If baby is moodier, fussier, and drool-ier than usual this month, don’t worry, you haven’t entered the Twilight Zone. It’s just teething time. Those tiny teeth sprouting in your kiddo’s mouth are no cake walk – for them or you. While you can’t take their pain away (get used to it, this is the first of MANY times you’ll be helpless to your child's struggles), you can restore a little sanity while those chompers grow in.
The easiest, most hands-on approach? Give your baby a gentle gum massage with your clean fingers. Just as you might rub a sore shoulder, a little pressure helps soothe your baby’s inflamed mouth. Remember – easy does it! And since pressure helps the most, your wee one will want to bite down on anything in reach. Give them plenty of (safe) things to chew on like silicone-based, non-toxic rubber, or teething toys, bottle nipples, and pacifiers. You can take it up a notch by popping these items in the fridge or freezer for a nice cooling sensation. Some parents like to make breastmilk, yogurt, or fruit puree popsicles, while others swear by freezing a wet, textured washrag and letting their baby chomp away. Get creative with any combination of 1) something bite-able, 2) something chilled, and 3) something that won’t be a choking hazard!
If all else fails, your pediatrician can recommend some baby pain meds. Right now, it’s all about what works to calm your little love’s pain (and give you an ounce of relief, too).
Remember that snuggles, warm bubble baths, and never-ending games of peekaboo can be a nice distraction for a fussy, teething baby. Soon their sore mouth will be a thing of the past and you can fully enjoy your baby’s toothy grins while they ham it up for the camera.
PRO HACK: Add a bandana or bib to your baby’s outfit to catch the drool more easily. Just remember to treat their chin and lips with a gentle moisturizer as often as you can to help avoid a rash or chapped skin. (Hello Bello's Everywhere Balm is a great option to use!)
SUPER PRO HACK: If you’re introducing foods, freeze up large chunks of fruit like mango, bananas, or apples for something cold and nutritious that they can nibble and gnaw.