How To Help A Teething Baby

How To Help A Teething Baby

Is there anything worse as a parent than seeing your baby in pain and upset and not being able to do anything about it? Probably not – it’s awful when you feel so helpless and just want to protect your little one but don’t know what to do.

Teething is a lot like that. Your baby will be in pain and a great deal of discomfort, and as a parent, you’ll just need to guide them through it as best you can. It’s a natural process and nothing to worry about in the grand scheme of things (it would be more worrying if your baby’s teeth took a long time to come through or didn’t come through at all), but when you’re all going through it, it can be a challenge, to say the least. 

Baby teething, ways to help alleviate pain

Photo by Sasha Kim

Although you might think there’s nothing you can do and that you’re entirely at the mercy of the teething process, the truth is that there are some things you can do that will help a teething baby. You might not be able to take the pain away altogether, but you can certainly soothe the situation, and that’s a positive thing for everyone involved. With that in mind, here are some useful tips about how to help a teething baby that you’ll definitely want to draw on when the time comes. 

Use A Chilled Teething Ring

Teething is something that affects children in different ways, and for some, they might just sail through without even realizing – and without you even realizing until you notice some pearly whites poking out of their gums. Others will have a lot of pain, and teething can even cause 3-month sleep regression symptoms, which is bad news for the whole household.


Because of this, there will be different ways to help your child, depending on how their teething is affecting them. One option that can help mild to more severe teething pain is a teething ring. Teething rings exist for a reason, and they’ve been around for a long time, so you can trust in the fact that they’ll do what they’re meant to do and help your child get through this uncomfortable (or even painful) stage in their little life.

It’s best to buy more than one teething ring (or teething toy) because they’re going to get pretty soggy and mucky rather quickly, so you’ll need to be able to switch them out when you have to – in the meantime, you can wash the one they’ve just been using so it’s ready for when they want it again. 

Another reason to have more than one teething ring is that you can always offer a chilled one, and a chilled teething ring is often the very best version of all. By placing a teething ring in the fridge for a little while, it becomes much more soothing when your baby puts it in their mouth, helping to numb the gums and stop the pain. Remember that you mustn’t ever put a teething ring in the freezer, no matter how tempting it might be or how little time you have; the freezer is too cold, and a frozen teething ring could cause damage as it’s too hard to chew properly. Plus, if it’s too cold, your baby won’t want to use it, defeating the object. The fridge is just right. 

Give Them A Crunchy Treat

Assuming your baby has moved on to solid foods, something else that’s going to work wonders when it comes to teething and reducing the discomfort is giving them a crunchy treat to enjoy. Of course, if your little one hasn’t progressed to solid food just yet, this idea won’t work (and don’t just assume that it’s older babies who have to go through teething; some tiny ones start teething very early on), but there are plenty of others on the list that can be perfect even for very young babies, so don’t worry. 

However, if solid food is a possibility, then something crunchy (and healthy, of course) might work well when it comes to soothing the pain that comes with teething. So, what do we mean by a crunchy snack? It could be a lot of things, but ideally, your baby will be old enough to be able to feed themselves with it – it just helps to make things easier. Plus, they’ll know where the food feels best in their mouth and on their gums, so they’ll know where to place it for the best relief. 

Some suggestions as to what you could give your baby include breadsticks, bread crusts, celery, carrots, and apples (cut into finger food size). Don’t give them anything sugary like cookies or even baby rusks, as these could damage the teeth before they’ve even properly erupted. Finally, and this is probably something you already know, but it’s worth mentioning just in case, never leave your little one alone with food – they’re still getting used to eating, and choking can happen in an instant, so you need to be there to help them if it does. 

Massage Their Gums 

This idea might not sound all that appealing – do you really want to put your finger in a teething baby’s mouth? – but even so, it can be what’s needed to give your little one so much-wanted relief, so whether it’s down to a fear of getting bitten or squeamishness over bodily fluids, it’s time to get over that issue and start massaging your baby’s gum if you possibly can. 


Use a clean finger and gently massage the gums in circular motions to give the most relief. Not only will this soothe at least some of your baby’s pain, but it’s also a lovely way to bond. Although they might not quite understand what you’re doing, they will know that it’s helping them feel better, and just being close to you can help them get some comfort too, so all that added together could spell the answer to your baby’s teething problems. 

Give Them Some Water

You’ll know that very young babies can only be given milk, both as their food and drink, but as they get older, transitioning to solid food also means changing their hydration methods, so you’ll have to reduce how much milk they have and replace it with water. 

If you’ve reached that stage, then you can give your baby water, and that can have a positive effect on the pain they’re feeling because of their teething. As surprising as it might sound, water isn’t just the best thing of all to quench your thirst (and your baby’s thirst, of course), but it’s also one of the best ways to soothe the pain and discomfort that comes with teething, so it’s well worth trying – you’ll probably be amazed at the results. In fact, any cool liquid can make a difference, but water is a wise choice as there’s no sugar in it, so it’s not going to be bad for those brand-new teeth. If you do want to add some flavor for variety, make sure you opt for sugar-free drinks, but try to stick to water if you can, as it’s the best thing out there when it comes to pain relief and proper hydration. 

Wipe Dribble Away

Teething has a lot of symptoms, but one that you might notice before anything else is a lot more dribble than usual. It happens because the body deliberately makes more saliva as a means of soothing the sore gums, but there’s often so much that the baby can’t swallow it as they normally would, so they dribble over their cheeks and chins and can get very wet and messy because of it. 


Although you might focus on ways to prevent or reduce the pain inside the mouth when you’re dealing with teething, don’t forget that all that excess dribble can cause pain and discomfort outside the mouth as well, on the cheeks, chin, and neck where the saliva is collecting. It can make the skin sore and red and even bring the baby up in a rash that just makes them feel even worse than they already do. 

Always have a soft cloth or muslin with you so you can gently wipe away the saliva and make your baby comfortable again – or as comfortable as possible. There’s no point in making their gums feel better if their faces are sore, as they’ll still be in pain. 

Distract Them 

You can do a lot to help your child feel better when they’re teething and to reduce their pain as much as possible, but those teeth still need to come through, so it’s still going to be uncomfortable for them, even if you are able to reduce the pain. 

What’s the answer? Distraction! If you’re able to distract your baby from their teething, they’ll ‘forget’ (as far as possible) about their discomfort because they’re doing something else. That could be playing with a toy, playing with you, going for a walk and looking at nature, listening to a story, and so on. Some babies are harder to distract than others – it will depend on their pain tolerance, and with that, everyone’s different – so you might need to try a few things and experiment with ideas. Once you find the right way to distract them, however, you’ll find it really can ease their pain – and your worry.