Babys Teething Pain Management

This is a very personal subject for me since I have four children including an eight month old baby girl. Each one of them didn’t start teething until they were about six months of age. It hurt every time. My youngest seems to be having it the worst. Her gums became red and swollen when she was six months old, but the first tooth didn’t come until a week ago. She couldn’t sleep, she couldn’t eat, drooled a lot, and gnaw on her fingers for almost two months.

It is important to help your baby manage her teething pain. She needs to eat and sleep well and at the first sign of sore gums the baby will refuse to suck on the breast or the bottle. That’s what all breastfeeding mothers worry about because if the baby doesn’t want to feed the milk supply will lessen, not to mention engorged and sore breasts. I do not recommend supplementing with formula because once the baby learns an easy way of eating (sucking on the breast is harder than on a bottle), she will refuse to be breastfed. My oldest daughter did that. If you want to keep breastfeeding your baby you will need to pump.

There are two medications I found very helpful. One is ibuprofen, or Motrin, and the other is BabyOrajel, which is a numbing gel containing benzocaine (7.5%). Some doctors recommend Tylenol, but it didn’t seem to ease the pain that much and it only lasted up to four hours, while Motrin lasts up to eight hours therefore allows you and the baby to get a good night sleep. Also, it helps to reduce swelling of the gums. A word of warning: while Motrin is great, your baby’s digestive system is still developing and you don’t want to cause her any later problems by having the medicine sit in her stomach 24/7. I give my daughter a full recommended dose of Motrin at nighttime and one half of a dose during the day. It worked just as fine. During the day I use BabyOrajel on my baby’s gums every four hours, or so.

There are also other methods of easing the teething pain. My favorite one is giving my baby a cool wet washcloth to gnaw on. She loves it. You can also buy a couple of teething rings (for variety). My daughter’s favorite kind is one made of soft clear plastic, filled with water. I usually keep it in the fridge, or sometimes in the freezer to keep it cold. If your baby tolerates it you can massage her gums. Mine didn’t let me touch it. I do not recommend teething biscuits unless you know for sure that your baby doesn’t have any food allergies.

Last note: teething pain will not last forever, so have patience. My little girl’s tooth finally came out (O, happy day!) and she likes to exercise it often…on my shoulder.