The pain of the first teeth has come, and your child is writhing in your arms, crying, tired, and unable to sleep. You hurt with them and feel powerless to ease their pain.
Most mothers live through this teething phase as though living in a nightmare they can’t wake up from. Are there practical ways of reducing the pain children feel as their teeth come in, before resorting to ointments and painkillers?
From grandmothers’ notebooks, here are a few ideas and pieces of advice:
- Try to give your baby something cold to bite on; this will numb their gums and lessen the tingling and heat in their mouth. For example, you could use a frozen apple or pear slice; it’s hard and unlikely to fall apart, which protects them from the risk of choking on soft fruit. However, be sure to hold it between your fingers the entire time.
- You can always put a small, cold spoon on any hot places on your baby’s gums, which will calm them, at least for a little while.
- Anytime you can, feel their gums with your clean middle finger to gently massage them; this will lead to pain relief in the irritated area.
- In pharmacies, there are many kinds of medical “teethers” made especially for teething, which work to calm your baby’s pain because they represent pressure in the opposite direction of tooth growth. Your baby can take out their temper and pain on them.
- Don’t buy the type of teether that hangs around your baby’s neck because it could put them at risk of strangling. It’s always better to put the teether in the refrigerator; its cold will reduce gum infections.
- Be careful to sterilize it constantly because your baby will throw it on the ground during tantrums, which will expose their gums to the risk of germs.
- Serve cold water to your child in a milk bottle or sippy cup; this will also cool down their gums and reduce irritating symptoms.
- On the same note, you can focus on a few cold foods like strawberry-flavored yogurt, for example, or rice pudding.
- Try to get your baby to use their pacifier again during the teething stage; it could distract them from the pain of their new teeth, even if just for a while.
- If none of these methods works with your little angel, it’s okay to use a teething gel; just don’t spread it on your baby’s gums more than 6 times a day.
Finally, remember that the pain of the first teeth—specifically the front teeth—is hardest on your baby. The suffering will gradually lessen afterwards.