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Top 10 Tips for Toddler Teething

Updated on January 5, 2015

Growing Pains!

Baby (or toddler) is crying. They are grumpy, red in the face and upset, it’s teething time; what can you do? These are reasonably cheap ways to keep the pain down low and to help you and your little one get through such a trying time!

What you can do:

  1. Provide crunchy snacks such as carrot and breadsticks to help gnaw the tooth through.
  2. Freeze a banana and let them chew it up; better for you than a bowl of fatty ice cream although admittedly not as fun!
  3. Give them some toys to gnaw on and cut the tooth through. We found teething toys weren’t very useful; they looked boring to our daughter, whereas some plastic linking rings and a plastic banana (beware, ensure they can’t get the whole item in their mouth first) were far more desirable!
  4. Give a very cold drink; chilled water with ice cubes in. Depending on their age you’ll probably need to ensure the drink is in a safe toddler proof cup with a sealed lid.
  5. You can also securely tie a piece of ice into a cotton handkerchief and press it to the outside of the gum to numb the pain naturally. You can alternatively freeze a metal teaspoon for 5 minutes until it is quite cold (or leave it in the fridge for an hour) and then press it to the gum. Don’t put it in any longer however as if it properly freezes, it could stick to the skin and tear it.
  6. Be kind and take a break; they might be frustrating at this time but it is a horrible sensation and they can’t really understand what is happening and why it hurts them. So if you’re feeling tired and cranky, take a break and stop yourself feeling it with them or the situation; it’s only fair.
  7. Be very careful cleaning in that area of the mouth with a brush, it can make it far more sore than it already feels and cause more tears.
  8. Distract with a book, game, trip to the park, friend, dance to some music or party. There is nothing to take toddler’s minds away from pain like filling their mind with something else!
  9. Sing a soothing song, it sounds very obvious but is something that has typically managed to ease tears in our household
  10. Let them sleep, even if they don’t normally; you know toothache wipes you out and makes you feel drained and some of the anger and tears could be associated tiredness.

Relief time...

Many parents choose to use an oral gel such as Bonjela at this time and/ or a pain relieving treatment such as Calpol during teething time – if so, always read the label and follow the correct dosing instructions for the age/ weight of the child and ensure they can be used on this child. Some parents also use amber teething necklaces and find them highly effective; I do not advocate them, but point out they are available- follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you do use one and never use them without supervision by an adult.

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