10 Useful Tips on How to Get A Teething Baby to Sleep

10 Tips to Put a Teething Baby to Sleep

Babies typically begin the teething process between four and seven months of age, a significant milestone in their early development. As a mother, witnessing these tiny teeth emerge can be an exhilarating experience, marking your baby’s growth and transition. Nonetheless, it’s essential to recognize that baby teething can be an intensely uncomfortable phase for your little one, often leading to various challenges, such as disrupted sleep patterns and increased fussiness. Wondering how to get a teething baby to sleep? To assist parents during this challenging period, let’s explore a range of proven strategies and remedies designed to alleviate your baby’s discomfort, facilitating a peaceful slumber and enhancing overall well-being.

Video: 7 Tips to Soothe a Teething Baby to Sleep

Signs and Symptoms of Teething

1. Biting

Teeth poking through the gums are painful, which is alleviated by applying pressure on the area. Hence, teething babies bite and chew on whatever they can find to suppress the pain, which is a natural instinct.

2. Drooling

Teething makes babies drool more than usual, so if you notice excessive drooling, chances are your baby is teething. Keep a towel or napkin handy to wipe your child’s chin every now and then.

3. Crankiness

The pain from teething puts babies in a sour mood. Expect your little one to be fussy and irritated during the teething phase.

4. Disrupted Sleep

So your teething baby won’t sleep? It’s normal! The discomfort babies face may prevent them from being able to sleep peacefully, and you may notice your child periodically waking up in the middle of the night or having difficulty going to sleep.

5. Loss of Appetite

Though this may seem contradictory, the suction from nursing can cause the baby’s sore gums to feel worse, causing a loss of appetite. Try and soothe the pain before nursing, and you may notice the appetite rising.

6. Cheek Rubbing and Ear Pulling

You may notice your child pulling his/her ears or furiously rubbing his cheeks. This could happen as a result of shared nerve pathways in the cheeks and ears. However, excessive ear pulling could indicate a ear infection, so keep a lookout.

7. Facial Rashes

Teething can sometimes lead to drool-induced facial rashes, particularly around the mouth and chin area. Excessive drooling can irritate the skin, causing redness and discomfort for your baby.

8. Swollen Gums

Swelling and redness in the gum area are common signs of teething. As the teeth push through the gums, they can cause inflammation and tenderness in the surrounding tissue, making your baby’s gums appear noticeably swollen.

Tips to Help a Child Sleep During Teething

As a new mother, you will receive ample advice on parenting, which is bound to boggle your mind. Your baby will be in intense pain, due to which his sleeping schedule may get disrupted. Therefore, here are some useful tips to get your teething baby to sleep.

1. Give the Baby Something Cold to Chew On

Cold desensitises nerves and reduces pain. This is why, nowadays, more toy companies are creating rubber or gel-core-based teethers that can be refrigerated. Teethers are special toys, made to be chewed on by teething babies. The pressure on a baby’s teeth, caused by chewing, can provide relief from teething pain. The instinct to begin chewing to reduce the pain of teething is natural in humans and animals. If you do not have any refrigerator-friendly teething toys, you can substitute it with a clean, frozen cloth, instead. Do not freeze teething toys, as that will make them hard and could hurt your baby’s teeth. Simply chill them before handing them to your baby. Also, always be present to supervise your baby when he is chewing something. Teething toys are designed to be chewed and not swallowed, so keep an eye on your baby.

2. Massage the Gums

Your baby might refuse to sleep alone when he starts teething. As you lay the baby on the bed, massage his/her gums with your finger. This will ease the pain and help put your baby to sleep. If he/she wakes up in the middle of the night, you can massage the gums again. As you massage your baby’s gums, you will be able to feel where the teeth are coming in. Focus on massaging these areas, in particular. Ensure that your fingers are clean before massaging your baby’s gums.

3. Give Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea helps reduce inflammation, soothe stomach aches, boost immunity, promote relaxation, and induce sleep. Giving chamomile tea to a teething baby will provide relief from teething pain and even induce sleep. Chamomile tea can be given to a baby through a feeding bottle at room temperature or when mildly warm. You can even soak a clean rag in chamomile tea and freeze it before giving it to your baby to chew on. However, it should be noted that chamomile tea should not be given to babies who are less than six months of age. You can give it to a baby who has crossed the half-year mark, but it is advisable to consult a doctor before opting for this remedy. Make sure that the chamomile tea is at a slightly cool temperature, but not very cold. Also, while massaging the gums, a clean finger can be dipped into chamomile tea before massage.

