Teething has turned your sweet baby into a drooling, clingy, cranky mess, and none of your go-to remedies seem to be working. You’re giving them all the extra cuddles (the best treatment for most baby drama), extra boob or bottles, you panic-ordered the iconic banana teether toothbrush, and you’re now best friends with Sophie La Girafe, but your little one is still a disaster. Luckily, there are so many other ways to help soothe a teething baby. Try these teething tips to ease your babe’s discomfort fast—and don’t forget to keep wiping that waterfall of drool pouring out of their mouths! (The last thing you need is irritated skin on top of teething pain.)
1. Rub baby’s gums. After washing your hands, give your baby a gentle gum massage. The pressure from your fingers will counter the pressure of the teeth breaking through. It will feel good and offer your little one some relief from sore, swollen gums.
2. Refrigerate a pacifier. Chilling a pacifier makes it even more soothing by lightly numbing gums to dull the pain.
3. Wear baby-safe teething necklaces. Teething necklaces (jewelry for mom with chewable silicone pieces) give your child an easy-to-grab item to gnaw on when you're holding them. Just don't put any jewelry (e.g. amber necklaces) on your baby—these are choking and strangulation hazards.
4. Try a mesh feeder. Freezing some fruits in a mesh feeder can be a lifesaver for cranky kids and their equally cranky parents. Not only does it chill and soothe sore gums, but your baby or toddler will be occupied for a solid chunk of time before they get through all that frozen goodness.
5. Make milk/formula popsicles. Some babies and toddlers refuse to eat while teething, mostly out of discomfort. Popsicles keep your little one fed and hydrated while soothing those gums. Use silicone popsicle forms to make them, and fill with breastmilk or formula. When eating, slip a bib on your babe or place them on a washable towel or blanket since popsicles can get messy.
6. Wear your baby as much as possible. Strap your clingy child into a structured carrier or wrap, facing inward. They'll feel comfort from being close to you, and you can still get things done. Win-win.
7. Freeze a wet, textured washcloth. Moisten a textured washcloth, wring it dry, and place in the freezer before giving it to your baby. Terrycloth or a ribbed texture will offer added relief by creating friction as baby gnaws on it.
8. Refrigerate a small spoon. A spoon is something your child can hold on their own, chew on, push against their gums, and even play with to distract themselves from teething pain. Keep a few spoons in the fridge so you always have one at the ready. Those new teeth can really sneak up on you.
9. Serve chilled purees. Chill pureed foods prior to feeding your baby so the food is cool on their gums. It will feel nice and may encourage your child to eat more.
10. Become a chew toy. Wash your hands in cold water and then offer a chilled pinky for your child to gum on. You can also show your child how to gum on their own fingers, to help them self-soothe.
11. Give your child a foot massage. Studies in reflexology have identified connections between toes and the head and teeth. Gently massage your child’s toes for comfort and a distraction from their pain.
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