Babies (0-12 mos)


Child Development


What Are Your Options For Treating Teething Pain?

There are many safe medication and non-medication options that can be used effectively to calm and comfort the pain of teething.

What Are Your Options For Treating Teething Pain?

When a teething baby is so uncomfortable, disconsolate, and just miserable any parent would want to take the pain away, yet feel at a loss as to how.

There is so much banter about consulting a doctor regarding the medicating of babies that even pain killers formulated and marketed for babies give parents pause, leaving them to wonder if this is really the safest choice for their teething baby.

Rest assured that there are many safe options that can be used effectively to calm and comfort the pain of teething.

Treatment Options For Teething Pain

Medication Options

There are many medications that can be used to reduce the pain of teething. Pediatricians recommend rotating between a combination of medicines, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.

The rotation is not just so makers of both medications owe pediatricians a kick-back. Rotating between these different pain killers has a definite benefit for your child. The active ingredients in each preparation are different, so by switching back and forth the body does not become tolerant to either medication. Rotating also means doses can overlap slightly, thus ensuring that the medication does not wear off and result in your baby being uncomfortable before the new dose starts working.

It is also easier on a baby’s sensitive stomach to rotate the medicines.


Gum numbing gels are another medication-based option for a teething baby.

These gels are applied right to the gums and provide a numbing sensation. Some babies prefer gels, others are annoyed, but the price is low enough that it warrants a test run at the very least.

A Quick Note About Medication For Your Baby

Before giving your baby any kind of medication, it is important that you talk to their doctor. Every baby is different, and some babies with special circumstances may not be able to take certain medications. Your doctor will also be able to guide you to the correct medication and the correct dosage.

If medication isn't something that you fancy, a doctor can also provide alternative solutions that are known to work. Never try a homeopathic remedy without first discussing it with your baby's doctor. Many homeopathic remedies have no scientific research backing them. They're all claims with no substance.

Talking to your baby's doctor can also help alleviate whatever concerns you have about giving a baby medication. They can provide their professional opinion on the safety of a given medication, putting your mind at ease. You'll feel better knowing that a trusted medical professional gave you the okay to use a certain medicine.

Finally, make sure to contact your baby's doctor immediately if you notice any negative side effects after giving your baby medication. It's important to be knowledgeable on the potential side effects before dosing. While they are rare, they can still happen. Monitor your baby after giving them any medication.

Non-medicated Soothers

Some parents just don’t like the idea of any medication, and that is just fine; there is still much that can be done to soothe a teething baby’s pain away.


When the discomfort of teething hits, some babies experience an increased need to suck. This increased suckling helps them to self-soothe. If nursing 24-7 is not an option, then it might be time to think about introducing a pacifier, if baby doesn’t already take one.

There are many binky type products that are designed to hold cold or frozen water. This adds an additional aspect of pain management.

Hold Me/Swaddle Me

Sometimes all baby needs is a bit of extra love in warm arms and the rocking chair. Most don’t have the luxury of snuggling their baby all day; to this end, swaddling your baby, even if they no longer like it at night, and putting them in a swing can work wonders.

New Toys (Distraction)

Babies are able to put mind over matter when adequately distracted. Rotate out the toys so they aren’t always playing with the same old stuff. Put baby in the stroller and go for a walk outdoors, or even change the usual blanket used in the crib or under your baby’s belly at tummy time. These simple changes can be distracting enough to make a baby forget about the discomfort of teething to some degree.

Cold, Cold, Cold

Teething babies love to put things in their mouths. Cold objects provide more relief than others. Put a clean, damp washcloth in the freezer for a few minutes then let your baby chew away.

There are many toys and teething rings designed to be frozen. Try tossing them in the freezer at night and see how your baby likes the cold teether in the morning.

Rub My Gums!

Last, but certainly not least, many babies find instant relief when mom or dad gently rubs their sore, swollen gums. A finger or a baby tooth brush can be used and the effort is usually rewarded with a big, thankful grin!

The content of this article should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before making any decisions that impact your health or your family's health.

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