How can I Reduce Teething Pain for my Baby?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
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  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2019
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Many babies are uncomfortable when they are teething. Some run a low-grade fever and have bright red cheeks. Others times you can tell a baby is teething by his irritability, extra drooling, or if you’re nursing, you may note a very painful clamp on your nipple. There are actually a lot of tips to reduce teething pain in infants. Usually from these tips, you’ll find a method or two that your baby most prefers.

Some moms find that nursing a baby more often can help reduce the pain from teething. You can get easily get a baby to stop biting by bringing the baby in close to the breast when he clamps down, so he must open his mouth to breathe. Since babies derive not only sustenance but also comfort from nursing, a few extra feedings, or just a few moments of breastfeeding may significantly reduce teething pain in some babies.

Other babies need something to chew to reduce pain from teething. You can employ a number of store-bought teethers for this purpose. Some are liquid-filled and can be frozen. Cold things often help reduce pain since they help numb the gums. You do need to be especially careful when a baby already has some teeth. They can bite through the exterior covering of gel or liquid filled teethers, and also pacifiers. Be sure to discard anything the baby manages to bite through.


Another method that takes advantage of using cold is freezing damp washcloths for the baby to chew on to reduce teething pain. Store these in plastic bags so they are kept sanitary and don’t take on that “freezer” or freezer-burn taste. Regularly replace washcloths, every few days, with new ones, and only let a baby have one chew on a frozen one. Be sure to wash it again before refreezing it.

Some babies are helped by a little bit of gum massage to reduce teething pain. With clean hands, rub a finger along the top of the gums and exert a tiny amount of pressure on each emerging tooth or swollen gum. You can also rub a bit of ice, but be sure to keep hold of it, so baby doesn’t choke. A drink from a bottle of cold water may also help with teething pain, or from a sippy cup if a baby doesn’t take bottles. If your child is exclusively breast fed, you can offer refrigerated breast milk instead.

Some people prefer to use topical analgesics like Orajel®. These may work best right before a baby is ready to nap or go to sleep for a night. Drooling tends to render these ineffective within 10-30 minutes, but providing momentary relief may be just the thing needed to reduce teething pain long enough for a baby to go to sleep.

When a baby is really uncomfortable, there is no need to prolong discomfort if the above methods are not working. Using infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen can significantly reduce teething pain and promote a happier baby. This can also cut down on any small fever a baby might be running due to teething. As a baby grows more accustomed to teething, they usually begin to teethe with less discomfort. It is normally during the first and second year when teething pain is most likely to emerge. On the other hand, some children appear to get through the teething phase with minimal discomfort, and may merely need to be held, distracted or cuddled.


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Discuss this Article

Post 9

The teething ring for Gummee Glove can only be cold sterilized -- it says so on the packaging -- hence it melting when you placed it in the heat steriliser!

Post 8

Breastmilk popsicles! The Gummee Glove is a total waste of money, doesn't fit properly and the detachable ring melted in the sterilizer.

Post 7

The teething mittens from Canada did not work very well and I don't think they are properly safety tested. Gummee Glove is awesome though. have you seen those? They come with a detachable teething ring, can be worn on babies hand like a glove and has lovely little teethers attached. No more dropping teethers from the push chair! My baby loves it.

Post 6

Another great teething product for young teethers is waterproof teething mittens found online.

Post 5

Freezing one end of a wet wash cloth and giving it to the baby to suck on seems to do trick for us. Freezing only one end allowed our baby to hold on to the other end. Other methods which seemed to produce decent results included: sipping cold yogurt, eating hard toast or munching a slice of apple. Lastly, the most effective thing for us was drinking cold kefir, which our little one started enjoying somewhere between 18 and 24 months.

Post 4

We use a Baltic Amber necklace on our daughter and it has helped her teething pain tremendously. Apparently in Europe it is very common to use these types of necklaces instead of medicinal treatments.

Post 3

I can recommend an amber teething necklace. Our daughter was an absolute nightmare with her teeth until we tried this. She has been wearing it since she was eight months old and we haven't looked back since. I never take hers off. She sleeps with it on, too.

I have heard from a few people who take their little one's necklaces off at night and they all say that they still get sleepless nights due to teething. I think that they should be worn 24 hours a day. I feel quite happy that they are not a choking hazard.

The necklace has a low breaking strain so if it did get caught on something (an unlikely occurrence), then it would snap. If it were to snap for any reason, each bead has been double knotted on, so that they wouldn't all fall off. I got mine from a Latvian Amber Store. it was $14.50, so not expensive at all.

Post 2

Really helpful - especially the frozen wash cloth idea. My 10 month old has been so easy to care for until she started teething and now she is so tetchy.

She doesn't want to be cuddled or played with - she just cries and cries which we find so hard to deal with. I give her calpol which helps and anbesol which seems to give a small amount of relief but teethers don't seem to do much to help. I'll try the frozen flannels and see how we get on. Bless her.

Post 1

thank you for this article. i now have several ways to help my little boy go through the teething stage he's in right really breaks my heart to see him cry every time he needs to bite on something to soothe the pain he's having..

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