Saturday, August 19, 2006

Relieve Baby's Discomfort and Yours

By Misti Sandefur

Is your baby drooling, chewing on things, cranky and not sleeping? Don't worry, because it's normal when baby starts teething. And yes, when you're baby hurts you do too. If baby is unhappy so are you. Because your baby is unhappy, you do everything you know how to do to try and make your baby happy again.

The teething process for babies will usually start at the age of 6 months. Once your baby starts teething he or she will drool, chew on his or her hands or other items, and, at times, he or she may become cranky and not sleep well. However, there are things you can do for your baby to ease his or her discomfort.

Some of the following resolutions are home remedies -- remedies your grandparents used. If you're hesitant about any of the suggestions given below, check with your baby's pediatrician first.

Some common things you can do for your baby when he or she is teething, is give him or her a teething ring or acetaminophen (Tylenol). The teething ring should be cold, and you can do this by placing it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes. Also, when investing in teething rings for your baby, buy only the teething rings without gels in them.

Once your baby is old enough, switching him or her to semi-solid foods can help. The foods should be soft (like applesauce) and cold.

Give your baby a clean, wet wash cloth to chew on. Before giving your baby the wash cloth, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Furthermore, when the wash cloth gets warm and you need to re-refrigerate it, make sure you rinse the wash cloth out before giving it back to your baby to chew on.

Now-a-days some doctors and even you may frown on this solution, but think about it before you do. "Think about what?" you ask. Think about the fact that your grandparents and parents made it just fine. Now, here's what I'm talking about... Rub a little bit of whiskey on your baby's gums with your finger. (Make sure your finger is clean.) If you have doubts about this one, and your grandma is still alive, just ask her about some of the home remedies she used for teething and other things back when her kids (your mom or dad) were babies. Or better yet, ask any woman age 70 or up about home remedies -- you may be surprised at what she'll tell you.

Another home remedy for teething is chamomile tea. Soak a wash cloth in chamomile tea and place in the freezer for a few minutes, and then give it to your baby to chew on.

With a clean finger, rub a little olive oil on your baby's gums.

Teething biscuits can be bought in your local grocery store. Just be sure to watch your baby so he or she doesn't bite off a large piece and choke on it. Plus, an alternative to teething biscuits is a frozen waffle. Again, watch that your baby does not bite off a large piece and choke.

Wash your hands, and then gently massage your baby's gums with your finger. Also, it wouldn't hurt to trim your fingernails, so you don't accidentally scratch your baby's gums.

Find some toys or an activity and play with your baby. Playing with your baby will divert him or her from the discomfort, and it will also give you both some bonding time.

Invest in terry cloth toys for your baby to chew on. Before giving the toy to your baby, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Finally, consider purchasing a teething rail for your baby's crib.

You will notice that I suggested putting a lot of things into the refrigerator or freezer, and the reason is because the cold usually numbs the baby's gums decreasing the discomfort.

Some babies are lucky, because with some babies the teething process doesn't bother them, but there are babies that will become cranky and not sleep well. My first born was one of those lucky babies, but with my boys it was a different story. Both of my boys had trouble sleeping at night, they chewed on everything in sight and cried a lot, but when I applied the things mentioned about it usually helped relieve them and me. I hope you're one of those parents with the lucky baby, but just in case you may need them, you can always use the resolutions mentioned above.

Best wishes to both you and your new addition! Oh yes, one more thing, congratulations on your new baby, and enjoy him or her, because they grow up too fast.

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