Babies are hard work and just as you think you have their routine perfect and you are all managing to get some good sleep, boom teething hits and it all goes out the window.
Sorry, it’s usually not that dramatic but it certainly can be a difficult time with a little one. No parent wants to see their baby in pain and not be able to do anything about it.
So to help you prepare for these teething times or to help you survive them if you are already living in them we have put together some top tips to help soothe a teething baby at night.
In this article
- When Do Babies Start teething And When Does The Pain Stop?
- 8 Tips To Soothe A Teething Baby At Night
- The Final Thought
When Do Babies Start teething And When Does The Pain Stop?
Babies begin teething between 4 and 7 months old, of course, every baby is different so it is quite difficult to put an exact time scale on it.
Some babies are actually born with teeth although this is rare so don’t panic. But there are some classic signs that your baby is teething that you can look out for.
It is hard to say how long teething pain lasts. Some babies may feel the pain months before there is any sign of a tooth, others may feel the pain once the teeth are making their way out of the gums.
The intensity of pain will vary from one baby to another in exactly the same way it does in an adult. However, the pain usually subsides once the tooth has grown out of the gums.
Signs and Symptoms of Teething
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Teething makes babies drool more than usual, so if you do notice your little one has turned into a drooling monster then there is a pretty good chance that they are teething.
You may want to keep something on hand to wipe their chin every now and again so that it doesn’t get sore.
Chewing and biting on whatever they can find helps your baby to alleviate the pain of new teeth poking through their gums by applying pressure.
Teething pain can make your usual ray of sunshine a right old grouchy pants. But it is to be expected if you had a toothache you would not be a happy person, would you?
Refusing to eat
The suction from nursing can cause the baby’s sore gums to feel much worse, this then causes a refusal or a loss of appetite. You could try to soothe the pain before nursing by massaging their gums and you may then see an increased appetite.
The discomfort and pain caused by their teething often disrupt little one’s sleep. You may notice that they are working throughout the night when they were previously sleeping right through.
Ear pulling and cheek rubbing
You may begin to notice your little one is continuously pulling their ear or rubbing their cheeks. This may be due to a shared nerve pathway in the cheeks, and ears. But do keep an eye out as pulling of the ear can also indicate an ear infection.
What To Avoid To Soothe A Teething Baby At Night
There are many ways to help your baby through the pain and discomfort of teething. But there are also some very unsafe practices that you need to avoid.
- Teething necklaces, bracelets, and anklets – These are not recommended by the FDA after they released a statement in 2018 stating “The risks of using jewelry for relieving teething pain include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth and infection.”
- The FDA also warned against the use of any numbing agents such as Orajel as it can be a serious risk to babies and children.
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How To Take Care Of Those New Pearly Whites
The best way to take care of those tiny new teeth is to wipe them over with a soft clean cloth twice a day. Once those first teeth appear you can use a small soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth twice a day.
Children don’t learn to spit out the toothpaste until they are around 3 years old so until then you can use a small smear of fluoride-free toothpaste.
It is also now time to think about dental check-ups. It is recommended that a child’s first checkup is scheduled for around their first birthday.
8 Tips To Soothe A Teething Baby At Night
As a new parent, you will be a prime target for so much unsolicited advice it will feel like your brain is going to implode.
But do not lose hope as in amongst all the weird and wonderful pieces of advice there will actually be some helpful and insightful ones too.
1. Give Them Something Cold To Chew On
The cold will help to desensitize nerves and reduce the pain in your little one’s mouth.
This is one of the biggest reasons why companies that make teething toys now make them out of rubber or gel-core-based teethers that can be placed in the refrigerator.
Teethers are toys that are made with the sole purpose of them being chewed and drooled on. The pressure from chewing can help to temporarily provide some relief from the teething pain.
If you get caught short and do not have any refrigerator friendly teething toys, you could always place a clean cloth in the freezer and let your baby get some relief by chewing on that.
Do ensure that your baby is always closely supervised when they have any kind of teething toy.
2. Create A Calm Environment
To get your baby to sleep at night, it is important that they have a proper schedule in place.
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When there is already a successful schedule in place babies are less likely to have disrupted sleep patterns when teething as their bodies become accustomed to a particular pattern.
A good bedtime routine will automatically make them sleepy as it subconsciously signals that it is time for bed. Activities like bath, pj’s, and story when performed in a set sequence will help to start these subconscious signals.
Breastfeeding calms your baby as you may have already discovered. But be aware that as your baby starts teething they may well start chewing on your nipples and even biting – this hurts.
In order to prevent this, you can massage their gums for a few minutes before feeding.
4. Feed Your Baby Cold Food
Feeding your baby cold foods such as yogurt, fruit, or vegetables before bed can help to soothe the pain in their gums, and having a full stomach induces sleep. Ensure that any foods that you give him are age-appropriate.
Another good option here is to purchase a baby fruit feeder that allows you to place foods in the pacifier and your baby can happily and safely chew on it without any risk of swallowing large pieces and choking.
5. Massage The Gums
Massaging their gums with your finger will ease the pain and help your baby fall asleep. If they work repeatedly throughout the night, you can continue to massage their gums, alleviating their pain and soothe them back to sleep again.
When you place your finger on your baby’s gums you will be able to feel where their teeth are coming through, this is where you need to pay special attention to when massaging.
6. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has many positive attributes, it helps to reduce inflammation, soothe stomach aches, promote relaxation, boost immunity, and induce sleep.
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So if you decide to give your baby chamomile tea it will help to ease the inflammation in their gums and induce sleep.
There are a few different ways to give your baby chamomile tea. You can give it to them in a standard feeding bottle at room temperature.
A rather inventive way to give it to your baby is to soak a clean cloth in chamomile tea and then place the cloth in the freezer before giving it to your baby to chew on.
Not only will the cold cloth help with the sore gums but chamomile tea will also help to induce sleep.
7. Use White Noise
When your little one is alone in their crib at night their teething pain can become more apparent to them. So by using white noise to distract them and hold their attention can help them to drift off to sleep independently.
8. Use Pain Killing Medication
This should really be your last resort after you have tried all the other methods without success. Pain killers can get rid of your baby’s pain temporarily and help to soothe him to sleep.
But it is advised that you consult with a doctor before using any painkilling medication.
Should I continue sleep training during teething?
Yes, you should definitely continue to sleep train during the teething phase as it can take up to three years before all your baby’s teeth are through.
You can expect teething to disrupt a few night’s sleep but you should continue to sleep train. As we have said above sticking to routine and bedtimes is key to getting your teething baby back to sleep.
Can teething make some babies sleep more?
There is no evidence to support that teething makes some babies sleep more. There are some stories from parents that their babies slept more when they were teething and teething can make your baby feel a bit meh so they may sleep a bit more.
Does teething cause fevers?
There is no evidence to suggest that fevers are caused by teething. It is more likely an illness that has caused the fever.
The Final Thought
Teething can be a tough time for parents and babies but it is important to remember that it is just a phase and it will pass soon enough. Hopefully, we have given you some great tips to help you get through the nights with your teething little one.