A baby’s first tooth is exciting! However, delight can quickly turn to desperation when teething pain strikes. Take a look at 16 baby teething hacks that take a bite out of teething frustrations for both babies and parents.
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How to tell if the baby is teething?
Some babies show more signs when teething than others. While your baby won’t necessarily show all signs of teething, it’s essential to know what to look for. These are the most common teething signs:
- Sore, red gums
- A mild fever.
- A flushed cheek.
- A face rash.
- Constant rubbing of the ear(s).
- Gnawing on objects.
- A stressed, fussy demeanor.
- Poor feedings.
- Poor sleep.
It often seems like your baby is “coming down with something” when teething begins. However, teething symptoms can overlap with symptoms from a cold to an ear infection.
Therefore, never simply dismiss signs of distress as “teething” without closely monitoring your baby.
Baby teething timeline
But when exactly do babies start teething? Like all milestones, teething varies by the baby. While most babies start teething at 6 months old, the window for starting is 4 months old to 12 months old. Here’s the rundown of what to expect:
Central incisor 8-12 mos.
Lateral incisor 9-13 mos.
Canine 16-22 mos.
First molar 13-19 mos.
Second molar 25-33 mos.
Second molar 23-31 mos.
First molar 14-18 mos.
Canine 17-23 mos.
Lateral incisor 10-16 mos.
Central incisor 6-10 mos.
Generally, teething gets easier as more teeth come in. The process is usually softened because children are better able to communicate what they are feeling to their parents in the later stages of teething. Most children have their “milk teeth” by 3 years old.
Baby teething at night
Why is baby teething worse at night? After-dark teething fussiness has nothing to do with the witching hour. Instead, children simply tend to notice the pain more with fewer distractions. It’s the same reason why most adults experience worsening chronic pain symptoms at night. But how to calm a fussy baby and get some sleep? Start by identifying the reason which might be different than teething.
How to get a teething baby to sleep?
First, it helps to know that teething pain doesn’t often cause a baby to suddenly wake up in the night. Your child’s pain and sleeplessness may have other causes than teething. However, teething pain can make it harder to fall asleep because the baby notices the discomfort.
We know that lack of distractions at night is a big reason why teething pain escalates. Do your best to provide your baby with soothing distractions. This can be anything from a white-noise machine to a longer-than-usual reading time with the lights dimmed. Avoid stimulating distractions.
Should you be giving baby Tylenol for teething every night?
Giving a baby Tylenol nightly for teething is considered both dangerous and unnecessary. While Tylenol can help bring down fever and pain when a baby is ill, the risks outweigh the rewards for teething pain. It should not be used for several consecutive days. Talk to your pediatrician about Tylenol use for teething to learn more.
Natural remedies for a teething baby
While turning to medicines like Tylenol often does more harm than good for teething babies in the long run, there are plenty of natural remedies for teething. There are two schools of thought on natural remedies.
The first category covers topical gels and oils. These should be medication-free products that soothe and numb.
The second category includes objects that help relieve pain and tension within the gums. You’ll find both types on the list of 16 baby teething hacks to help calm a baby below!
16 Baby teething hacks to calm your baby
Popular Teething Toy in 2023
Smily Mia Penguin is More Than A Teether
1. Help with Premature baby for sucking pad development
2. Help musles to ensure an efficient feeding
3. Help tongue /lip tie babis with recovery and sucking ability
4. Help keep a wide low hard palate
1. Baby teething mitten
A great option when your baby needs soothing on the go. A teething mitten is a wearable soother featuring a “biteable” texture that feels wonderfully rough against the baby’s gums. You’ll love that baby can wear this teether instead of constantly dropping it on the floor!
2. Best baby teething gel
Finding a soothing baby teething gel is one of the best baby teething hacks for sustained relief. There are many products out there! You want to focus on cooling gels with a refreshing, numbing effect on gums.
Parents of teething babies and toddlers should know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against using over-the-counter products containing benzocaine due to risks for a potentially fatal condition called methemoglobinemia caused by elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood.
Some of the best benzocaine-free teething gels include:
- Mommy’s Bliss Organic Little Gums Soothing Massage Gel
- Orajel Baby Daytime and Nighttime Cooling Gels
- Boiron Camilia
- Wink Naturals Baby Teething Relief
- Dr. Talbot’s Baby Tooth Gel
3. Baby teething essential oils
Chamomile is considered the best essential oil for teething due to its gentle, nontoxic properties combined with its natural soothing abilities. Chamomile should have a 0.2% dilution rate when using a vaporizer or diffuser.
