Anthony Doerr, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, wrote: "Watching teething babies is like watching over a thermonuclear reactor--it is best done in shifts, by well-rested people."
Seeing our child's first teeth appearing is exciting. However, it can be painful for our children and a little distressing for the parents too.
Read on to find out how to soothe a teething baby and the best remedies for your teething child.
If your baby is eating solids try feeding with cold food. Cold yogurt or applesauce can provide cool teething relief as well as a tasty treat.
Hard foods such as cucumber or carrot can also be helpful if served cold. Be careful about small pieces breaking off as they may be a choking hazard.
A mesh feeder is a great way of providing your baby with some food and cool relief in a safe way.
Try slices of banana or some peeled apple. Chill the whole mesh feeder first and if they prefer to chew on the handle that's fine too.
Cuddles and Play
Sometimes the best teething remedies for babies are based on distraction. Playing and cuddling baby can move their focus away from the discomfort long enough to give them and you some relief.
Try a change of scene. Move baby to another room or go for a walk. Run a bath and bring out the bath time toys.
Massage Baby's Gums
A simple message of your baby's sore gums can be all that is needed. Using a clean finger and little cool water gently apply a little pressure to the gums. This might be an old-fashioned remedy but it can be comforting for both baby and parent.
Cool Those Gums
Cool or even freeze a washcloth. Let it defrost so there is no ice remaining but it retains the coldness. Let baby chew on it or even use it to massage the sore gums.
A cold spoon can soothe teething babies until the teeth break through. Don't chill the spoon in the freezer because if it is too cold it can freeze and stick to delicate skin. Putting the rounded end of the spoon on to the gums can give teething relief.
Babies are individuals with their own response to teething. Some may find breastfeeding aggravates their teething discomfort. Others find breastfeeding comforting and the nipple as a natural teething toy.
If your baby seems to want to bite during breastfeeding, try gently rubbing your finger over their gums before and after the feeding session. Teething need not spell the end of breastfeeding.
There are many types of commercially available teethers. Some cloth teethers are soft and machine washable. Others are designed to be chilled in the fridge before use and are dishwasher safe.
There are even vibrating soothers with interesting textures, shapes and both soft and hard parts.
Over the Counter Pain Treatments
If all else fails you may want to resort to an over the counter remedy. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend the best teething babies remedies that are suitable for your baby. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen-based remedies may help.
Do not be tempted by homeopathic tablets and medications containing benzocaine or lidocaine. These are potentially harmful to your baby.
How to Soothe a Teething Baby
So now you know how to soothe a teething baby. You can also soothe the frayed nerves of a tired parent. Relief for baby and parents alike.
Your next challenge will be to learn about caring for your baby's teeth.