If your once smiley baby has turned grumpy and weepy, it’s probably teething. Most infants cut their first tooth between 6 and 12 months of age, and all 20 of their primary teeth usually make an appearance by age 3. Be prepared for more drooling than usual when your little one is teething, as well as fussiness, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. The good news is there are ways to offer relief. With the right products and a few remedies, you’ll be armed and ready to tackle teething problems head on.
1| Massage baby’s gums. Have you noticed your little one gnawing everything in sight? The pressure of hard surfaces feels good against the teeth breaking through. You can provide the same pressure by gently rubbing the gums with washed hands.
2| Chill teething tools. Toss your pacifier and teether into the refrigerator for cooling relief that will lightly numb tender areas. (Small spoons and frozen damp washcloths can work in a pinch, too.) It’s important to note that different types of teethers (rubber, wood, etc.) will vary in appeal to your babe. Opt for one made with food grade silicone and engaging textures that are easy to hold. We love this silicone/wood combo because it doubles as a rattle for practicing grabbing and shaking!
3| Invest in quality bibs. Excess drooling can leave baby wet (not ideal for cold weather) and add irritation to delicate skin on the face. These muslin bandana bibs are made with super-absorbent terry backing to hold up against moisture and keep baby drier.
4| Consider medication. If your sweetie is inconsolable or having trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor about over-the-counter infant pain relievers. Just make sure you have an up-to-date recommended dose and are cleared for administering.
5| Keep essentials within reach. When your wee one is teething, you’ll want helpers at the ready—preferably on you or baby. A pacifier clip attaches to clothing and ensures you can always find her beloved binkie when needed. If you’re looking for a chew-friendly option, this pick is made entirely of silicone without the use of screws or metal parts. It also can attach to teethers and is sold as a super-cute set. Another great idea is to wear a teething necklace while playing, cuddling, nursing or wearing your baby. Gentle beads ease sore and swollen gums while adding a dash of style to your outfit.
Tip: If your tot has a fever, diarrhea or rash, touch base with your pediatrician.