Not every baby will teethe the same. My daughter has been teething since she was three months old. We have just hit the peak of teething at seven months old. She is chewing on everything in sight, drooling, fussy and up at all hours of the night. I have learned a few tricks along the way to help soothe a teething baby and recognize signs of early teething.
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Is My Baby Teething?
Parents may confuse teething with regular baby behavior. At three to four months of age, babies discover their hands and feet and they love to chew on them. Now just because they are chewing on their hands and feet does not mean they are teething yet. Take a clean finger and rub along your babies gum line. If you feel raised bumps or noticed their gums are swollen, your baby is teething! Lucky you!
Teething Symptoms To Watch For
- Excess drool/drool rash around mouth and neck area
- Biting and chewing
- Low grade fever
- Pull at ears
- Cheek and face rubbing
- Disruptive sleep
- Refusing food
How To Soothe A Teething Baby
I never realized trying to find a teether would be so difficult. When Scarlett started teething she was around three months old and most teethers were to big for her mouth. I had to get creative fast before I lost my sanity.
I have so many teethers. You name it I probably have it. Silicone rings, mittens, toys with teethers attached, gel teethers, and crinkle toys to name a few. I would recommend buying one or two at a time and see if your baby takes a liking to any. The most popular for us have been the gel teethers, Nuby Nananubs Banana and crinkle toys.
The Nuby Nananubs Banana is perfect for early teethers with a small mouth. It may be called a “toothbrush” but it worked wonders for us early on.
The Nuby Ice Gel Baby Teether Keys are another great product. I will put these in the fridge for an hour and my daughter is a happy camper after a few chews. Bumkins also makes wonder silicone teethers that are SUPER cute!
For a quick fix, try a chilled washcloth. My daughter has not been a fan of this, but other babies love it!
As a mom, I do not like to give my daughter medication if she does not need it. During the day, I will only give Scarlett Tylenol if she is very unsettled and has other symptoms of teething. At six months old, Motrin is safe to give for pain relief and works up to six hours. Motrin may not be as easy on your babies tummy, keep this in mind if giving at night. Teething baby with a tummy ache will make for a long night.
When my daughter sees the Zarbee’s Gum Massage Gel, she gets super excited!
I have also seen moms giving essential oils for teething relief. I have not tried this, however, always check with your pediatrician.
Disruptive Sleep From Teething
By far this is the most difficult time for a teething baby. During the day, you can distract your child from the pain with playtime or their favorite shows. I have found giving a warm bottle with Tylenol or Motrin has helped Scarlett to settle down faster at night. Each night is the same routine. Puree foods and a warm bottle, change diaper, cuddle in a rocking chair with her favorite blanket and read her a book.
If your baby is waking at night in pain, give them a cold teething toy or pacifier with a small amount of soothing gel applied.
Sleep Training With A Teething Baby
Parents like to start sleep training around six months of age, however, this is when most babies start teething. It can be a frustrating time for both of you. If your baby is too unsettled to start sleep training it is ok. I am personally not a fan of cry it out (CIO), but if it works for your family do it!
In the early stages of teething, I would pick Scarlett up and rock her back to sleep. I have now started to not pick her up at night unless she is very upset. I give her a pacifier or cold teether and let her fall back asleep naturally. On nights she is unsettled I will lay down in front of her crib until she goes back to sleep. Yes, I am one of those moms. The floor is actually not uncomfortable.
Once you figure out what works best for your family, everyone will sleep better at night. It takes time and patience.
Is Your Teething Baby Refusing Foods Or Bottles?
Not only is your baby not sleeping as well at night, but they may start to refuse food or bottles during the day due to discomfort. Due to excess drool, you may notice your baby having runny bowel movements or diarrhea. Diaper rash may occur more during this time. I found Flanders Buttocks Ointment to work the best for my baby.
Read my post Best Fast Acting Diaper Creams, for my reviews on the top diaper cream brands.
If you are concerned your child is not getting enough fluids each day, contact your pediatrician. Depending on the age of your baby, they may recommend giving Pedialyte.
This is perfect for older babies on solids. Slice a few wedges of your babies favorite fruit or veggies and place in the fridge. When your baby starts to show symptoms of teething, grab a slice for baby to chew on. Great for on the go and use in mesh food feeders. A popsicle made from their favorite fruits or store bought makes for a great cold treat, but be prepared for a mess. Be sure to keep Pedialyte Freezer Pops on hand for a quick on-the-go fix.
Cuddles and Patience
Teething does not last forever, it may seem like it at the time. Your little one will want extra cuddles during this time. Be patient with them. You may have to change your daily routine until the teething subsides. If your child is fussier at night with teething, try switching up their bedtime routine.
Our bedtime routine is:
- Eat – Purees and bottle
- Read a book
- Cuddle and rock to sleep with sound machine
If you notice your baby is very relaxed after their bath, move bath time to the end of the bedtime routine. Same with feedings, Scarlett will fall asleep sometimes after her evening bottle. Remember it’s all about finding what works best for you and your baby.
Teething can be a difficult time for the whole family. Remember this stage will not last forever and teething will get better. Hang in there!
To help keep your little one busy during the day, I have included a list of our favorite toys!