Chamomile tea

4. Feed the Baby Cold Food Before Bedtime

Cold soothes pain in the gums and a full stomach induces sleep. You can give your baby cold yoghurt or cold fruits and vegetables, such as grapes or boiled carrots. However, keep in mind to give him age-appropriate food, i.e. fruits or veggies that can be chewed properly. An option here would be to buy a mesh feeding bag. This is used to start young babies on solid foods safely, without the risk of swallowing too big a piece and choking.

5. Create a Calm Environment

To make your baby sleep, it is important that you set a sleeping schedule. When babies have a set pattern of sleep, their bodies adjust accordingly. A bedtime routine automatically makes them sleepy as bedtime approaches, as it subconsciously signals that it is time to sleep when certain activities are performed in a set sequence, for a period of time. It essentially works on the same principles of habit formation. The routine could include a warm bath, changing to pyjamas, reading a short story, singing to your baby or rocking him in your arms until he falls asleep.

Baby sleeping peacefully in the crib

6. Breastfeed

Breastfeeding calms your baby. As your baby begins teething, he might gnaw on your nipples and hurt you. To prevent this, massage your baby’s gums prior to feeding. Breastfeeding is an effective way to soothe your baby and put him to sleep.

7. Use Pain-killing Medication

This should be your last resort if you’ve tried the other methods, without any positive result. Painkillers can help alleviate your baby’s pain and put him to sleep. Always consult your doctor before resorting to medication. Do not buy over-the-counter pharmaceutical products for this. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen have special, diluted formulas made particularly for children and babies. Do not use adult painkillers. Also, consult your paediatrician before giving any medication to your little one.

8. Maintain a Comfortable Room Temperature

Ensuring that your baby’s sleep environment is neither too hot nor too cold is crucial for a good night’s rest. Teething can make your little one more sensitive to temperature changes, so aim for a room that’s comfortably cool and well-ventilated. Use lightweight bedding and consider using a fan or adjusting the thermostat to create an ideal sleep atmosphere.

9. Utilize White Noise or Gentle Lullabies

Background noise, such as white noise machines or soft lullabies, can help drown out any discomfort your baby may be feeling due to teething pain. These soothing sounds create a calming atmosphere that promotes better sleep and helps mask any disturbances that might otherwise wake your baby during the night.

10. Offer Cuddles and Comfort

Teething can be an emotionally challenging time for your baby, and sometimes all they need is some extra love and comfort. Gentle rocking, cuddling, and soothing words can go a long way in helping your baby relax and fall asleep, even amidst teething discomfort. Your reassuring presence can make a significant difference in their ability to sleep peacefully.

Teething is a difficult phase for a baby. Try the above tips on getting a teething baby to sleep to provide your little one with relief.

Which Teething Remedies You Should Avoid?

When it comes to helping a teething baby sleep, it’s crucial to be aware of teething remedies that should be avoided to ensure the safety and well-being of your child. While there are various methods and products designed to ease teething discomfort, not all of them are recommended. Here are some teething remedies to steer clear of:

1. Teething Necklaces

Teething necklaces, especially those made of amber, have gained popularity, but they can pose choking and strangulation hazards. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against their use.

2. Numbing Gels With Benzocaine

Over-the-counter teething gels or ointments containing benzocaine can be harmful to infants and young children. Benzocaine can cause a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia, which reduces oxygen levels in the blood.

3. Teething Tablets or Homeopathic Remedies

Some teething tablets and homeopathic remedies have been associated with inconsistent quality and safety concerns. The FDA has issued warnings about certain teething tablet brands, so it’s essential to exercise caution when considering these options.

4. Frozen Teething Rings and Foods

While chilled teething toys and foods can provide relief, avoid freezing them solid as it can be too harsh on a baby’s sensitive gums and teeth. Opt for refrigeration rather than freezing.

5. Teething Biscuits and Hard Foods

Teething biscuits may seem like a good idea, but they can break into small pieces, posing a choking hazard. It’s safer to offer softer foods that are age-appropriate for your baby.

How Long Does the Teething Pain Last?

