December 16, 2022
It’s a cruel trick of parenting that just as your child starts to get better at sleeping, teething suddenly makes it impossible. The discomfort your child’s feeling from the pressure on their gums can cause a lot of difficulty in putting them to bed. There are plenty of different methods to help teething children sleep, some of which work better than others. If your tot’s having teething trouble, here are a few ways to put them at ease.
How Do I Help My Teething Child Sleep?
As your infant’s baby teeth start to sprout, they’ll chew on everything they can—toys, teething rings, your arm—to ease the discomfort. Putting a little bit of pressure on your child’s gums is soothing to them, so if your baby’s a little bit fussy at bedtime, that can help them sleep. You can give your infant a teething ring before bed, or run your fingers along their gums to help them relax.
Cold can also numb your child’s gums, which can offer a little bit of relief. Professionals recommend allowing your child to chew on a cold washcloth for 30-60 minutes before bed. You can also give them chilled food, like frozen fruit or bagels.
Finally, you can talk to your child’s dentist about getting some infant ibuprofen for your child. They’ll be able to recommend a good brand, and they can tell you what dosage would be appropriate. However, you should avoid giving aspirin to an infant; it’s been connected to a rare condition called Reye’s syndrome that can pose serious problems to a child’s health.
What Teething Tips Should I Ignore?
As with everything in childcare, there’s a lot of false information about helping with teething. First of all, don’t rub whiskey on an infant’s gums; alcohol is dangerous for children of all ages, but especially for babies at an early stage of development. Teething necklaces are also a problem, as they can potentially lead to strangulation.
While ibuprofen is fine, the FDA recommends against the use of both topical numbing creams and homeopathic teething tablets. Be sure to talk to either your child’s dentist or their pediatrician before you give them any over-the-counter medicine.
Teething is a stressful period of life for children and their parents. Hopefully these tips can help both of you sleep a little bit better at night.
About the Author
Dr. Angelica Rohner is a pediatric dentist with a passion for making children smile. She began her career as a special education teacher, and her love of teaching is obvious in her commitment to guiding children to better oral health. She’s also very aware of the challenges that come with a child’s first teeth, which is why she offers dental appointments for infants. Dr. Rohner is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry, and a proud member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. If you have any questions about how to help your infant with teething, she can be reached at her website or by phone at (205) 870-0892.
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