September 07, 2022

Ways to Soothe Your Teething Baby

Ways to Soothe Your Teething Baby

Written by Pamela Lim,

Teething can be distressing for some babies but every baby is different, and you may have to try a few different things until you find something that works for your baby.

A new-born baby is born with 20 teeth under the gum line. Before you know it, your happy baby starts to become fussy with a tendency to drool on a consistent basis. The first tooth usually appears between 6 months and 1 year of age.

Signs that your baby is teething
You may start noticing symptoms of teething like sore or tender gums
Low-grade fever around 37.2 C
Drool rash around the mouth

Although teething does not cause fevers and diarrhoea, but if your baby has a temperature above 38 C and has diarrhoea, you should definitely speak to your doctor. The first tooth typically appears as one of the incisors on the bottom. It is a good idea to inspect your child’s gums for any bumps which is a sign of newly surfacing teeth. Some babies may have teeth growing slower than others, so infants can have symptoms in months before a tooth actually appears.

There are several ways to soothe gums and one of the most effective treatments include pressure, using cold items, and giving your baby something safe to chew. It can be tough to see your baby start teething and experiencing constant pain, so you may try these methods to help ease the discomfort.

1. Massage the Gums
Applying some pressure to your infant’s gums may help ease the pain. You can massage their gums gently with your clean finger and this may actually help your baby relax and fall asleep. 

2. Cold Washcloth
It is a good idea to find a clean washcloth and soak it in water. You should wring out the water until it is damp, then place the washcloth in the fridge or freezer (but not frozen) to cool it down. When this is cool, fold the washcloth and give to your baby to chew.  You should never leave your baby unattended if they are chewing on something, even a washcloth, because this could be a choking hazard.

3. Refrigerate Pacifier or Teething Toy
If your baby uses a pacifier, you can also use it to soothe their gums by cooling it down. You should make sure the pacifier is clean and place it in the refrigerator. The coolness may help numb the gums and relieve some pain.

You can follow the same steps with teething toys by placing in the fridge. It is a good idea to stay away from liquid or gel-filled toys, which could possibly leak.

4. Freeze Milk Popsicles
Some babies will not eat while they are teething due to the discomfort. 

You can also use BPA-free popsicle moulds and fill them with breastmilk or distilled water. These types of popsicles can become very messy when they melt, so be sure to place a bib on your baby. You might find it easier to have your infant eat these in the highchair. 

5. Chilled Fruits
If you have introduced your baby to solid foods, you could try freezing some types of foods to help soothe irritated gums. Chilled mashed bananas are a great start. There are different types of fruit you could try include chilled apples, pears, or melon.  It is important to monitor your baby at all times and make sure your infant is old enough to try these treats.

6. Comfort baby with extra cuddling
The best way to help a baby in discomfort is some extra cuddle time. Rocking or carrying your baby around the house (in a baby carrier) are great ideas. The extra cuddle time will help provide both of you with some needed rest.

If you breastfeed, don’t be afraid to give your baby additional nursing sessions for comfort.  It is important to provide your infant with a calm environment to help them relax and fall asleep.

7. Pain Medications
You can talk to your doctor at the last resort about providing over-the-counter pain medication. These medicines may help alleviate pain and allow the baby to go to sleep. Your paediatricians can advise you on the correct dosage and which type of pain relievers work best. It is a good idea to stay away from teething gels and tablets that contain lidocaine or benzocaine. They can be harmful and often numb a baby’s mouth, causing issues with swallowing. 

How Long Does Baby Teething Last?
There is no set timing on how long your baby will go through teething.  The process could last months or be over in a couple of days. Each baby handles the pain differently and the pain typically subsides once the tooth has emerged through the gums. 

Baby’s New Teeth Hygiene
You should taking care of your baby’s tooth hygiene as soon as it appears through the gums. It is important to wipe off the tooth before bed. You can use a damp, clean washcloth or a soft-bristled baby toothbrush.

You can use a small amount of training toothpaste to clean the new tooth. Do not use fluoride toothpaste until your child is at least 3 years old when they can spit out the toothpaste. Good hygiene should start early. Even though your baby will lose these milk teeth eventually, you want the baby teeth and gums to remain healthy in preparation for the new adult teeth.