It’s a natural part of life and we all go through it, but teething isn’t something toddlers deal with very well. Every parent braces themselves for when “it’s time” since sleepless nights and “irritated” days have arrived.
It’s usually quite uncomfortable with some poor bambinos suffering more than others, tender gums haven’t had a chance to toughen up yet and the sensation of cutting teeth is new to them.
Here are a few home treatments to help ease the discomfort and the results glorious: Both parents and babe get some well-needed rest ;).
Keep in mind there are commercial products available for purchase such as topical gels, tablets and baby Tylenol–each promising to help dull the pain. Consult a doctor or pharmacist first for recommendations and ask for what risks (if any) they may pose.
First, how to tell if teething is indeed the problem…
Signs & Symptoms:
- Cranky and irritable
- Gums are red and swollen (especially where tooth is coming through)
- Chewing on fingers and toys
- More drool than usual
- Trouble sleeping
- Redness or rash on cheeks or chin
- Sore ears
- Loss of appetite
- Loose stool or mild diarrhea
Effective Home Remedies
- Wash hands thoroughly then rub your finger along the inflamed area, massaging slowly, firmly.
- Soak a clean washcloth in water and freeze then give to gnaw on. The cold numbs the pain. If that doesn’t work, try soaking a cloth in chamomile tea and then freeze.
- A common recommendation is to give the baby a frozen piece of food such as a waffle, bagel, carrot stick or popsicle but these may be a choking hazard if pieces aren’t large enough or chunks break off, close supervision is vital.
- Have frozen chewing toys at the ready for when trouble starts making an appearance.
- Sips on cold water or juice, the coolness will soothe the mouth.
- Chilled metal spoons offer relief when the toddler gnaws on them, only give this to a child while they’re closely supervised, sitting and buckled in (high chair or car seat). A tipsy toddler can fall forward or trip shoving the utensil deep into the mouth and cause serious injury.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 drop of clove oil, massage over gums. Clove oil is a natural analgesic…Careful! It’s too strong for youngsters if used full strength (will burn). Make sure to dilute in olive oil beforehand.
Notice a trend in this list? Cool items do the trick, even feeding the child spoonfuls of chilled yogurt or pudding can be beneficial. Keep a tub of washcloths and rubber rings in the freezer so one is always ready for service during troublesome moments.
What about brandy? Rubbing brandy or other alcohol into the inflamed soreness is an old wives treatment embraced for many decades–the practice is now recognized as unsafe to use on youngsters and no longer encouraged or recommended.
If your child is suffering for long periods of time and the above remedies don’t work, consult pediatrician for a commercial product as advised above. Do you have a tried-and-true that isn’t mentioned here? Please share in the comments below (a desperate mom or dad will surely be grateful for the tips).