As most parents are aware, the symptoms that accompany teething, such as gum soreness, drooling, and mouth rash can make babies extremely irritable. This fussiness tends to worsen at night when babies don't have as many distractions as they normally do during the day.
Here are a few tips on how you can help your teething little one to have a good night's sleep.
1. Soothe painful gums
Soothe your baby's painful gums by letting him/her chew on a damp washcloth that has been frozen to help numb the inflamed area. If your baby is already eating solid foods, giving him/her chilled veggies or fruits such as carrots, apples, or cucumbers may bring about relief.
2. Try using teething toys
Let your little one chew on teething toys to help alleviate the pain. Teething toys such as cold teething rings are effective at countering the pressure of an erupting tooth and subsequently reducing discomfort.
3. Apply pressure on the gums
Applying light pressure on your little one's gums may help soothe some of the symptoms that accompany teething. You can do this by rubbing a clean knuckle or finger on the sore areas of your baby's gums as you prepare them for bed.
4. Consider using medication to relieve pain
Consider using over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as infant acetaminophen or infant ibuprofen (for babies who are 6 months or older). You want to consult with your pediatrician before giving your little one OTC remedies for teething pain relief.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend medication for severe teething pain cases, with strict instructions that you give the correct dose and administer the painkiller sensibly. You want to steer clear of administering aspirin to kids as it has been linked to a rare but serious condition known as Reye's syndrome.
5. Stick to the bedtime routine
If you have established a consistent bedtime routine, don't let teething disrupt it. It is important that you maintain the bedtime routine as the familiarity will allow for a better environment for self-coping.
6. Check the room temperature
Teething can sometimes cause a slight temperature increase, so you want to make sure that your baby's sleeping space is at a comfortable temperature (between 60.8 and 68°F). This will improve their ability to sleep.
7. Dry excess drool
Excess saliva as a result of drooling can irritate your baby's neck and face. Make sure to keep your baby dry by regularly wiping his/her mouth using a soft cloth or drool bib. If necessary, change your baby's clothes, and keep their skin moisturized with baby-friendly products.
8. Let your baby suck
Sucking comforts babies and studies have shown that it can help to reduce pain. Let your little one suck on a pacifier or drink from a bottle to soothe teething.
9. Give cuddles
Babies need a lot of reassurance when teething, and what better way to do this than cuddling them? Provide lots of cuddles, hugs, and comforting words to help your little one cope with the discomfort of teething.
Teething can result in a lot of sleepless nights for both you and your baby. It may be worth noting that the first few teeth will likely be the worst for your little one to endure, but as he/she gets older, it may become easier to distract them from the pain.