How to help your baby cope with teething

A baby’s teething process typically begins in between 3 and 12 months of age. While this stage of development can be uncomfortable for babies, parents can take steps to help make the process as smooth as possible as their baby grows and develops.

Know the signs of teething

A parent’s first step in soothing their baby is knowing what teething signs to look for. Some teething symptoms may not be immediately recognizable on their own, but parents can better recognize the process when classic symptoms of teething are observed together in combination. Symptoms of teething are typically heightened during the emergence of a child’s front teeth. As a child ages, symptoms are likely to become less severe.

Drooling, irritability, chewing on solid objects, ear pulling, refusal to eat and disrupted sleep are all common signals of teething. Despite common myths, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that that fever and diarrhea are not symptoms of teething and should be reported to a health care professional.

Give your baby something to gnaw on

Teething babies often self-medicate their discomfort by putting pressure on areas of irritation. Parents can help by providing teething aids that are specifically designed to help relieve discomfort. The pressure that teething aids apply help to relive focus from areas of irritability.

Teething rings and chilled and frozen washcloths are popular parent go-tos because they are easily accessible and often deliver results. Washcloth fabric is flexible and provides comfort while the chill factor helps to provide a numbing sensation.

Every baby is unique and may respond more positively to comforting techniques than others. Some teething rings have an added vibration feature and range in materials and firmness, giving parents room for experimentation on what works best for their child.

Chill teething aids to sooth discomfort

Chilling teething aids in a refrigerator or freezer is an easy and effective way take your baby’s there to the next level. Cool temperatures will help to numb uncomfortable teething sensations.

It’s best to monitor teething aid’s freezer time if possible with the goal of a semi-firm texture. For most items, two hours is a sufficient amount of time to achieve a desired firmness. Teething aids like washcloths and rings can be frozen, but it’s important for parents to be aware that frozen items may be too harsh and add to gum irritation.

When freezing a washcloth for your baby, remember to use a clean washcloth and leave about one fourth of the washcloth dry. Some parents recommend rolling the washcloth before freezing.

For free child development support, call the Birth to Five Helpline at 877-705-KIDS (5437)
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All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.