You’re just getting to grips with a routine for your baby and you’re zoned in with knowing exactly what makes them tick, and along comes teething. Throwing everything into the air, or seemingly happening without you noticing, teething can seem unfathomable.
Sometimes a little one needs all the teething tips under the sun, and sometimes a new pearly white erupts without you being aware. It all depends on the child and the tooth. But one thing is for sure, when teething strikes with a vengeance, you’ll need the best arsenal of teething soothing tips.
Here we’ll cover all the tried and tested teething tips for babies and toddlers. We know it’s tricky because it can seem that everyone, from the well-meaning grandparent to next door’s great aunt, has an opinion on the best tips to help a teething baby. The reality is that part of the process is about seeing what works for your little one.
What to expect with teething?
Most babies have begun teething by six months, as this is when the first milk teeth at the bottom front appear. Some babies will start teething earlier and others will be later.
Signs of teething include drooling, irritability, chewing and mouthing objects as well as sore and red gums. You may see a bluish blister looking lump, especially with the molars. There may also be a slight increase in your little one’s temperature, but a fever is not a symptom of teething. Some babies experience loose bowel movements when they’re teething.
It’s not much fun for your little one – or for you – so, let’s crack on with the best teething tips for your baby or toddler.
Tips for teething babies and toddlers
1. Rub those gums
A lot of teething discomfort is thought to be caused by the pressure of the tooth pushing through sore gums. Like you’d rub something that’s sore, rubbing baby’s gums can bring relief. This is one of the best teething tips for four month old babies, and other young babies. They can do very little to help themselves, aside from picking up and choosing a teething toy. Simply use your finger to gently rub and massage the sore gum.
2. Use a teething ring or toy
Buy a few different teething rings and toys and help your baby or toddler to chew on this. One of the best teething tips is to pop the teething toy in the fridge so that it’s nice and cool for them. Never give your little one a teething ring from the freezer as this can burn.
Take care with teething necklaces to ensure they are safe and not a choking or strangulation risk.
3. Let them chew
Little ones can cleverly figure out that chewing brings some relief. Perhaps they like to chew on a muslin or sleeve? Just make sure that they are only chewing on non-toxic and safe items. If they have been weaned, give them foods that allow them to get in a good chomp. Raw fruit and veg are excellent for teething.
Good baby teething tips and tricks include popping some chunks of fruit or veg in the fridge first so that they are soothingly cool. Bread and breadsticks can also bring some relief. Some baby biscuits can be suitable, but take care with the sugar content – you don’t want to unnecessarily damage your baby’s new teeth!
4. Keep their gums cool
Coolness really is one of the best infant teething pain relief tips and is much easier with older babies and toddlers. Make them some teething-friendly ice lollies and let them safely chomp and cool down their own gums.
During the day, distraction can work remarkably well for some babies. Staying stimulated and engaged helps distract them from the discomfort and helps turn the grumps to smiles. Try doing things that your little one loves, from a day scouring for pebbles at the beach with your toddler to a favourite game of peek-a-boo with your six month old. A cuddle and some gentle soothing can help too. Sing, play and be their number one teething aid.
6. Choose an over the counter remedy
From teething gels and powders to careful use of paracetamol suspension, if teething is particularly tough then over the counter remedies might work. One of the best teething tips at night is to ensure you have paracetamol ready to go, in case their sleep is disturbed.
7. Keep them dry
Teething rashes and soreness around the mouth can occur because of the excessive drooling. Ensure you keep your little one’s face as dry as possible to prevent this.
8. Ease the bite
Teething toddlers, and even younger babies, can bite in an effort to soothe their painful gums. Directed appropriately at teething toys and food, this is fine. It’s not helpful if the biting is aimed at mum or a passing sibling! Follow our advice on what to do if your baby starts biting while breastfeeding.
9. Be kind to yourself and them
Teething is one of the developmental milestones that can affect sleep and it can lead to cranky little ones and stressed parents. Take it easy and be kind to yourself as you do what needs to be done to get through teething nights and days.
10. Remember this too shall pass!
It’s not a tip that will directly help your little one, but it’ll help you weather the teething storm. Like everything, the teething bouts pass, even when they feel like they go on for weeks.
Remember that as soon as your baby has teeth, it’s time to start taking care of them. This means all of the teething tips at night shouldn’t involve food. You need to keep their little teeth clean and once they are brushed at bedtime, they shouldn’t be eating anything again until morning (milk is fine until night feeds stop).
Teething can be challenging, but hopefully with these teething tips, you’ll be able to bring relief to your little one.