Tips for comforting your teething baby
When teeth arrive, they can cause discomfort for your little one. Here’s what to look for, and how you can help.
Teeth can appear in babies from birth (in very rare cases) through to 12 months, although from 6 to 10 months is most common. Many babies teethe with no apparent problems, although it’s common for the process to cause discomfort and pain.
Your baby’s 20 teeth can emerge in any order, and it’s easy to miss the arrival of first teeth or mistake teething for general discomfort, earache or other mild illnesses. There are many telltale signs of teething to look out for such as:
- Crying more at night
- Demanding more attention than usual
- Flushed cheeks
- Excessive dribbling
- Red and swollen gums
- Refusing feeds
- Chewing on hands or toys more than usual
- Rubbing or pulling on an ear
- Disrupted sleep patterns
Teething can disrupt your baby’s routine and lead to sleepless nights for you all. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help relieve your baby’s discomfort.
How can I help my teething baby?
- Offer extra feeds if needed for comfort and fluids
- Offer a teething ring to chew on (the ones you can cool in the fridge are good)
- Let your baby chew on a clean, damp, chilled face cloth
- If you baby is over 6 months old, chewing on a rusk can help
- Gently rub a teething gel or teething granules into the gums
- Apply a barrier cream to your baby’s chin, neck and chest to stop soreness caused by dribbling
- Distract your baby with lots of hugs or something to play with
If your little one is really struggling, a visit to your GP is a good idea. There might be other issues exacerbating the discomfort, and your GP might advise using infant paracetamol.