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Taming teething pain

The first tooth is a huge, super-exciting milestone — for mom and dad. But for baby, it’s not exactly fun. Even tiny teeth cutting through her gums can hurt, so it’s no wonder she may be cranky (and maybe scream a little).

Keep her entertained

Get your little one's mind off the pain. Take her somewhere new — like the zoo or a music class. Read her a great colorful baby board book, or just head out for some exploring at the park.

Make sure she's getting enough rest

A baby who is in pain will only be more upset if she's not sleeping well. If she can't sleep well due to pain, it might be time to try some medical treatments.

Medicinal treatments

Before attempting to give your baby medicine (natural or conventional), talk to your baby's pediatrician about your options, which will usually include things like:

  • Homeopathic teething tablets: Note that most contain small amounts of sugar, so wiping your baby's gums is important.
  • Baby Advil, MOTRIN or TYLENOL: This may be the best way to help your baby get some rest if teething pain is keeping her up. Save this sort of medicine for when the pain is halting your baby's regular activity because you never want to give too much over-the-counter medicine to your baby. (Always check with your healthcare provider before giving any medicines.)
  • Teething gel: I tried something like Baby Orajel with my son when he was teething, and it didn't seem to help, but your baby could be a different story. Keep in mind that teething gels cause lots of extra drooling, so be prepared with a cloth or your baby's chin may become irritated from excessive wetness.

Never rub your baby's gums with alcohol. This is an old-time remedy, it's true, but back when this was common, we had no idea how bad alcohol was. Alcohol in any form is never safe for your baby.

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