How to Help Babies With Teething: Advice from Real Parents
Although teething is an important physical milestone, it can be downright uncomfortable for your baby. Many little ones experience swollen and irritated gums, mouth rash, and other frustrating symptoms. Thankfully, when your teething baby starts crying and seeking comfort, there are several things you can do to ease their pain. Check out these tips from real moms and dads regarding how to help babies with teething.
Let Baby Bite Cold Foods
Many parents swear by frozen foods to ease their child's pain. That's because cold can help numb the gums naturally.
"Frozen whole wheat bagels—my daughter loved them and they were good for her, too!" —Jillian Whitlow, Timberlake, North Carolina
"Frozen fruit cut up small—strawberries, melon, cucumber, and watermelon cut into spears." —Sulen Rodriguez, Whittier, California
- RELATED: When Do Babies Start Teething?
"We would freeze bananas for our kids to chew on. It's messy, but they both loved it, and unlike teething rings, it gets to your back teeth." —Anja Lahocki, Savannah, Georgia
"Frozen waffles. They taste good, the cold helps soothe gums, and the little squares catch the drool." —Justine Garza, Quakertown, Pennsylvania
"My little guy loved to gnaw on frozen mango when he was teething. I loved that it helped him and was also good for him." —Autumn Murray, Littleton, Colorado
"I would puree fruit or squeeze fruit from those organic packages into ice-cube trays. When they were frozen I would put one in a mesh feeder and my son would go crazy for them. They helped soothe his gums while giving him a healthy snack." —Amber P., Indianapolis, Indiana
"I used frozen watermelon or other fruit that you can cut big enough so they don't choke. She used to suck and chew on it until her gums felt better." —Amber Hardy, Centennial, Colorado
"We froze Go-Gurts for my daughter. She loved them! To this day she thinks that's how you're supposed to eat them." —Jennifer Carter, Mary Esther, Florida
"We used frozen crinkle-cut French fries. Whenever our son started to drool a lot or was fussy, we knew that a new tooth was coming through, so we would grab one fry from the fridge and let him chew on it." —Mandy M. True, Omaha, Nebraska
Other Frozen Items Can Ease Pain, Too
Parents can offer their child more than cold food; frozen washcloths, pacifiers, and other comforting items can also ease the pain of growing teeth. Just make sure these items are age-appropriate, BPA-free, and nontoxic.
"I would wet some baby washcloths and freeze them. I stuck wax paper between each one in a freezer-safe container to keep them from sticking together. My kids loved chewing on them because they were soft and contoured easily to their sore gums." —Jen Moringelli, Hainesport, New Jersey
"Washcloths and binkys that I keep in the freezer." —Valerie Newman, Palm Springs, California
"I tried everything, but nothing would calm my little boy down. As a last-ditch effort, I placed his bottle nipple in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before a feeding. After three consecutive tear-free bottles, I found that was the trick that worked for us." —Rebecca Wilcox-Ball, currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan
"A washcloth soaked in water and apple juice and then frozen!" —Stacy Houltberg, Ottumwa, Iowa
Consider Trying Teething Rings
Some babies instinctively soothe themselves by grabbing anything within reach and biting on it, so they might respond well to products made specifically for teething. But be extra careful with teethers: Your baby's chompers could puncture them, and they could ingest the substance inside, warns Jill Lasky, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist at Lasky Pediatric Dental Group in Los Angeles. Constantly check teething products for signs of wear and tear, and replace if you notice your baby is starting to bite through it.
"I bought every teether I could find just to have a variety for my little guy. The change in shape, size, and texture really helped him." —Amberlee Foster, Fort Mill, South Carolina
"My son, Cohen, is 6 months old and the best teething trick we've found for him is Sophie, the giraffe teether. We've got everything else out there, but Sophie is the one that works the best, and is definitely his favorite!" —Elizabeth Kent, Cibolo, Texas
"My son's amber teething necklace worked wonders for him. He would wear it and not even realize it was there." —Molly Sain, Hickory, North Carolina
"My son hates teething rings but loves chewing on his fingers, so I got him a teether shaped like a hand and he loves chewing on it." —Ashley Kottmyer, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
"Being the oldest of six and having five of my own, I've found that teething biscuits and a teething ring that vibrates when they chew on it work wonders. Also, give them ice cream in small amounts." —Miriam Landwehr, Cloverdale, Ohio
Get Creative With Household Items
Whether you're looking for teething comfort in a pinch, or your child simply doesn't like teething rings and frozen things, these random household items might be able to help.
"My twins would not use anything cold for teething. I found the best thing for them was letting them gnaw on a toothbrush. It was effective and easy for them to manipulate. They're 19 months now and this is especially handy when they start getting their molars. Just be sure to keep a close eye on them for choking. And once they do get teeth, watch for them chewing and pulling the bristles." —Heather Ethridge, Mobile, Alabama
"I would take those mesh baby feeders and put ice in them. This worked great when we were away from home and I didn't have a teething toy on hand." —Dinah Campbell, Colorado Springs, Colorado
"When I was a nanny for twins, I would give them a clean, unused cloth diaper to chew on. — Jennifer Bitman, Macomb, Michigan
"A really cold teaspoon that we would continually dip in ice water. This was a big help when we went to a restaurant. We'd get a big glass of ice water and put five or six spoons in it, just in case they threw one on the floor." —James Higgins San Diego, California
"My son loves to chew on a wooden spoon. It calms him down and keeps him busy so he forgets about the pain." —Claire Chen, Parker, Colorado
"Cinnamon sticks were a lifesaver! Cinnamon is said to be a natural analgesic, they're hard and they don't splinter." —Kelly Neville-Erwin, Baltimore, Maryland
"A relative told me to try ginger snaps because the ginger supposedly helps; it's what she used on her son when we were all little. I tried it and, sure enough, it helped. Gave her something yummy to gnaw on, too." —Holly Hewitt, Bonham, Texas