How To Ease Baby Teething Pain

Simple methods of easing baby teething pain.

Teething can be a stressful time for both parents and infant. There are, however, some things you can do as a parent to relieve an infant's mild to moderate discomfort. As the parent of a teething baby you should first be aware that 'teething' is not an illness. Normal teething rarely causes fever, and then only low-grade. Normal teething is also not acutely painful, rather more like a dull ache or persistant, annoying nuisance. If your baby has a fever, or seems to be suffering from a great deal of pain, you should seek the advice of your physician, as the problem is probably related to something other than teething.

With that understood, what can you do as a parent to relieve your baby's teething distress, after you have administered the infant pain relievers and tossed aside the store bought 'teething' toys? First, realize that there are two parts to your baby's discomfort. First, there is the obvious, the pain. But then, secondly, there is the factor which a lot of parents overlook. After hours of that dull, achy teething pain, your baby becomes distraut, frustrated, and generally just out-of-sorts. His teething prevents him from sleeping normally, which in turn makes him fussy. As a parent you should treat both symptoms.

Teething pain can be eased by administering cold to the baby's gums. The problem with the store bought teething toys, in my experience, is that babies find them hard to use. They are easy to grip, but hard for an infant to manipulate to his mouth effectively. Within short-order, the baby will toss the toy aside in frustration. As a parent, I found a perfect solution. Take a clean, soft washcloth, soak it in apple juice, and wring it out. Next tie the cloth in a knot, and place it in the freezer until it is 'frozen'. It will not freeze hard like water does, but will be much softer. When frozen give to you infant, placing it first in his mouth, then his hands. You will see almost immediate results. Babies love apple juice, most doctors approve it for even very young infants, and the combination of the cold and the slight roughness of the wash cloth will begin to ease your baby's pain. If your baby has been introduced to solid foods there are other teethers you can try. My babies liked to gnaw on cold carrots and celery sticks. You would want to clean and chill either and leave it a size which would be easily gripped by and infant and too large to swallow. Under very close supervision, you might even consider giving your baby a chicken leg bone (after removing all gristle and meat) or a frozen banana. Babies will love anything that they can bite down on especially if it has the added benefit of a pleasing flavor.

If its your baby's bedtime, and he is too distraught to sleep there are several methods of relaxing him you can try. These methods can also be used for infants with colic or other maladies which cause restlessness.

First, give your baby a warm bath. No water play, just soothing bathing in warm water with a fragrant, gentle soap. Dry in a warm towel. Be deliberate, soothing and slow during the whole process. Younger infants enjoy being wrapped very tightly in a blanket for sleeping, so tightly that movement is difficult. Most babies enjoy some type of rocking or vibration when trying to doze off. Try the old standby, a rocking chair, or maybe a short drive in the car. Another thing I found quite effective was placing my babies on a bed made of comforters atop my clothes dryer, and turning it on. The gentle hum and vibration of the dryer had them sleeping in no time. Of course, do not leave your child unattended even briefly if you try this! And, I guess it should go without saying, make sure your baby is not hungry when bedtime is near. All of us sleep better with a full tummy.

After a good night's sleep, you will find your baby is better able to cope with the distress of teething and you will be too. Finally, you as the parent need to take special care to have your moments of relaxation also during this stressful time. If you are short on patience, and irritable because of your frustrations, your baby will pick up on this and tend to adapt your attitude. The same is true if you are calm and relaxed. So, do not forget to take care of yourself.

Lastly, remember, the whole process of teething is relatively short-lived. Before long the process will be over and your baby will be smiling at you with a whole set of baby teeth which will one day be claimed by the Tooth Fairy. So, hang in there, and good luck.

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