Teething and Sleep: How Can I Help?

Teething is one of the many milestones your baby will have to tackle in his or her infant months. Parents that have just started getting a little more sleep at night should get prepared for a few more nights of less sleep. The good news is that the situation won’t be as bad as late night feedings!

Baby teething may often surprise you. While nursing, your baby may chomp down on your breast and shock you, or you may see a tooth when he or she smiles. Many parents wonder when this blessed event happens. Will my baby be able to sleep during teething? Some babies experience little teething issues and some are very uncomfortable with it. This may cause struggles during both naptime and bedtime. Read on for some helpful tips to get you through stage and fight for teething and sleep problems.

What Are The Teething Symptoms?

Teething symptoms are the main cause of babies losing some sleep at night. It is often hard to tell between teething and other illness, but here are some classic teething symptoms such as your baby may start to drool when the tooth is popping through the gum, fussiness, mouth rash, loose stools and possible low-grade fever.

These symptoms are so non-specific which makes ithard to tell whether they are related to teething or they means that your baby might be sick. Teething symptoms usually only last between 24 and 72 hours before the tooth erupts. During this time period you will also notice a disruption in sleep routine. After the tooth erupts, the symptoms should clear up and you will be able to resume your baby’s usual routines.

How to Soothe My Teething Baby to Sleep at Night

Since the symptoms of teething only last for 24 to 72 hours with each new tooth eruption, you will need some tricks to help your baby get some sleep during this period. The following tips may help you deal with teething and sleep problems.

Tips

What to Do

Keep the house quiet and relaxed

When your baby is overly fussy, a quiet and calm environment will help to calm him or her. Keep the lights down, television and radio low, and ask family members to talk softly.

Switch baby’s diet to soft foods

Frozen bagels or waffles, teething cookies and teething rings may work as a tool to soothe teething babies. However, chewing on something hard will increase your baby’s pain later on in the evening. Sticking to soft foods, likemashedbanana, potatoes, infant cereal, pureed baby food and pasta, can relieve discomforts for your baby.

No nighttime feedings

Avoid feedings or giving bottles. This can irritate the gums and make it harder to get your baby back to sleep. Also, don’t give your baby any foods at night while lying down in their crib as this can be a choking hazard. But you can offer some water and rub their back softly which will relieve some discomforts.

Keep mouth area dry

Drooling can cause a bad rash around baby’s mouth. Dry the area frequently and use a drooling bib. You can also use a little Vaseline, ointmentor other emollient around the mouth area to prevent irritation.

Extra diaper changes may needed

If your baby’s stools are loose due to teething, you may need some extra diaper changes during the night. Drooling can increase fluids and loosen baby’s stools. Watch your baby for excessive diarrhea like stools. Your pediatrician will need to know about this.

Try a homeopathic teething remedy

There are a number of safe homeopathic teething remedies that are safe for babies. These use natural substances that work with the body to relieve the pain and inflammation of teething, and they can also help calm your baby to sleep.

Get back to night routine quickly

If you have been successful with getting your baby to sleep through the night, a teething episode may throw things off. As soon as the tooth erupts and baby is getting calmer, get right back into your normal night routine.

Watch this helpful video made by sleep expert, Dana Obleman. She explains some good tips on teething and sleep problems.

Be Careful with the Medicines for Baby Teething

Teething gels and pain relievers are actual medications. Always talk to your doctor before using these to your baby.

1. Can I Apply Teething Gels?

Teething gel applied to your baby’s gums can bring pain relief for up to 20 minutes. Keep in mind that teething gels should not be used too often in small babies and try not to use it too close to feeding time. If your baby’s tongue is numb, they won’t be able to get any milk. Your breast will also feel the numbing effects.

Homeopathic remedies are very popular and worth a try. There is no scientific proof that they work, but they are all-natural. You just place a tablet or granules into your baby’s mouth and they safely dissolve. Make sure they don’t contain any sugar to protect baby’s new teeth.

2. Can I Give My Baby Painkillers?

You need to consult with your pediatrician first before giving your baby pain medication. It may not be teethingbut possibly an ear infection that is causing your baby to be fussy. Always see your doctor right away if your baby has a fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you have checked with your doctor, you can start giving your baby infant acetaminophen according to the package directions and the baby’s weight. It is important to know your baby’s current weightand the exact dose from the medication instruction oryour doctor.