A teething baby can be a terror: screaming, crying, irritable, and gnawing on anything he or she can find. Like all growing pains, you can’t make the teething process completely pain-free for your baby (or yourself), but there are things you can do to ease the discomfort of teething. Here are a few simple at-home remedies you can employ to soothe your teething child:
Mothers have been using this method since refrigeration became a thing, and for good reason: it works. Place a damp washcloth in the freezer for a little while—not until it’s frozen solid, just until it’s cold and slightly stiff—then give it to baby to chew on. This kills two birds with one stone because, teething babies like to chew on things and the cold helps reduce swelling and pain. You can also try freezable teething toys, as well.
In addition to using frozen toys and washcloths, you can also ice the gums directly for short period of time. Just like for other injuries, icing the area can reduce swelling and pain.
Baby Orajel™, benzocaine, and other oral numbing agents numb the gums, which reduces pain. Ensure that if you use these products, that they are specifically formulated for infants, as the adult versions of these products may be too strong for babies.
Clove oil or clove tea
Clove oil works as an anesthetic, much like over-the-counter oral numbing products. Apply diluted (it’s highly concentrated and strong, otherwise) clove oil directly to baby’s gums for teething relief. Clove tea is also a soothing agent that you can apply to the baby’s gums, or give to the baby by soaking a washcloth in the tea and letting the baby chew on it.
Another soother. Brew some chamomile—ensure that it’s caffeine-free, though—and either give it to baby in the form of a soaked washcloth to suck on or gnaw, or rub it onto the gums gently with your finger.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but there are a variety of toys designed specifically for teething babies to chew on. That way, they’re not chewing on things they shouldn’t be, like dog toys and old shoes (if this isn’t your first kid, you know, it happens).
If baby won’t stop chewing on your hair or trying to eat your necklace, try teething jewelry. There are jewelry options with silicone and wooden beads that are safe for children to chew on—and some of them are even cute!
If you’ve got questions about your baby’s new teeth, or it’s time for your baby’s first checkup, set up an appointment with Creason, Weber & Mountford Family Dentistry!