Even the most serene Mom can dread the times when her baby is teething. Sore and swollen gums, fussiness, excessive drooling, lack of appetite, fever and occasional diarrhea are common symptoms. Oftentimes, babies who have learned to sleep through the night wake repeatedly in tears and discomfort.
The big question for Moms is how to soothe baby and relieve his or her discomfort. Here are some tips:
- Give your child something to chew on, an appropriate teether or a washcloth that has been chilled in the refrigerator. If your child is eating solids, chilled applesauce or yogurt are recommended by some pediatricians.
- Rub your finger along his or her gums for a couple of minutes for temporary relief. Remember to wash your hands first.
- Generations of Moms have given their children Zwieback, a hard teething cracker, to chew on.
If these methods don’t provide any relief, some doctors suggest infant acetaminophen. But they stress that you must check with your doctor on the correct dosage. Never give an infant or a toddler aspirin — aspirin has been linked to serious disease in the young.
Generally, doctors are not enthusiastic about teething gels. If you want to try one, discuss it with your doctor first.
Most important, keep a close eye on baby. Don’t allow him or her to chew on electrical cords or window sills. Most teethers don’t present choking hazards, but some do. Please see our e-book “Rethinking Natural Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces” for our best advice on this issue.
Finally, always remember that baby will grow out of this undeniably uncomfortable stage eventually.