10 Teething Tips and Tricks All Parents Should Know
If your little one has been fussier than usual, drooling non-stop, and trying to chew on anything within an arm's reach, it’s likely that he or she is teething. You can help ease some of your baby’s discomfort by becoming an expert on all things teething and throwing a little creativity in the mix. Here are 10 teething tips and tricks we here at Itzy Ritzy think all parents should know!
1. Know the Signs: To help soothe your baby, you’re going to want to look out for all the signs of teething to know early on when teething has begun. Ten common signs include…
- ...Fussiness or Irritability
- ...Increased Drooling
- ...Trying to Bite and Chew Everything
- ...Increased Rubbing of the Face
- ...Pulling of the Ears
- ...Swollen and Red Gums
- ...A Tooth Visible Below the Gums
- ...Difficulty Sleeping
- ...Refusing Food
- ...Slight Fever (no higher than 101 degrees)
- Know What to Give Your Baby to Nibble On: From water-soaked washcloths to fun-shaped teething toys, there are an array of items to let your baby chew on to soothe aching gums! It’s important to have a selection of teething products to keep your baby from getting bored with just one, so here’s a list of a few possible teething tools:
- A damp washcloth
- Itzy Ritzy Silicone Teethers
- A chilled pacifier
- Cold water or diluted juice in a sippy cup
- Teething blankets
- Yogurt or applesauce (talk to your pediatrician about when your baby is ready to move on to these foods)
- Know What NOT to Give Your Baby to Nibble On: With so many teething options for your baby, it can be overwhelming to determine what isn’t suitable for your teething baby! To make things a little easier for you, here are a few major rules to follow when providing your baby with teething toys and snacks:
- Stay away from small toys and treats. We know this may seem obvious, but it's always good to keep in the back of your mind! Look for items that your baby can only fit part of in his or her mouth.
- Stay away from teething aids that can break easily as they can pose a choking hazard. Also, make sure to avoid products with dangling or attached small pieces that don’t seem secure.
- Don’t give out anything that is too hard. Although many babies find chewing on hard teething toys soothing, anything too hard can harm them rather than help.
- Make sure any toys are free of BPAs, PVCs, phthalates, lead and cadmium (like Itzy Ritzy's own Teething Happens™ collection).
- Make sure your baby is ready for food based teething options by talking to your pediatrician first.
- Know How to Keep Things Interesting: There is always the chance your baby will become bored with all his or her current teething toys and need something new thrown into the mix! One simple option is coating your baby’s teething toys in treats like yogurt or puree to keep him or her engaged. You can take one of Itzy Ritzy’s own teethers, chill it, and add a yogurt coating to mix things up for your baby. (Make sure to opt for whole-milk yogurt formulated with babies in mind.) To keep things interesting for yourself, consider making your own puree for your baby! (Here’s a short tutorial on how to make one of our favorites!)
- Know How to Keep Things Clean: Teething toys can easily get dirty, so for your baby’s health and safety it’s important to keep the germs away. For most hard teething toys, use hot water and dish detergent to hand wash the toy, and use a toothbrush or toothpick to keep any grooves clean. For fabric based teething toys, the washing machine is a fine option but make sure to check labels beforehand. Also, remember that teething can also cause your baby to drool quite a bit, so make a habit of wiping your baby’s face to avoid unnecessary skin irritation.
- Know How to Keep Teethers Accessible: You never know when your little one might need something to chew on, so finding unique ways to carry teethers is a must! Items like our Teething Happens™ teething necklaces can help keep your baby occupied even while on the go, and can keep him or her from trying to chew on your real jewelry.
- Know That Sometimes All Your Baby Needs Is You: Although there are many teething products and aids that can help reduce your baby’s discomfort, sometimes even these reliefs won’t soothe your baby. If you're looking for other options, know that you can rub a clean finger over your baby's gums (only do this if no teeth have broken through) to help ease some of the pain. Some mamas have also said that nursing your baby can help calm him or her down.
- Know How to Distract Your Baby: When even teething toys and snacks don’t seem to offer relief, consider doing something with your baby to help take his or her mind off the pain. Playing a game with your baby, talking to them, or giving them a bath can help shift his or her focus from any discomfort.
- Know When to Call a Pediatrician: Although teething does cause discomfort and potential small fevers in babies, it does not cause symptoms like very high fevers or major distress in children. If your baby is displaying these signs, don’t assume the cause is teething; instead, make a trip to the pediatrician to ensure your baby is healthy. Also, remember to talk to you pediatrician before introducing your baby to new foods like yogurts or purees.
- Know How to Care for Your Baby’s Mouth: Before your little one has any teeth, practice using a damp washcloth to wipe your baby's gums. When your baby’s first tooth begins to peek through, usually starting between the ages of 4 to 6 months, it’s essential that if you haven’t already started practicing oral care with your little one that you do so now. Using a fluoride toothpaste in an amount no bigger than a grain of rice, gently brush your baby’s teeth and gums using a small-headed, soft bristled toothbrush.
Teething is just one of many important milestones all babies reach, and all parents must navigate. While the challenge of keeping your baby happy may seem impossible at times, we here at Itzy Ritzy hope to give you a reliable source to help tackle any challenges that come your way! For first time moms and dads especially, we hope this article makes keeping your tiny teether smiling a little bit easier