It can be extremely difficult to watch your baby go through the painful period of teething (trust me, I've had my experience). While some babies may have very few or no signs of teething or discomfort, if your child feels irritable or seems to have pain - here is my essential guide on what to do for a teething baby.
1. Give your Baby Plenty of Cuddles
Sometimes, the biggest comfort for a baby who is teething, is cuddle time with Mum or Dad. So make sure your baby gets lots of hugs. The best tip I would give for cuddling your baby would be to find a comfortable chair - preferably something that will rock back and forth to rock your baby gently. Cuddles will provide your baby with some quiet time and comfort, whilst also giving you both some much-needed rest.
2. Try giving your Baby Chilled Fruit
Most parents don’t realise that some foods can ease teething pain and soothe inflamed gums. If you have already introduced your baby to solid food, you can help soothe their gums with cold foods from the fridge such as cold soups or cold yoghurt, to help ease the pain from teething. You can also introduce your baby to fruits such as cold mashed banana. With a mash feeder, you can also play about with other types of cooked fruit such as strawberries, apples or pears. However, make sure to avoid anything acidic, such as citrus fruit, or anything that is spicy or salty, as it can inflame the gums even more and increase soreness for the baby.
3. Use Teething Gels
If you decide to go down the route of teething gel, make sure that it is specifically designed for young children. It is also important to remember that teething gels contain a mild local anaesthetic, therefore teething gels are only available from pharmacies, so we recommend you speak to a pharmacist for further advice. I know with my first daughter Minnie, she would bite my fingers whilst trying to apply teething gel. With this in mind, the original designs for Matchstick Monkey were created, as the textured bumps help teething gels get to the right spots, with no fingers needed!
4. Use a Cold Cloth to Soothe Sore Gums
When a baby is teething, a cold cloth can work wonders. In order to do this, simply take a clean cloth and dip it in cold water, wring the cloth out until damp and place it in the fridge. Once cool, fold the cloth into a smaller shape and give it to your baby to chew on. Hopefully the cold cloth will help relieve the pain of teething gums, however, please do not leave your child unattended whilst chewing or sucking on the cloth, as this can be a choking hazard.
5. Massage your Baby’s Gums
As a parent, you can help provide your baby with teething relief by carefully massaging their gums. To do this, simply wash your hands, sit with your baby and gently massage their gums in circular motions.
6. Cool Metal Spoon
For a baby, cool metal can be soothing for their little gums. Take a regular teaspoon from your kitchen and put it in the fridge. When the spoon is cool enough, gently rub the back of the spoon against your baby’s gums.
7. Wipe any Drool Away to Prevent Irritation
One of the main signs of teething for children is drooling. To help protect your baby’s clothes, try using soft bips which can be used for wiping your baby’s chin. Make sure to wipe the drool from your baby’s face to ensure the mouth area is clean and dry. You should gently wipe your baby’s face often to prevent any rash or irritation, however not so often as it can create additional irritation.
At Matchstick Monkey, we have designed the perfect 100% organic muslin, which is soft and gentle on delicate skin. The Organic Muslin is designed to comfort your baby, as it comes with a silicone teething tab on the corner, which provides an extra sensory delight to help soothe sore gums (definitely worth a try!)
8. Teething Rings or Toys
Teething rings and toys give your baby something to chew safely and may ease their discomfort and help distract them from any pain. I know with my first daughter, she would refuse all teething toys - however, with the inspiration of her love for monkeys, the original designs for Matchstick Monkey were created! At Matchstick Monkey, one of the most recognisable things about our teething toys are the bumps that are strategically placed on the teether, which help provide a satisfying texture to chew on. All of our teething characters are easy to clean and are made from solid FDA approved food-grade silicone, meaning that parents can be reassured that our teethers are totally safe for little ones to chew.
9. Ask your Child’s Doctor about Medication
If you are concerned that your baby’s teething discomfort cannot be soothed by any of the methods above, talk to your doctor for advice on using medication to help with your baby’s teething symptoms.
Not sure when your baby will start teething? Read our blog here.