How to Soothe a Teething Baby to Fall Sleep

image001According to Nemours Foundation, babies can begin teething at just three months and this could go on until the child’s third birthday. Teething as you may already know comes with a world of problems. It causes swelling in the gums and consequent pain, irritation and drooling. When an infant is undergoing teething, it’s difficult for them to feed. All the discomfort may cause the young one to get quite cranky and fussy. Teething also causes sleep problems and often makes it difficult for the baby to fall asleep, let alone stay asleep. There are a few tips that can help give your child a less stressing teething process thus helping him sleep better.

How to Get a Teething Baby to Sleep Through the Night

1. Soothe Painful Gums

Normally, babies are able to find items they can chew on to help relieve the pressure. A teething ring or a piece of peeled, raw and chilled carrot work well to relieve the pain. You can give your baby a cold flannel which he can gnaw on, chilled water in a feeding cup, bottle or chilled teethers. Cold items tend to be soothing and if he is old enough, you can give offer chilled plain yogurt or apple puree. Rubbing your clean finger over the gums also could help ease the pain though temporarily. Click here to learn more teething remedies. 

2. Use Teething Gels with Caution

Teething gels can be effective in providing relief to sore gums. However, they should be used sparingly because the gel could numb the tongue making it difficult for the baby to feed. The gel not only numbs the child’s tongue but chances are high that it will also numb your areola thus making it difficult for you to feed the child as well. Six times a day is maximum number of times you should use teething gel. Most importantly, avoid using teething gels before feeding.

3. Giver Painkillers in a Safe Way

First, find out if the child is suffering from any other conditions. Ear infections and teething have similar symptoms and many parents confuse the two. If your baby has a fever, seek medical attention.

  • Paracetamol could be administered and the dosage must be correct. Only give paracetamol to babies older than two months and Ibuprofen to children older than three months. The baby must weigh at least 11lbs/5kg. Get the correct dosage information from your pediatrician or pharmacist. Teething is a long process and it will recur from time to time, it’s therefore recommended that you avoid regularly giving your child pain relief medication.
  • If you do decide to give your child painkillers, avoid aspirin at all costs. Aspirin has been associated with Reyes syndrome in children under 20 years. Although rare, Reyes syndrome is quite serious.

4. Create a Nice Environment

How to get a teething baby to sleep through the night? Make the home a quiet and comfortable environment both at night and during the day. This helps keep the baby calm and creates a good environment for sleep.

5. Feed Soft Foods

Prevent gum irritation and inflammation by feeding your baby with soft foods at night. While hard foods may soothe the teeth temporarily, they could increase irritation and make it difficult for the baby to sleep. Mashed foods, pasta and baby formula are great examples of soft foods.

6. Maintain Bedtime Routine

Maintain the bedtime routine especially when your baby is fussy. Keeping a routine for bedtime helps ensure that the child gets enough rest and relaxation. It also increases the chances of him sleeping at his normal bedtime.

7. Deal with the Cry

You need to have the ability to identify a cry for attention and a cry coming from pain. Don’t ignore crying and comfort your child by singing or talking to him. Only pick up the child when he is in real anguish. Do not break the helpful sleep habits you have already created as it may be difficult to get back on track later.

Experience from One Mom

“My baby started waking up when she was 6 months old and she would be up 3 times every night. Previously, she had been quite a good sleeper and would sleep right through the night. At first it was quite difficult as it had not hit me that she was teething. The only thing that helped her get back to sleep was feeding. Eventually, I got the hang of things and here’s what I learnt:

At 6 months babies are not only teething, they are also getting more active. When teething they will want attention and comfort and you can help by providing some paracetamol and feeding them on solids during the day. At night, you will be woken up and you might want to try stretching out the feeding times which is what I did. My baby would wake up at 10, 1 and 4. I would feed her at 10 then try and stretch out the feeding time for much longer by rocking her or talking to her. Eventually, we moved to feeding twice at 10pm and 4am before night time feeding stopped altogether. The first few weeks are the worst but, it got better with time.”

Notes: How Long Will It Last?

You cannot predict how long the teething process will last, as it differs from child to child. However, you can gain comfort knowing that the first set of teeth tend to be the worst experience. The pain subsides with time until the molars begin to emerge. Thankfully, molars appear when your baby is a bit older after his first birthday which means that you will get some time to recover from the stress associated with teething.

Sometimes babies may display teething symptoms months before they actually begin to teeth while others will only be in distress before the tooth emerges. There are no predictions with the imminent teething process. But, you can create coping mechanisms to ensure that both you and the baby are comfortable and getting a good night’s sleep.

Watch a video for more on how to get a teething baby to sleep through the night: