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Teething Survival Tips From Moms

Chew on these ideas that’ll help keep your little one comfy while cutting teeth

Freeze it out: Cold helps soothe swollen gums."My son liked to crunch on shaved ice through a teething net and to gnaw on a frozen teether," says Brooke Roeder, a mom of one from Austin, Texas. "I kept a few in the freezer, and I’d constantly switch them out." In a pinch, fill a clean baby sock with crushed ice and tie a knot at the top.

Try pops for tots: Make fruit juice popsicles. "Your baby will enjoy holding a yummy treat on a stick," says Blythe Lipman, author of Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions, and a mom of two in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mix together 1/3 parts fruit juice and 2/3 parts water and freeze in either Popsicle molds or paper cups with plastic spoons as sticks.

Rub away: "Dip a small piece of clean, white gauze in cold water and gently massage your baby's gums," Lipman says. "It’s a simple, but effective, solution."

Medicate as necessary: "We distracted my daughter with toys and the occasional Dora DVD to help her through teething discomfort during the day," says Kenna Jones a mom three in Phoenix, Arizona. "If things got really bad at night, we’d go for the baby Motrin, which allowed her enough relief to rest."

Soothe with sympathy: "When my son whined and clung to me, I always tried to remember how utterly uncomfortable he must be from teething," says Roeder. "That helped me stay present and compassionate, which kept him comforted. Nursing, in particular, seemed to help him past the rough spots; it seemed like the sucking action helped relieve some of the pressure in his jaws and gums."

Just chew it: "My son gnawed on everything in sight when he was teething," recalls Heather Lowe, a mom of one in San Francisco, California. "We stocked up on high-quality teething rings and small stuffed toys, and would hand him clean rubber spatulas to mouth while we made dinner. It was a little like having a puppy for a while there, but we made it through, and with very few teething tears."

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