Teething Solutions for Painful Gums
A baby generally starts teething around 6 months of age, but it’s normal to feel the beginnings of teeth emerging from about 3 months or even as late as 10 months. For some babies, teething has little to no effect on behaviour, but for others they can become quite fussy around teething time. This may result from swelling and soreness caused by the ‘cutting’ of a tooth. Symptoms typically caused by teething include hot, rosy cheeks, excessive drooling, red gums and gum rubbing. You may notice your baby becoming more irritable and difficult to settle during this time as well. However, it’s important to recognise whether the discomfort they are experiencing is a result of teething or if there is another cause. Symptoms of teething usually appear a few days before a tooth erupts and can last for a few more days afterwards. So, if your baby is experiencing symptoms longer than a few days with no sign of a tooth emerging, consult with your doctor. Once you have determined their discomfort is as a result of teething, you can try these techniques to relieve some of the pain:
Some extra attention and cuddles can help to reassure your baby if they become distressed. It can also provide a distraction from the pain and discomfort they are experiencing with teething.
Cool a teething ring
Teethers can be kept in the fridge ready for when teeth attack. Always check the directions of a toy first, and refrain from placing items in the freezer as this can make them too cold. Try to look for teethers that come with a plastic handle, so your baby’s hands won’t get cold.
Teething rusks are a great little snack that can help soothe your baby by applying some counter pressure on their sore gums. Rusks are specially designed so that your baby can bite down without breaking or splintering the rusk.
Chill a washcloth
A chilled washcloth for baby to gnaw on can provide some light pressure on sore gums and the cold also acts as a nice distraction to take baby’s mind of the pain.
Give your bub some chilled food
Chilled fruit puree or yoghurt can provide some welcome relief for painful gums. Alternatively, if your baby is eating solids, some chilled cucumber or carrot can help as well. Just make sure the pieces are large enough to reduce the risk of choking and that baby is supervised while eating.
If you’re breastfeeding, the skin to skin contact can be comforting if your baby is unhappy. If you are worried they might use your nipple as a teething toy, try rubbing their sore gums before and after each feed. Remember, teething symptoms should only last for a few days before and after the tooth appears. If none of these strategies work and your baby still seems to be uncomfortable, consult your doctor for advice before administering any pain relief or teething gels.
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