Your sweet and smiley baby has turned cranky, clingy and weepy? Blame teething. It’s tough on them and really, really tough to watch your little one suffer through the discomfort of cutting teeth. Read on for 15 tips to help you soothe your child through the teething process.

photo: chepearroyo via Pixabay

1. Rub baby’s gums. Wash your hands, and then give your baby a little gum massage. The pressure, which will counter the pressure of the teeth breaking through, will feel good and offer your little one some relief from swollen gums.

2. Refrigerate a pacifier. Chilling a pacifier will make it even more soothing to your baby and may lightly numb the gums.

3. Trade out your jewelry for baby-safe (and baby-approved!) teething necklaces. Look great and provide relief with the supercute teething necklaces on the market. Check out our roundup of some of the most stylish teething jewelry.

Nuby Garden Fresh Fruitsicle Tray

4. Make milk popsicles. Some babies and toddlers refuse to eat while teething, most likely out of discomfort. Keep your little one fed and hydrated while soothing those gums by making milk or formula popsicles. Use BPA-free popsicle forms, like these from Nuby (above), and fill with either breastmilk or formula. Popsicles can get messy, especially as they start to melt, so slip a bib on your babe and place your child on a washable towel or blanket, or over flooring that can easily be cleaned.

5. Let baby gnaw on frozen apple chunks. Cut a large piece of apple, let it chill in the freezer for an hour or more, and offer it to your baby. As with all foods and toys that your child gums on, stay close by to make sure the apple stays intact and no pieces break off, which could present a potential choking hazard. A frozen bagel works as well.

6. Try different types of teethers. As you know, babies have preferences on lots of things, and teethers are no different. For shopping help, check out our list of top teethers, from wood and rubber options to teethers you can freeze.

photo: Ergobaby

7. Wear your baby as much as possible. If your teething tot is clingy, strap them into a structured carrier like the Ergobaby 360 (above). They’ll feel comforted being close to you, and you can still get things done. Win-win.

8. Keep baby’s face dry. While it won’t stop the gums from aching, wiping the waterfall of drool that comes with teething from your baby’s mouth, chin and cheeks helps prevent skin irritation, which can add to their discomfort.

9. Freeze a wet, textured washcloth. Moisten a textured washcloth, wring it dry, and place in the freezer before giving it to your baby. A plain washcloth will work, but terrycloth or one with ribbing will offer added relief by creating friction as baby gnaws on it.

photo: Jeong Jae Park via Pixabay

10. Administer meds. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as infant-formula acetaminophen, can take that edge off, especially when your little one is unable to sleep. But always consult your child’s pediatrician before giving your baby any medicine.

11. Refrigerate a small spoon. A spoon is something your child can hold on their own, chew on, push against their gums, and even play with to distract themselves from the pain. Keep a few spoons in the fridge so you always have one at the ready. Those new teeth can really sneak up on you.

12. Serve chilled purees. Put pureed foods in the refrigerator prior to feeding your baby so the food is cool on their gums. It will feel nice and may encourage your child to eat more.

photo: tung256 via Pixabay

14. Give your child a foot massage. Studies in reflexology have identified connections between the toes and the head and teeth. Gently massage your child’s foot while focusing on the toes.

15. Offer extra cuddles. If you’re nursing, offer the breast more than usual to ensure your baby is nourished and to provide additional comfort. Bottle feeding? Snuggle during and after feeding time.

—Jane Putnam

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