All parents have their tricks and tips for dealing with a different baby stages. My daughter is nine months old and has been teething for awhile. Although this is my fourth teething child, I learn something new with each one and each child is different.
Today I'm going to share six of my favorite tips for parents of a teething baby. I'd love to hear your tips as well. Hopefully we can work together to make the months of teething a bit more bearable.
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1. You don't need to buy baby teething toys.
Although I have a few really awesome baby teething toys that I can't live without, you really don't need them. The most loved teething toys at our house are basic things we already have around the house. Here is a list of a few of them...
- Large lids
- Plastic and wooden spoons
- Sunglasses (ALWAYS a favorite with my daughter)
- Keys (extra set, not the ones you put in dirty doors or ignitions)
- Tags/fabric strips attached to a toy/blanket
- baby spoons
- Hairbrush handle on a clean brush (a favorite at our house)
- New toothbrush or gum cleanser
Babies like the pressure on their gums, so finding different things to provide pressure (that are also safe) is great.
Make sure that you supervise your baby with whatever you may give them for teething. Little teeth grow quickly and once little ones starting biting they can easily pull an edge off of something and choke.
Other favorites at our house that we are constantly trying to keep the baby AWAY from are cords, iPhones, LEGO bricks, tables, chairs, and my wooden stairs! Now that my little one has a tooth or two she is constantly trying to chew on my wooden stairs!
Some favorite teething toys that I have purchased and do LOVE are...
Little Sapling Toys Teethers (we have the giraffe teether)
Sophie the Giraffe (LOVE this)
2. Chilled things are awesome for teethers.
Frozen washcloths are lifesavers for little ones who are in pain and just want to knaw at something cold. You just soak the washcloth in water, put it in the freezer for a bit, and then give it to the baby to suck on. I usually use it in the high chair or else it leaks everywhere! Make sure you let the washcloth sit out at room temperature for a few minutes before you give it to the baby so it has time to defrost and become more cold than frozen.
Frozen bagels and frozen waffles are yummy to gum too (with supervision of course!). Make sure you let them defrost a bit before handing them off. Sticking frozen fruit (partially defrosted) into a little mesh food feeder bag can keep a teething baby happy and comfortable for awhile as well. Chilled whole carrots or celery can also be great to gnaw on and they are harder to break. A refrigerated pacifier can also help sooth little gums. Frozens peas are another wonderful cold item to serve little babies who are able to eat table food. Make sure baby is supervised with all items.
Do you have any other favorite frozen or chilled items that your baby loves?
If your little one doesn't like cold things, a room temperature teether might still provide some relief.
I love this teething post from Babycenter with some additional teething ideas for babies.
3. Take a break from your baby.
I am a big advocate for staying sane with little babies. Although I love to spend time with my babies around the clock, when I am up all night with a teething baby and hanging out with a grumpy baby during the day, I make sure that I take a break when I can so that I don't get overwhelmed or frustrated. My husband is a great partner and he will send me off to dinner with friends or even just to run errands alone so that I can get a break from my grumpy teething baby. I can just leave him with some frozen waffles and favorite teething items and enjoy a brief getaway.
4. Remember that this is a stage and eventually it will be over.
When I am hiking I like to visualize the summit. When I am running a half-marathon I like to visualize my treat after I am done. Now that I have three other big kids who have gone through teething and survived (and so have I), it is easier for me to visualize the end. Now I realize that eventually kids sleep through the night and are no longer teething all the time and chewing on everything (though it definitely lasts a LONG time!). With my first little one I didn't think it would ever end. I was pretty positive my son would be the only one to be teething, grumpy, and awake for the rest of his life.
I love the quote, "The days are long, but the years are short." It is totally true, especially with teething babies. Some babies just have a harder time with teething than others and it really is exhausting!
5. Hang out with other parents/kids or just get outside.
If you just stay home when your baby is teething because he is grumpy and you don't want to bother other people, you might go insane. Spending time with other parents who have "been there" can really help make you feel less overwhelmed. Hanging out with others kids (especially older kids), can sometimes distract teething babies a little bit so they are less grumpy too! Whenever I head to the park with friends it makes the day go by quicker. When I have a grumpy baby it is much easier to handle the day when I am surrounded by other supportive moms.
Massaging little gums with a clean cool finger can make your little one feel a little better and provide some pressure and alleviate the pain cause by a new tooth coming in. Just make sure you wash your hands!
Alright, now that I've shared my top tips with you, what are your favorite tips for parents of a teething baby?
Was teething a hard phase for you or did your baby move through it pretty easily?
If your little one needs some fun, try these simple baby play activities or baby sensory play ideas.