Before giving your child any teething remedies, first make sure they are in fact suffering from baby teething pain.
It’s not always easy to distinguish teething pain from other aches, but these obvious signs of teething can be helpful:
• A lot of drooling, more than usual
• Chewing or sucking on their hands
• Loss of appetite
• Not sleeping well
• Low-grade fever
• Swollen gums
Some children won’t have any significant signs of teething and their teeth will just start popping up.
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A teething fever generally is a slightly elevated temperature and last for two to three days. If the fever spikes to high temperatures and lasts for longer than a day or two, it is not due to teething but something else i.e. urinary tract infection or ear infection.
Teething toys – refrigerated or chilled teething toys can be used for providing relief and teething necklaces can be worn by baby to chew on when you’re holding them.
A wet washcloth – just like the teething toys, you can keep it in the freezer or fridge until you need it.
A pacifier – some children like sucking when they are teething, and a pacifier can help to distract them from the pain.
Teething biscuits – this can be used for older babies who are already eating solids.
Rubbing your baby’s gums – a clean finger or a moistened gauze pad can be used to rub your baby’s gums to relief discomfort.
Hard foods – if your baby is on solids, you can give her hard foods which can be gnawed i.e. carrot, chilled cucumber or some people even try a piece of biltong.
Over-the-counter remedies – if nothing else works and your baby is especially cranky, medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol etc.) or ibuprofen (Advil, children’s motrin etc.) may help but avoid any teething tablets or teething meds that contain pain relievers such as benzocaine or lidocaine as they can be harmful and even fatal to babies.