Toothache pain can make you miserable, and there’s nothing worse than seeing your little one suffer because of teething. Pointy, sharp teeth poking through gums of your child is certainly going to cause discomfort! Luckily there are various things you can do to ease the suffering, helping your child during this time. Some remedies, like putting a child’s feeding spoon in the refrigerator to chill it off prior to feeding time, will make teething a better experience for your baby and your entire family.
Teething rings. Many babies love using teething rings, and parents sometimes need to figure out which ones seem to work the best depending on their baby’s preference. Teething rings can be chilled in the refrigerator and placed on the gums to help ease the pain. Most babies like to “chew” on the teething ring, alleviating pain on the surface of their gums. Some teething rings are textured and some or not, while some babies prefer the feel of a cold washcloth on their gums instead. You’ll just have to see which method is best for your little one.
There are even newer, creative solutions for moms of teething babes! Specially designed teething jewelry like Teething Bling from Smart Mom Jewelry is made to be gummed by little ones. Made from FDA-approved silicone that is free of phthalates, BPA, PVC, latex and lead. Learn more at smartmomjewelry.com.
Gum massage. Parents, your clean finger, love and patience can also help ease your child’s pain! Gentle counter pressure from a parent or caregiver’s cleanly washed finger being applied to a baby’s sore gums can ease the pain of teething. This method works in a pinch if you’ve left the teething rings at home and find yourself out and about with an upset teething baby.
Breastfeeding. There are many benefits to breastfeeding, and teething pain relief is yet one more! You may find your baby is wanting to nurse more often now that he/she is teething because it gives them comfort. However, it’s important to note that every baby teethes in a way that is unique, and in some cases breastfeeding may cause irritation. If you find that during teething your baby is on a “nursing strike”, talk to one of us at Association of Childcare Physicians for assistance. One recommended tip is to use the massaging gum technique as stated above prior to feeding. This simple trick can help your child to continue on a healthy, breastfeeding path.
Over the Counter (OTC) Pain Relief. It’s important to talk to your pediatrician prior to using any pain relief medication, but it may be a viable option. If your child is an early teether, a doctor approval should be given for acetaminophen in babies less than 3 months of age and ibuprofen in babies less than 6 months of age. Some patients find that a dose of infant pain medication, especially in the middle of yet another sleepless night, is very beneficial. Make sure you read all labeling carefully. Another benefit of using a pain reliever is that it also helps to reduce any fever that may accompany teething. It can help make your child more comfortable and definitely less irritable.
Other natural solutions, including teething gels. Baby Orajel Naturals, for example, is free of benzocaine, alcohol and dyes and is a natural alternative to OTC meds. The active ingredient in Baby Orajel Naturals is eugenol, which is derived from the oil of the clove plant and is known for its antiseptic and local anesthetic properties. Ask a member of the Association of Childcare Physician’s team if you need more remedies or have a question about a solution for your baby’s teething needs. Sometimes simply a change of scenery for your baby – a distraction like singing, playing or a warm bath – can help ease the pain while building fond memories, too.
Luckily, teething pain isn’t constant in babies and there are many options to help ease their discomfort when it happens. If you notice more pain than usual, or if he/she refuses to eat and drink more than just a couple of hours, don’t hesitate to give us a call. If it’s time for a visit or check-up, contact Dr. Shaw or Dr. Kellow at 618-235-2311 or visit http://childcarephysicians.com to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!