It’s quite dreadful when your baby finally starts teething.
Yes, it’s a major milestone but not exactly a fun one!
You know you’re in for some unpredictable days and nights of dealing with some crankiness, crying, and sleep deprivation, while still having to do some work, chores, errands, and such.
So how do you survive a teething baby? How do you ease their teething pain?
What are the things you can do to help your teething baby?
And what teething remedies must you avoid?
I have the answers in this article and more.
But let’s check first some typical teething symptoms.
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Typical Baby Teething Symptoms
- Excessive Drooling
Teething can make your baby produce more saliva than usual.
Make them wear a bib all the time and keep their chin as dry as possible.
Teething causes the mouth to produce excess saliva that unfortunately will dribble all down your baby’s chin.
Try to keep that area as dry as possible, and use bibs to keep their chest and clothes dry.
- Irritability & Fussiness
There are a lot of reasons why your baby might be crying and one of them can be because they’re teething!
The most painful part of teething is when the tooth hasn’t come out yet. So it’s understandable if your baby is having a hard time dealing with the pain and getting all fussy and irritable.
- Swollen Gums
If you’re not sure why your baby is drooling and fussing so much, check their gums.
If you see that it’s red, and looks sore and swollen, then there’s a high chance that they’re teething.
- Difficulty Sleeping
The pain might be waking up your baby a couple of times at night, which isn’t fun for everyone, especially for sleep-deprived parents.
- Ear Pulling/ Cheek Rubbing
Another sign that your baby is teething is when they’re pulling on their ears or rubbing their cheeks.
That could also mean that they might have an ear infection, but pulling on their ears means that the teething pain has spread to their cheeks and ears.
- Mouthing Objects or Your Hand
If you noticed the above symptoms plus your baby chewing and gnawing on toys and even your hand, they could also be teething.
That’s their way of relieving the pressure and pain caused by their teeth trying to push out of their gums.
- Red Cheeks
Another teething symptom is your baby having red cheeks.
The inflammation in your baby’s gums might cause their cheeks to look red.
It can also be caused by your baby’s drool drying on their skin, causing it redness and irritation.
If your baby has rashes on their neck and chest, that might be caused by constant dribble that can irritate their skin.
Excessive, constant drooling and dribbling is a big teething symptoms.
Quick Tips To Survive a Teething Baby
Sleep in shifts
Your baby’s sleep will be disrupted. It might take them hours to go back to sleep and you might need to hold them to do so.
Which you can’t do every day, especially if it’s taking days or weeks for their teeth to erupt from their gums!
So plan to sleep in shifts. Discuss the schedule with your spouse and make it clear who’s supposed to be on baby teething duty during certain hours or days.
Ask/ Hire help
Ask your in-laws, or relatives, or even hire a night nurse to help look after the baby.
Give them meds
Don’t feel bad if the first teething remedy you can think of is giving your baby medicine.
A lot of parents have done this and as long as you’re doing it properly, following the recommended dose and such, you don’t need to feel guilty about it.
Getting more sleep is more important than having a clean house or freshly cooked meals.
You’re in survival mode so do anything to make things easier for your family.
Order takeaways, go for grocery deliveries, use a robot vacuum and just choose anything convenient to survive the teething phase.
Distract, distract, distract
Now is not the time to be strict with TV time nor be OC with cleaning the house and keeping all the toys neat and organized.
If some entertaining, educational show is distracting your baby from their teething, let them have it.
If their mountain of toys is keeping their mind off the pain of their teeth erupting, then let them play with it.
9 Ways To Soothe a Teething Baby
Here are some teething remedies to try to help soothe your baby’s pain:
Make sure to wash your hands first then gently rub or massage your baby’s gum with your fingers, washcloth, or gauze.
Doing this can ease their teething pain and relieve their sore, swollen gums.
Teething toys or food
The most convenient way to help your teething baby is by giving them some teething toys or food.
