Tips to Help Your Teething Baby Sleep

By Misty on in Baby Sleep Help Baby Sleep Products Health Concerns Safety and Comfort with 2 Comments

Tips to Help Your Teething Baby Sleep
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The last few weeks in our house has been filled with some big changes for my daughter. She didn’t sprout her first two bottom teeth until she was 10 months old but for last week we watched as her two top teeth made their way out for the world to see. This of course has led to some interruption in her sleep schedule due to the pain that can happen while teething.

If your baby is between the ages of 4-8 months and suddenly waking in the middle of the night crying, it may be time to check their mouth for those famous little bumps that our parents lamented about as we were growing up. The classic symptoms you will see if your baby is teething might include some extra crying, excessive drooling and chewing a little more than usual on their toys (or other items) as the eruption of new teeth occur. It’s a painful, but necessary part of life for your baby and as a parent I’m sure there is nothing you wouldn’t do to give your little darling some relief and comfort from teething.

The big issue with teething aside from causing misery for a short while is that teething doesn’t switch on and off so that your baby can sleep during the night. It can be one of the most frustrating and emotional times as a parent and very traumatizing for your baby. Not only are they dealing with pain in their mouth that they don’t understand, but if their sleep schedule is being affected, it adds a whole new level of irritability and restlessness.

Your baby will get about 20 new teeth between the ages of 4 months and 2 years old, resulting in 3-5 sleepless nights per tooth. If you do the math on that, it adds up to many sleepless nights ahead for you and your baby unless you find a way to relieve your little one’s pain to ensure they keep getting that necessary rest.

Here are some tips to give you a strong start in helping your baby sleep at night while they are teething. Keep in mind that all babies are different, and if one method doesn’t work, keep trying different methods until you find one that is the perfect solution for your baby. Babies will react to different levels of dosage as well so be sure to check with your pediatrician before implementing any pain reliever or medicinal treatment.

Baby Orajel

When it comes to using Baby Orajel, it’s important to note that the FDA no longer recommends the use of Orajel to relieve gum pain. This is due to the ingredient benzocaine, which has been known to cause a fatal condition known as methemoglobinemia, which is a blood disorder that causes low levels of oxygen to be carried through the blood stream and may result in death. Children under 2 years old are at a greater risk.

Having said that, there is an alternative. Orajel has a new product available called Baby Orajel Naturals Teething Gel that is highly recommended by pediatricians and is a safe and effective way to soothe your baby’s gums. Baby Orajel Naturals is free of benzocaine, balladonna, dyes and parabens and makes uses of the soothing power of chamomile, making it a much safer alternative to the original Orajel formula.

Oral Medications

Using a pain reliever such as Tylenol (which lasts for 4 hours) and Motrin (which lasts for 6 hours) before bed can help relieve the pain and make sleeping more comfortable and lowers the chances of your baby being awakened by teething pain.

On nights when teething is a problem with her sleep, I start her off at bedtime with a dose of Tylenol to help her sleep. If the pain is bad and she wakes again during the night, and she typically does about 4-5 hours later when she’s teething, I switch in the Motrin because it lasts 6 hours, which is quite a bit longer. This gets her through the rest of the night until morning when she wakes. Most pain relievers will take about 30 minutes to take effect so keep that in mind to be sure there isn’t much of a disturbance in sleep schedule.

If you want to try to prevent the middle of the night waking due to teething pain, you can give them the Tylenol or Motrin while they sleep by using a syringe or a dropper and putting the medicine in the back of their mouth. Do it gently and let them swallow the medicine on their own. It will take some practice, but you will quickly figure out a technique that works.

*Always check with your pediatrician before giving any medication to your baby. Many doctors don’t recommend giving Motrin until your baby is a bit older in months.

Teething Tablets

Teething tablets are effective in relieving the restlessness and irritability that come with teething.  I first heard about teething tablets through a parenting group I frequently read and thought I would give them a try. I originally purchased the Hyland’s teething tablets at the recommendation of another mother, but later read that Hyland’s brand contained belladonna in the tablets which is a hallucinogen and I didn’t feel safe giving that to my daughter. I ended up tossing those as soon as I got them and instead went with the Baby Orajel Naturals Teething Tablets.

Again, I always recommend consulting with your own pediatrician before administering anything to your baby, but they worked wonders for my daughter. When she gets a teething tablet the change is like magic. The crying stops, the drooling decreases and she is overall a much happier baby. Given right before bed, she sleeps wonderfully all night long.

Breastfeeding

If you are a breastfeeding mom, you are in luck because you have a fantastic natural teething remedy built in! Babies typically want to nurse more while teething as it is not only comforting to baby, but can also add a great amount of soothing relief in the form with the pressure on their gums while nursing.

Temporary Cold Remedies

  • Teethers are a great way to relieve the pain of teething without giving your baby a dose of medication. Keep them in the fridge and swap them out as they warm up.
  • Bottles filled with cold water are another great natural remedy to relieve teething pain. They will chew on the nipple of the bottle for the pressure relief but also have the coldness to help numb their store gums. I don’t recommend putting baby to sleep with a bottle of milk or formula but letting your baby fall asleep with a bottle filled with very cold cold water could give some relief, especially during nap time when they are sleeping lighter and may wake up more often. The coldness could last through the whole nap.
  • At night time, if you are rocking your baby to sleep try letting them suck on a clean cold washcloth while they call asleep. Again, the relief won’t last long, but should help them fall asleep.

Overall, be there as a comfort and support for your baby during the teething process. It’s a painful disruption for their little worlds and if they’re unable to sleep at night, not only use these tips and tricks but be there for cuddles, snuggles, hugs, and kisses. Your comfort and soothing voice will be one of the best additions to their teething treatment.

Photo Credit: Cantaloupe99 on Flickr

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2 Comments

  1. Lynda Lippin

    January 6, 2014 at 9:13 pm · Reply

    Teething is just a tough time. You feel so bad because you know it hurts, but after a while the crying gets so intense. I agree that painkillers (natural or tylenol) are the best route for all involved. Just remember that this too shall pass.

  2. Misty

    January 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm · Reply

    If we would all remember that it will pass, we'd probably all be a little less nutty. Thanks for stopping by Lynda! :)

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