It can be very exciting to see your baby’s first teeth come in, and also a little bit scary! On the one hand, it is one of the first reminders to parents that their child is growing up faster than they realize. On the other hand, the process can be painful for your baby and it is frustrating for parents to figure out how exactly to deal with it. The problems surrounding teething pains have been around since ancient times and before, so luckily humanity has some experience in how to make the process easier. Here are some tried and true remedies to help your infant through any teething pains they may be having.
Massaging the Gums
Adults know the relief that can result from a back massage. Luckily, massages can be just as soothing for an infant’s gums as they are for sore backs, and you won’t need to go through years of training to make it effective! Clean your hands thoroughly before using one finger to rub any tender spots gently. You could also use the same technique with a tiny piece of wet gauze to massage the tender areas.
Numb the Pain
Before the teeth erupt through the gums, you can numb teething pains with your typical everyday spoon. Chill a small spoon in the refrigerator (do not use a freezer box), then gently use the rounded part of the spoon and apply to the gums to help numb away the pain.
Teething rings are the most common modern solution to helping ease teething pains. They also serve as a form of entertainment and distraction for your child. If you decide to use a teething ring for your child, choose a ring made of firm rubber as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP also recommends that you do not pick a teething ring with liquid as it could leak into your child’s mouth. Finally, don’t freeze the teething rings – they can become hard enough to damage your baby’s tender gums.
DON’T: Use Products with Benzocaine
It used to be common for parents to apply the topical painkiller benzocaine to remedy teething pains, but the FDA warns against giving this anesthetic to children under the age of 2. Not only does it wash out of a baby’s mouth too quickly to be effective, but it is also linked to methemoglobinemia, a serious blood disorder.
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