There are a lot of nontoxic teething toys available, such as these:
You can also chill certain food such as:
Then give them to your baby to gnaw on.
Just make sure to cut them appropriately, as they can become a choking hazard.
Or put them in food feeders or mesh pacifiers, like the ones below and let them cool in the fridge:
Ice, yogurt pops, and frozen milk popsicles are also great to give your baby some relief from teething.
Some moms have tried filling this pacifier with their breast milk, which helped reduce their baby’s teething pain.
If you don’t want your baby chewing on teething toys, you can try cold washcloths instead.
Get some clean ones, roll them up, wet half of them, and place them in the fridge.
Let your kid chew on it for some relief.
Let them chew on you
Some babies prefer to gnaw on their parent’s fingers or even mommy’s boobs.
If you can tolerate it and it doesn’t hurt, then let them have a go.
This can be your last resort especially if you want to try natural teething remedies.
But a lot of parents have actually recommended using medicines straight away such as Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, Infant Ibuprofen, etc., especially during bedtime.
Just remember to always ask your pediatrician about the recommended dose for your little one.
You can also provide some suppository Tylenol if your baby doesn’t like its taste.
Some parents have also resorted to numbing gels or creams but take note of its health risk.
Lots of distractions
Find ways to take their mind off their painful gums and erupting teeth.
Give them lots of playtimes, go outside and let them explore.
Read them a story and just help them focus on other things that will help to make them feel better.
Wipe their drool
Try to lessen their discomfort by constantly wiping their dribble.
Dried-up saliva can irritate your baby’s skin so let them wear a bib all the time to protect their neck and chest and frequently wipe away their drool using a clean cloth.
If your baby is refusing to eat, try giving them something cold to bite on first.
This can help relieve the pain that they’re feeling, and hopefully will allow them to eat their meals.
Help them sleep
Your baby’s sleep might be disrupted by the constant pain they’re feeling in their gums.
Try to help them sleep better by providing an optimal sleeping environment – a quiet room with the right temperature, blackout curtains, and white noise.
Find out more ways to help your baby sleep longer right here.
Avoid These Teething Remedies
- Teething Necklaces/Bracelets
They pose a choking hazard and even the CDC reported about a baby who had lead poisoning from a homeopathic bracelet.
- Liquid Teething Rings
Your little one might accidentally bite into it and swallow its substance, which is a health risk.
- Teething gels
Those that contain benzocaine are associated with methemoglobinemia, which is a disorder that reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.
- Homeopathic Remedies
They are not evaluated and not approved by the FDA.
More Tips to Survive Your Baby Teething
Fever and diarrhea aren’t indicators of teething though, according to researchers.
Don’t give those amber necklaces, they are huge risks of choking and strangulation for your baby.
Give your baby lots of hugs and cuddles, they need it!
FAQ on How To Survive Baby Teething
What stage of teething hurts the most?
For kids 25 to 33 months, stage 5 is usually the state of teething that hurts the most.
This stage includes molars, and the biggest teeth, which can be the most painful for most children.
How painful can teething be for babies?
Teething can be quite painful for babies, as they do not know pain management so they wouldn’t know how to deal with it without their parent’s help.
Plus, it’s just painful to have some teeth trying to come out of your gums!
What can you do for extreme teething?
You can try the following for extreme teething – a combination of teething toys, gum massage, chilled fruits, your baby’s favorite cold food, lots of distractions, and cuddles.
How long does teething last?
Teething can last for a few days or weeks, depending on your kid.
When do babies get teeth?
Most babies will likely get their first tooth between 4 months to 7 months old.
Final Thoughts on How to Survive A Teething Baby
Surviving a teething baby can be extremely hard but it’s so much more difficult for your poor baby.
Just remember that this is just a phase. It’s not forever, fortunately!
This too shall pass so just manage your expectations, try to cope with the sleep deprivation while helping your baby through this teething phase.