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.
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 acetaminophen.
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 baby being uncomfortable before the new dose starts working.
It is also easier on a baby’s sensitive stomach to rotate the medicines.
If the idea of giving your baby a child friendly formula created from an adult medication is uncomfortable there are other options. Homeopathic tablets have become very popular and are quite effective. Hyland’s brand teething tablets are small white pills with no active ingredients, but many moms sing their praises to anyone who asks.
These pills can be very effective. When asked pediatricians say these little pills are more sugar than anything else, but that is the point and beauty of homeopathy. The trick is in proper dosing. When choosing a more conventional painkiller a spoonful is enough to get baby through the next 4 hours or so. Homeopathic pills require more frequent dosing to get the relief rolling.
Gum numbing gels are another medication based option for 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.
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 baby all day, to this end swaddling 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 out of doors, or even change the usual blanket used in the crib or under baby’s belly at tummy time. These simple changes can be distracting enough to make 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 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!