Guide to Teething Symptoms and Remedies
Your extra-cranky baby could be showing teething symptoms. Learn what to look for and find the best teething remedies for little mouths. Plus, check out 9 great teething toys
Ways to soothe the pain
You may need to try a few methods to see what works best for your child:
A wet, frozen washcloth (leave one end dry so she can get a good grip). The thick fabric feels good, and the icy cold numbs sore gums. A teething toy that's been chilled in the refrigerator also works, but frozen toys may be too harsh on an infant's sensitive gums.
Massage. If the tooth is still deep in the gum and hasn't formed a painful bruise, counterpressure or friction where it's about to erupt can work wonders. Try rubbing the area with your clean finger (bare or wrapped in a washcloth).
Infant acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good bets for temporary pain relief, as are topical oral anesthetics, as long as you don't exceed the recommended dosage.
Distraction. Teething pain is like headache pain -- it causes chronic, low-grade discomfort. You can often soothe your child simply by getting her mind off the pain. Give her more one-on-one time or offer her a new toy. And don't underestimate the healing power of touch: A little extra cuddling on the sofa may be all that's needed to take a child's mind off her mouth.
Teething tricks you shouldn't try
Hard foods like zwieback crackers, toasted or frozen bagels, carrots, and frozen bananas. They may appeal to a baby's intense urge to chew, but when gnawed on long enough they can come apart in choke-hazardous chunks.
Rubbing a little brandy on swollen gums. Even tiny amounts of alcohol can be poisonous to a baby.