4. Baby teething toys
The sensation of slightly rough objects against the gums can feel so good for the baby!
In addition, toys that keep babies occupied while they rub their gums help release some of the frustration and fussy energy that can go along with teething.
What do the best baby teething toys look like?
Ideally, a toy should have a large handle that allows the baby to keep an excellent grip. This will reduce the likelihood of the toy being dropped constantly. Silicone teethers with soft bristles tend to be the most satisfying options for babies. They are also easy to wash for parents!
Never provide toys to “chew on” that aren’t sold as teethers.
Ordinary toys could have small parts that can break off to become choking hazards. In addition, many toys are made from materials that are not intended to be placed in a baby’s mouth.
5. Baby teething biscuits
A baby teething biscuit is true comfort food!
Intended they should be used only for babies over 4 months of age who have already had solids introduced. Teething biscuits are tasty treats that often include just a few simple ingredients. Babies really enjoy breaking the biscuits against their gums.
You can even make your own teething biscuits.
6. Baby teething powder
While uncommon, the teething powder is used by some parents when all other baby teething hacks fail. Most teething powders are made using something called tincture of Matricaria derived from the chamomile plant’s flower heads.
However, it is highly advisable to consult with your pediatrician before using powders.
7. Amber baby teething necklace
Many parents turn to amber teething necklaces when looking for baby teething hacks because it’s believed that amber releases a natural analgesic (pain reliever) called succinic acid when it’s warmed by the body.
These necklaces also keep the baby occupied.
Keep in mind, however, that necklaces, both amber, and silicone, pose a choking and strangulation hazard and should not be left with your baby without supervision.
8. Chilled ring soothers
You can buy chilled soothers made of plastic that offer something hard and cold for the baby to bite on. These reusable soothers are placed in the freezer between uses.
If you’d prefer a do-it-yourself chilled soother, consider placing a wet washcloth in the freezer until it hardens.
As you already probably noticed, breastfeeding is an excellent way of soothing your baby when your little one is unhappy or in pain. It also can be very helpful to calm a teething baby.
If you are struggling, though, with your milk supply you should take a look at how to correct a shallow latch.
10. Gum massages
A gum massage is a great way to offer some attention, support, and relief while your baby is struggling. You can purchase special gum massagers for teething made of soft materials with bristles.
11. Apply pressure
You can also use your hands to manually massage the baby’s gums during teething episodes. If you can spot where the tooth is pushing through, simply apply pressure with your fingers.
If your child is old enough to safely eat a popsicle, a sweet treat that brings cooling relief to the gums can change everything!
You can even consider purchasing some popsicle molds to make homemade popsicles full of fresh juices and fruits to give your child relief with the added benefit of piling in some yummy nutrition.
13. Freeze your baby’s favorite snacks
If your child is eating solids, consider cutting up favorites like bananas, mangoes, melons, and cucumbers into safely sized strips that can be placed in the freezer.
14. Try green onions
While this may sound like one of the wilder baby teething hacks, giving your baby green onion can take teething tears away.
Sweet green onions don’t cause your eyes to water like white, yellow and red onions. However, they do have analgesic properties that can help to relieve gum pain. Consider freezing some slices of green onion to create natural teethers.
15. Peeled ginger
Ginger has a natural anti-inflammatory quality that can help to calm the nerve endings in gums to reduce swelling and irritation. You can simply unleash the relief by rubbing a piece of peeled ginger along your baby’s gums.
The antibacterial properties of ginger are also excellent for preventing infection at the spot of the breakthrough tooth.
16. Ask your pediatrician about prescription pain medication
If the teething situation is dire, bring your pediatrician into the conversation. You may get some recommendations for medications that can be safely used to reduce teething pain.
Final thoughts on baby teething hacks to calm your baby
Finding the right baby teething hack can offer relief for the whole family. Sometimes this takes a bit of trial and error.
The good news is that your baby will appreciate every bit of extra attention you provide while trying to find the golden ticket for soothing red, inflamed gums. The final thing to remember is that a healthy dose of cuddles is really the best medicine when teething strikes!
Disclosure: I am not a medical person so this post serves only for informational purposes. I simply share what I’ve researched, tried, and found useful. Please consult your pediatrician before undertaking any alternative treatment.
About the author
Elena is a mom of two energetic toddlers in the day and a blogger at Abc Baby Life in the night. She’s passionate about raising happy, confident children. Elena loves to share her experience and help other moms gain valuable advice on topics related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting, and sleeping habits.