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How can I soothe a teething baby?

Teething baby's first teeth

Teething pain can be awful for both babies and parents; it can be more difficult to settle our little ones and it can make you feel helpless to think of them in pain. To help you and your little ones during these tough times I've pulled together the tops tips for teething. There is lots advice out there and many different things to try, I have grouped the best known methods together to create my top 5 teething relief methods; Teething Toys, Massage, Food, Gels & Powders and Medication. Read on to find out more about each one.

Teething Toys - There are so many different options for teething toys out there, but they all do the same job in the end; giving something for babies to chew on to provide pressure relief to the gums. A top tip for teething toys is to store them in the fridge so they are nice and cool, which helps soothe baby's gums even more.

Baby massage to soothe teething pain

Massage - Massage is a simple, effective and free way to help your baby's teething pain. You can do it anytime, anywhere, you don't need to have remembered to pack anything and you can use it alongside any other methods you may be using. To use massage to help with teething, firstly take your index fingers or thumbs and place them in the middle of baby's upper lip, then using a firm but gentle pressure stroke outwards along the gum line on the outside of baby's mouth; repeating on the bottom lip as well. You can repeat these strokes several times. This method works by the pressure sending signals to the brain which override the pain signals, thus soothing your baby. You don't need to have massage oil to practice this technique, however if you do use oil make sure to only use a small amount so as to not overload the delicate skin on babies face and to minimize ingestion. Also ensure you use a natural based massage-grade oil such as sunflower or coconut oil, not only are these the best oils for massage overall but if your baby does ingest any of the oil, these are safe for baby.

Gels & Powders - The NHS states that there is a lack of evidence to show that teething gels and traditional herbal remedy powders are effective, however many parents swear by them, myself included. Teething gels contain a mild local anaesthetic which works to numb the gums thus easing pain; whereas teething powders are said to rapidly form a protective barrier on sore and tender gums, helping to soothe the symptoms associated with teething. Most teething gels and powders are only available from pharmacies, if you speak to a pharmacist before buying you can ensure that you are getting the best product for your baby.

Carrot and cucumber sticks for teething baby

Food - If your baby is 6 months or older and weaning, you can try giving them food to chew on to help with the pain. Raw carrot sticks or slices of peeled apple can be great for babies to chew down on or soft fruit like melon or slices of cucumber kept cold in the fridge can be very soothing on gums. You could also try giving your baby a crust of bread or a breadstick. As with all foods when weaning, ensure to follow the guidance for safe weaning.

Medication - If your baby is in a lot of pain with teething, you may want to give them a painkilling medicine. The NHS advises that paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given to relieve teething symptoms in babies from 3 months of age; please ensure that you buy the correct medicine range for your baby's age group and follow the instructions accordingly. Medication can be very effective when babies are suffering a lot with teething and especially with those bigger teeth.

Teething can make babies unsettled, unhappy and just not themselves; fortunately there are lots of different methods and tips to try to soothe and help your little ones. I would also highly recommend lots of cuddles, skin to skin and general baby massage strokes, as all of these things help to comfort and soothe your baby in general, they are also very comforting for parents too! Also, make sure to keep lots of bibs to hand to help deal with the dribbles and nappy cream to help soothe any nappy rash, this is very common in teething babies due to the higher acidity of their saliva at this time. It can be a tough time for us parents as well, it's never easy looking after an upset baby or thinking of our little ones in pain; so make sure to look after yourself too and try to remember this will pass, I promise they get these pesky teeth through eventually!

If you have found these tips useful please share this blog with other new mums and parents. If you're interested in finding out more about baby massage and the different strokes or if you'd like to book onto a class in the Hull & East Yorkshire area, check out my website:

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