If there’s one word that can strike fear in any parent’s heart, it’s teething. A few lucky ones survive the first and second year of their baby’s life without ever going through sleepless nights and endless fussiness due to teething. But for the rest of us, dealing with teething pain is an ordeal that is bound to happen.
It can happen at any moment, some as early as 3 months and some as late as 12. When your previously cheerful baby becomes cranky for no reason, check the gums. It’s safe to guess that an erupting baby tooth might be the culprit.
But teething doesn’t need to be a pain, and there are ways to manage it. Here are 5 simple teething remedies that you can try at home.
1. Cold washcloth
Using a clean cotton washcloth, soak it in drinking water and wring the excess water out. Let it chill inside the fridge. Once it’s cold enough, let your baby chew on it. The cold temperature, as well as the texture of the cotton washcloth, will help soothe some of the teething pain.
Some also suggest soaking the washcloth in chamomile tea, which has been found to have a calming effect on babies. Just don’t leave your baby unattended as chewing on the wet washcloth can be a choking hazard.
2. Chilled teether
Next, one of the more obvious teething remedies would be to let your baby use a teether. If what you have is a regular solid teether, put it inside your refrigerator and let it chill. The coolness of the teether helps greatly in numbing teething pain and soothing the discomfort. Keep in mind to avoid putting it inside the fridge as it may get too hard for your baby’s gums.
You may also chill liquid-filled teethers, but make sure that it is made of a durable material and it does not have leaks. Also, avoid liquid-filled teethers if your baby’s tooth has already erupted as it may puncture the material.
3. Chilled fruits
If your baby has already started eating solid foods, a good alternative to a chilled teether or toy is chilled fruits. To soothe teething discomfort, let your baby munch on chilled fruits like bananas or apples. You may also experiment with other types of fruits like avocado and mango.
You can let your baby pick their own food if you practice baby-led weaning. Otherwise, you can simply place the piece of chilled fruit inside a mesh feeder.
If none of these remedies work, perhaps a gentle massage might make your baby a lot better. Wash your hands, and gently place a clean finger on your baby’s gums around the area where the tooth is about to erupt and apply some pressure. You may even dip your finger in cold drinking water for some coolness.
5. Time with mommy
Sometimes, all your baby needs in order to feel relief is some quality time with you. If you are nursing, breastfeeding often provides your baby immediate comfort and warmth. At the very least, it can distract your baby from teething pain.
But it does not have to be just breastfeeding. Lots of cuddles work great, too! With a soft muslin blanket, snuggle with your baby and offer lots of hugs and kisses. You may also spend the time reading a book or listening to calming music.
Teething-related discomfort can be an inevitable part of parenting. But even if you cannot avoid it, it’s highly possible to deal with teething confidently. When your baby fusses and cries, offer these teething remedies that will make them feel a lot better!