Take the pain out of teething - here's how you can soothe your baby's sore gums

(Image: Getty Images)
(Image: Getty Images)

As a new parent, there are few things as daunting as the sound of your baby crying and seeming inconsolable as you scramble to figure out what is bothering them. As baby teeth start cutting in, it’s hard at first to know how to soothe infant irritability, avoid a drool rash or manage potent bowel movement.

But you dont have to feel alone. Plenty of parents have waded the bouts of teething to uncover tried and tested tips to help you soothe teething in your baby or toddler like a pro.

The signs

Some tell-tale signs to look out for and check with your paediatrician to see if your infant is cutting teeth include: difficulty sleeping, irritability or fussiness, excessive drooling, frequent chewing, inflamed gums, decreased appetite, fever, and diarrhoea.

Once youve identified that your baby or toddler is teething, here are six things you can do to help soothe their achy and itchy gums:

Teething toys and gum massage

One of the best ways to soothe irritable and inflamed gums is with a teething toy. Experts warn against the use of gel-filled toys and instead recommend firmer and more solid teething toys. You can keep them cool in the fridge or freezer until needed. You can also wash and cool your hands down to gently massage their gums with your fingers to soothe inflammation and irritation.

Apply a cold compress

To help bring down temperature and soothe inflammation in the cheeks and gum area, wetting a cloth and cooling it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes can work wonders. Monitor your child and let them bite down or chew on a cooled cloth to act as a homemade teether toy.

Prepare cool snacks or teething treats

If your toddler is on solids and going through a round of teething, preparing chilly snacks can help them soothe the ache while keeping their appetite up. These types of snacks can include frozen or chilled pieces of fruit, homemade fruit popsicles, or teething biscuits.

Wipe away drool before a rash forms

An avoidable symptom of teething is drool rashes. When teething, your baby or toddler will build up a lot of drool that will dribble out of their mouths and settle on the skin. Be sure to keep their cheeks, chins, and necks dry of drool by wiping it up regularly to avoid the potential for irritation and rashes.

Stick to bedtime routines

While your baby or toddler may be at war with bedtime when teething, it's best to try and keep to your normal routine. Avoid losing your bedtime harmony when the teething stage passes by sticking to them and soothing your baby's symptoms with a cool compress and cuddles while putting them to sleep. If youre losing the battle for sleep, consider playing some white noise in the background - either from a white noise machine or an app on your phone to help lull your baby into slumber.

Consult your paediatrician

Last but not least, talk to your paediatrician about potential over-the-counter (OTC) remedies that can help soothe your baby or toddlers achy and inflamed gums. These often include medicines or powders that youre able to gently massage onto your infant's gums to help ease their discomfort and numb the aches.

These are just some ways you can help ease your babys teething irritability and grant yourself some peace of mind. Consult your paediatrician for any medical advice and if you feel that their discomfort or symptoms are more than just teething. And remember to be gentle on yourself if you’re a new parent and reach out to fellow parents in your network.

This article was sponsored by Panado and produced by Adspace Studio.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.