If you’re a new parent with a teething baby, you’re probably in desperate need of sleep.
The process of teething can be overwhelming and can lead to sleepless nights and exhaustion for both you and your little one.
There’s no need to worry! This post will give you all the information you need to finally help your teething baby sleep.
What is Teething?
Teething, or odontiasis, is just another part of your baby’s development. It’s when their teeth start pushing their way through the gums.
Typically, the lower front two teeth are the first to come in, with the two front top teeth following soon after.
By age 3, your little one should have all of their 20 baby teeth.
Like every step in your baby’s life, it’s an exciting time. However, teething can be a painful process for babies as well as parents.
Knowing when it starts and how to recognize the signs can help ensure you’re prepared.
When Does Teething Start?
For most babies, teething starts when they’re between the ages of 4 and 7 months. But for some, it may start sooner or later.
Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Fussiness and crying
- Swollen, tender gums
- Excess drool
- Refusing to eat from the breast or the bottle
- An elevated temperature less than 101 F
- Constantly bringing their hands to their mouth
- Pulling on their ears or rubbing their cheeks
- Gnawing or chewing on hard things
- Noticeable changes in their sleeping or eating habits
How to Tell if Sleeplessness is Caused by Teething
So how do you know if your little one’s sleeplessness is being caused by teething or because of something else?
If your baby is showing signs other than those typical of teething, their sleeplessness may be due to illness.
Teething doesn’t make babies sick, so if they’re experiencing a fever of over 101 F, vomiting, have diarrhea, coughing or have excess congestion, or you discover rashes anywhere on their body, it’s time to call your pediatrician for help.
How to Help a Teething Baby Sleep: 11 Tips
During the daytime, teething can be difficult to deal with. But at night, it’s much harder to soothe your baby and ensure the both of you can enjoy some shut-eye. These 11 tips will help:
- Give them a cooling treat – There are plenty of ways to soothe your baby’s gums with a cooling treat. Stick a damp washcloth in the freezer to chill and then let them gnaw on it. If they are eating solid foods, chill fruits or veggies such as carrots, cucumbers, or apples. You can use a chilled spoon or teething ring (this teething ring is a great one) as well.
- Massage their gums – Help your baby by gently massaging their gums with your clean finger and applying pressure in the areas where new teeth are coming in.
- Let them suck – Whether they are breastfeeding, using a pacifier, or drinking from a bottle, the motion of sucking can be very soothing when your little one is teething. Offer these things whenever possible when they are feeling discomfort.
- Use a teething toy – There are plenty of options out there when it comes to teething toys. Whether they’re rubber or plastic, they can help provide counter-pressure against their incoming tooth. You can also find hard teething crackers to help them feel better.
- Become their chew toy – Make sure your fingers and nails are clean before offering your baby your finger to chew on. While they’re gnawing on your knuckle, you can offer a little extra massage.
- Find a distraction – At night, a simple distraction such as soft music, a special night light, or a white noise machine can help them drift off to sleep when they’re uncomfortable.
- Keep them close – Wearing your baby in a sling, wrap, or baby carrier will not only promote bonding, but let them know you’re close when they need you most.
- Be on drool patrol – Keep the extra drool in check. Doing so will help your little one avoid an uncomfortable rash on their face or neck. Use a drool bib and keep washcloths on hand to gently dab around their mouth.
- Stick to a schedule – Try not to let teething disrupt their normal sleeping schedule, especially at night. Your baby will be better able to cope when they have the comfort of a routine.
- Talk to your pediatrician – When other remedies aren’t working, it may be time to reach out to your baby’s pediatrician. They may be able to offer an over-the-counter medication or recommend a homeopathic treatment that could help.
- Offer some cuddles – Your baby is reassured and comforted by your cuddles. Hugs and gentle words go a long way when it comes to soothing your baby.
You can do this! By following these 11 simple tips, you’ll be able to comfort your little one and finally get the sleep you both deserve.