I have a four-month-old early teether who just had his first tooth poke through! Here are some ways to help your little one get through this rough stage. It is a difficult time in any parents life when your child is screaming in pain at you two inches from your face and all you can feel is helplessness.
The Old Frozen Cloth Trick
Simple, easy, effective. Take a clean cloth and soak it in water. Fold it in thirds and place it in the freezer.
Cold compresses are an effective way to relieve tooth pain, although they don’t last very long. The cloth will melt quickly and will have to be re-frozen often. So if this is your go-to method, keeping a couple in the freezer at a time will help. Frozen pacifiers are an alternative for this.
Cut blueberry bagel (preferably into eighths) and freeze it.
I was recently told this trick and tried it out. It really works! Mind you it is like the cloth in the sense that it will thaw relatively quickly and become soggy. Although because it is sweet your baby will want to suck and chew on it and that will relieve some of the pain temporarily.
The bagel is safe because when it is wet it becomes very doughy, so there is less of a choking hazard. If some of the bagel down come apart it comes off in crumbs that are easy to gum and swallow. It keeps a creaming baby quiet for a bit and that is what counts!
Frozen fruit in a soft mesh pacifier does the same, and it helps get those extra vitamins in.
Teething Rings and Toys
Now, The traditional teething ring is a little outdated. They are filled with chemicals that can leak if the ring is punctured or cracked, which happens often with freezing and sharp teeth. People now understand the risked of plastics and most companies are producing BPA free alternatives, or even better, natural rubber!
This is where the old school techniques meet new ages parenting as parents are leaving towards these natural rubbers, or even wooden toys, to get through teething. Just beware of chocking hazards when buying toys for your teething babe.
I have yet to try this solution but some parents swear by it! Baltic amber has a substance called succinic acid in it that is suppose to help alleviate teething pain, amongst other things. Although the science doesn’t back its effectiveness and evaluates that it is hard for the acid to not only be released from the stone, but also absorbed in through the skin.
Personally, I know that they have break-away clasps, but I wouldn’t really want my child sleeping with that around their neck. It is disputable.
Tablets are also called teething pellets and they are soft tablets you place under your child’s tongue and they dissolve quickly and provide homeopathic pain relief. You can also dissolve them in water and give them to your child that way.
There have been some controversy surrounding the tablets after a 2010 recall. It has a product called belladonna in it that is potentially toxic and the product is not monitored by the FDA so it is a “use at own risk” scenario.
And, when all else fails…
Pain Killers & Topical Medicines
Let us be honest here. After trying everything and then some, your little one is still screaming, this is your go to. You try these silicone teething necklaces and rings and this and that and you get nothing! You’re going to go to your local drugstore and pick something up.
There is nothing wrong with that at all, so even if you’re a hippy parent like myself, sometimes a little acetaminophen goes a loooooong way. There are also oral topical medicines that go right on the gums to help sooth.
We have used the bagel trick, it was awesome, but temporary. I don’t use teething rings… or any other liquid filled chewing apparatus… I find that the best way to help a little teether is to rub an ice cube on their gums and offer a (clean) finger to chew on. You may have drool dripping off your elbows, but it is entertaining and a good way to be involved.
We found it was the best way to relieve the pain and worked better than more alternative and teethers do. It is hard for a child to appropriately use a teether because it takes a lot of dexterity to be able to manoeuvre the teether intricately in their mouth.
Teething isn’t fun for anyone and it is fairly obvious that your child is in pain. Just have sympathy for what they are going through and try to remain patient and calm. It is inevitable that you are going to lose sleep and get stressed out. So when you find yourself with a moment of silence, enjoy it! Take a soothing bath and find that calm relaxed place in your mind.
It is only temporary! And soon your little one will be sporting a beautiful and cute new tooth!