You can't miss the telltale signs your kid is teething: they drool more aggressively than a Saint Bernard, an insatiable oral fixation takes hold and anything that can fit in your kid's mouth is game. Plus, their gums look red and irritated. Some kids get irritable and downright ornery. Newly established sleep patterns can be disturbed by tiny little teeth bursting through gums.
So what's a parent to do? Here are a few things I tried to help ease the pain. Maybe they'll work for you, too!
• Remember: If your mouth was killing you, you'd find it tough to sleep too! I eased up on sleep training rules while my baby's first teeth were busting through. Once the tooth broke through, he started to feel better, and we went back to our sleeping schedule.
• Teethers: I never went anywhere without one. I used to stick them in the fridge overnight first for an added soothing chill, which my baby loved.
• Someone told me to stick a wet washcloth in the fridge for an hour or two and then let my baby gum it. The texture of the washcloth seemed to feel good to my baby’s irritated gums. I also went ahead and gave my little one a gum massage with it, which he loved.
• Those mesh fresh fruit feeders were amazing for my tiny teether. I'd freeze the fruit beforehand and let it melt a little first, so the cold wasn't a huge shock to his system. What a soothing snack! Double bonus!
Viv Schaffel is a freelance journalist and essayist who writes for a vast array of publications, including CBS Watch!, The New York Times, Working Mother and The New York Post. She writes/performs sketch comedy and is an upstanding member of US Weekly’s Fashion Police, poking fun at red carpet risks.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.