It is hard to say how long teething pain lasts. For example, a baby might feel the pain for months before the teeth actually come through. Meanwhile, others may feel the pain once the teeth have formed in the gums and are making their way out. The intensity of pain may differ from one baby to another. However, the pain mostly goes away once the tooth has grown out of the gums. While your baby’s front teeth do come up in the first year, the back set of molars appear after the first year, so there is a period of relief from teething stress.

Cautionary Tips

  • Always watch your baby if he is chewing on something, be it a teething toy, rag, or food. A baby may choke on it, so be careful.
  • Consult your physician before you give painkillers to your child.
  • If the teething toy is secured on a string around your baby’s neck, do not leave it on when putting your baby to sleep. It could get stuck somewhere and end up strangling the baby when he/she rolls over.
  • A common, but dangerous home remedy is to rub crushed aspirin tablets on your baby’s gums. Do not opt for this remedy, as it may cause the baby to become extremely sick.
  • Babies sometimes develop a habit of pulling their ear while teething, as the pain of teething may transfer to the ear canal. If the pain is excessive, consult a doctor, as your baby could be suffering from a ear infection.
  • Do not use over-the-counter creams or gels on your baby’s gums as a numbing medication.

FAQs

1. Should I Continue Sleep Training During Teething?

Yes, sleep training should continue during the teething phase. Keep in mind that this “phase” comes back around after the first year, and indeed, it will take up to 3 years before a child has all his/her milk teeth in place. Teething will disrupt a few nights’ sleep, but you should continue sleep training your child. Sticking to regular sleep timings and enforcing them by building a bedtime routine is one of the keys to putting your teething baby to sleep. Foregoing sleep training because your baby is teething and cannot sleep due to the pain usually makes it more difficult for the baby to sleep.

2. Can Teething Make Some Babies Sleep More?

According to a popular website, some parents have anecdotally reported that their kids slept more while they were teething. Teething can make a baby feel a bit dull, and hence, he/she might sleep more. However, there is no evidence to prove this. Your baby might be sleeping more because he is going through a growth spurt. Babies are in a growing phase, and although their growth may not always be constant, it can be rapid at one time and stable during another time; hence, the term “growth spurt”. Children going through a growth spurt are observed to sleep more, whether while taking naps or sleeping through the night. Teething is a natural process, and sometimes, the natural process can involve pain. As a mommy, you know best, so do what you think is right.

3. Can Teething Cause Symptoms Like Fever or Diarrhea in Your Baby?

Teething itself does not typically cause fever or diarrhea. However, some babies may experience a slightly elevated body temperature during teething, but it’s not a true fever. If your baby has a high fever or diarrhea, it’s more likely due to an unrelated illness, and you should consult a healthcare professional.

4. Can the Teething Be More Painful at Night?

Yes, teething can be more painful at night for some babies. This can be attributed to several factors, including fatigue from the day’s activities and the absence of distractions at night, making the discomfort more noticeable. It’s essential to provide comfort and appropriate remedies to help your baby sleep better during teething-related discomfort, especially at night.

We hope the above tips help your teething baby sleep. Meanwhile, stick to sleep training because, in some years, your child will be alright, waking up well-rested after a sound night of sleep, with a precious smile showing off brand-new white teeth, which is all you need to forget the tough teething nights.

References/Resources:

1. Teething & Tooth Care; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/default.aspx

2. Eruption Charts; American Dental Association; https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/eruption-charts/

3. Teething; American Dental Association; https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/teething/

4. Macknin. M. L, Piedmonte. M, Jacobs. J, Skibinski. C; Symptoms associated with infant teething: a prospective study (Pediatrics); National Library of Medicine; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10742315/; April 2000

5. Massignan. C, Cardoso. M, Porporatti. A, Aydinoz. S, et al.; Signs and Symptoms of Primary Tooth Eruption: A Meta-analysis (Pediatrics); American Academy of Pediatrics; https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/137/3/e20153501/81436/Signs-and-Symptoms-of-Primary-Tooth-Eruption-A; March 2016

6. Baby Teething Pain; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/Teething-Pain.aspx

7. Baby Teeth; American Dental Association; https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/baby-teeth/

8. Safely Soothing Teething Pain and Sensory Needs in Babies and Older Children; U.S. Food & Drug Association; https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/safely-soothing-teething-pain-and-sensory-needs-babies-and-older-children

Also Read:

Baby Teeth Order of Appearance
Common Baby Teething Symptoms
Effective Baby Teething Remedies
Baby Teething Myths & Facts Parents Should Know

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