course ensure it is sterile), you simply need to run it under water and leave it in the refrigerator until cold. Your baby may find the cool touch to be a shock at first, but they will soon appreciate the numbing effect that’s sure to make them feel tonnes better. The rough texture of the cloth should also provide some relief via a massaging effect on the gums too, which is why the wash cloth method is often preferred.
Another popular item to cool down for teething relief is a pacifier; however, ensure you only ever cool it down in the refrigerator, since using the freezer can cause it to cool down enough to damage the gums.
You can also offer relief during meal times too, in the form of chilled fruits and ice cream (as a treat of course). You can also use cool cucumbers (large ones only as small vegetables can be a choking hazard) which you can hold while they have a much.
The Pressure Technique
As well as the cold, pressure can also help relieve the gums since the pressure helps to take some of the focus away from the pain that accompanies the teething process.
If your baby is one of the ones that just don’t respond well to cold items, then applying pressure alone may offer a better solution for you. You can find a variety of so called teethers that your baby can chew on for relief and these can be kept at normal room temperature. The classic trick of rubbing their sore gums with a finger can also be effective. MomBible explains this in more detail.
Numbing gels are often a solution for parents who have tried everything else and they are effective in many cases. These are typically available over the counter in most pharmacies. Although, it should be mentioned that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that topical medications with the ingredient benzocaine in them should not be used on children younger than 2 without seeking consultation from a doctor.
The reason this ingredient isn’t advised for young babies is because it can cause numbness. Therefore if some of the gel was to go down their throat it could potentially numb their gag reflex and making it more difficult for them not to choke.
If you attempt all of the solutions above, then you may find that painkillers are your final frontier. You should seek the advice of a registered doctor if you are considering this option, whom may advise using a pain medication such as acetaminophen. Of course you should always seek medical advice from a doctor regarding dosage and checking whether it is suitable for your baby.
For older babies, typically above the age of 6 months, ibuprofen is another useful medication for reducing the inflammation in the gums. However, it’s important to note that this medication can irritate the stomach, which could be an issue if your little one is already not eating which is common in babies that are teething.