Health

6 Ways to Tackle Terrible Teething

[Image - Ryan McGuire]
Written by Sam Skelding

Try out these simple tips for soothing a teething tot.

For some the teething milestone passes by in a blink of an eye and aside from their baby looking to chew everything in sight and being a little more grizzly than usual, it’s a relatively painless experience.
For others however, 39% of parents according to a recent study*, teething is the most distressing ailment they have to take on. Not only is their baby in discomfort from new and emerging pearlies, but with symptoms including everything from swollen and sensitive gums to dribbling rash and trouble sleeping, trying to provide relief can be just as stressful for mums and dads.
If you’re currently mired in the latter situation, check out these six handy hints to help soothe your teething baby:

1. Get the diagnosis right.

Babies can be extra fussy for a number of reasons, so first make sure that teething really is the problem. Look for any teeth emerging by running a clean finger along the gum line to feel for any small ridges. Other key signs to look out for include irritability, excessive dribbling, visible pain, red cheeks and of course, a desire to bite or chew anything they encounter. If you are concerned about any symptoms or notice a fever, you should consult your doctor.

2. Give them something to chew.

A clean teething ring or a specialist teething toy that has been sterilised is ideal. Otherwise, consider a teething biscuit which is hard enough to chew but won’t break. Always check any toys for choking risks before handing them over to your baby.

3. Run a clean finger very gently over sore gums.

This may seem like a basic thing to do but the gentle pressure might help to soothe the pain.

4. Try putting your little one into a warm bath.

Anything that works to calm your baby down is a positive step and after the bath, try giving them a gentle massage with baby oil.

5. Use the power of cold.

Keep teething toys in the fridge to help soothe gums and create a numbing effect. You could also try giving them a cold flannel, ice lollies or a cold carrot/cucumber to chew. Another useful option is a cold bottle of water or milk which helps to replenish their fluid levels when dribbling is excessive.

6. Teething gels and granules.

For babies over three months old, there are a variety of useful teething gels and granules available on the market to try out. Something like Nelsons® Teetha® Teething Granules is available at most pharmacies and can help to reduce symptoms including tender gums, rosy cheeks and dribbling. If your baby is under four months old, always talk to your pharmacist or GP before using any products.

*Study by Nelsons Teetha