Tips to help your teething baby sleep comfortably
Getting your newborn to sleep can be plenty challenging without any further obstacles and baby teeth poking through only adds another layer of painful frustration. Finding inner strength amidst a screaming child in the middle of the night can leave you feeling hopeless, but keep in mind this is ultimately a reliable indicator of a healthy, growing child.
It’s a familiar battle to get a teething baby to sleep comfortably, but there are remedies. The teething struggle is a path many caregivers have walked before, and due to their prior experiences, sound advice is abundant. You’re not alone, and we’re here to help.
SIGNS A BABY IS TEETHING
When sharp teeth are poking through, the surface could be irritated, and their gums may show signs of redness as a result.
Naturally, when anyone is in pain, they tend to feel a bit cranky as a result. If your little one has a tougher time than usual, teething may be the reason why.
Babies may not be in the mood to eat much if their mouth is in pain, making nursing, or eating less appealing.
Teething will stimulate your child’s gums, producing more saliva. As a result, so you’ll probably notice drool hanging out of their mouths.
In some cases, infants may develop a runny nose as a result of teething. Congestion or a runny nose could be due to swallowing an excessive amount of drool because of stimulated gums.
You may notice your child biting or sucking more to relieve pressure in their gums. You can offer them a chilled teething toy or cold cloth to gnaw on for relief.
When your child’s chompers are coming through it may put some pressure on their head and ears, so they pull and tug on their ears to relieve pressure.
It may sound odd, but drool from your infant’s mouth can create a rash when it collects on their body. It can look like red bumps and also smell a bit funny as well. Not to worry, typically this goes away on its own.
TIPS TO HELP
Offer Something Cold to Chew
Animals and humans have an instinct to bite on things when they’re feeling oral pain, and cold desensitizes nerves. This is why when people are freezing cold they sometimes go numb.
Gel-core teething toys offer something for your child to chew on, and they can be refrigerated to relieve teething pain. However, don’t freeze them. Doing so can make toys hard, hurting your munchkin’s teeth. Alternatively, you can also give them a cold, clean cloth, which will work just as well.
Feed Your Baby Cold Food Before Bedtime
Just like chilled teething toys can ease your tot’s pain, cold food can do the trick as well. Soft things like yogurt, cold soup, or hummus can be great for tender gums and sore teeth. However, avoid anything that’s considerably salty, spicy, or acidic, as these can inflame their gums even more.
Pay attention to the foods they prefer and try and be compassionate during this time. Teething will inevitably be painful, and offering them foods they enjoy could make this period go a bit smoother.
Give a Gum Massage
Not on you, silly, them! Before you do this, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and check that you don’t have any sharp nails that could scratch their already sore gums.
When you lay them down for bed, gently massage their gums with your fingertip. As you do this, you’ll be able to feel where your baby’s teeth are poking through and you can focus on these areas to relieve their pain which could help them fall asleep.
Maintain a Calm Environment
Keeping with a bedtime routine and a reliable daily schedule will help your little one feel safe and secure through this painful time. Just like adults, our kids like to know what lays ahead for them as well. Teething can cause disrupted sleep, and it can help to soothe them to sleep inside a calm environment.
Getting babies into a comfortable rhythm of doing the same activities each day leading up to bedtime, can help ease teething discomfort by offering a certain level of predictability in other aspects of their life.
Try Chamomile Tea
You don’t often think of babies drinking tea, but when offered at an appropriate temperature through a bottle, it can be surprisingly soothing and safe as long as they’re over six months of age.
Chamomile provides a host of health benefits, including immunity, relaxation, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. You can give this to your child at room temperature or lukewarm through a feeding bottle.
Alternatively, you can soak a cloth in the tea and give it to your tot to gnaw. This herbal tea is also caffeine-free, so you don’t have to worry about your little monster climbing up the walls all night.
Thanks to modern medicine, if all else fails, there are options to ease your little one’s pain medically. You can offer your child a low dose of pain medication as prescribed by a pediatrician, that is suitable for their age and symptoms. This form of relief may finally be able to provide your child with some moments of peace.
Should I continue sleep training my baby while they’re teething?
Absolutely you can continue sleep-training during this time. Sticking with a bedtime routine will provide your tot with a necessary dose of reliable predictability and won’t throw them off their schedule. However, while we encourage you to continue sleep training if you’re already doing so, you may still offer additional comfort during this challenging period to help soothe your teething child.
How long does teething last?
The entire process for a tooth to poke through the gums takes around seven or eight days. However, each baby is unique, and this may not be true for everyone. Typically, it’ll take about four days before a tooth breaks through the gums, and about three or four days after to reach a point of settlement.
Teething can be an incredibly challenging time for any family. Seeing your child in pain and feeling hopeless to help them is enough to tug on any parent’s heartstrings.
Fortunately, with a few well-researched tips, you’ll have multiple mitigation plans for when their chompers arrive. Keep in mind that teething is ultimately a good sign that your child is developing at a steady, healthy pace - and that you as parents are doing a terrific job as well.