How to survive a teething baby

Updated: Apr 26

Teething is one of the not so nice moments of the baby years. Generally, it is pretty painful - not just for baby, but everyone else around them! You may be lucky and have an easy teether (my first was - after the first few came through I literally had to keep checking his mouth to know when they were coming through!) but if not, I’ve set out below some ideas to help see you through those tough days. First though, here are some of the typical signs of teething:

1. Excessive drooling

2. Sore bottom

3. Cranky, crying more, hard to settle

4. Slight temperature (not a fever)

5. Rosy cheeks

6. Constant chewing

7. Not sleeping as well as usual

8. Pulling ears

Your baby may experience all or some of the above, and perhaps some others – all babies are different and you will come to learn their own signs.

Below are things that helped me with my second baby who certainly always let us know when he was teething – he always got a sore bottom, we’d have a couple of sleepless nights and, until he was around 18 months, the drooling during teething time was like nothing I’ve ever seen before!

It’s not an exhaustive list (just what worked for us) so I’d love to hear what worked for you.

1. Anything cool! – I used to pop teething toys in the freezer so he could chew on them and the coldness would help soothe his sore gums. Frozen breastmilk or fruit (we used bananas) were also a hit

2. If you are willing to use over-the-counter medication then the best one we found for us was Anbesol liquid. For the worst of the sleepless nights we used Nurofen as we found it much more effective than Calpol (although my eldest responds better to Calpol so it’s a case of trial and error)

3. Lots of walks – when he just wouldn’t settle at home I’d get us out for a walk. He was much happier in his buggy (if I was lucky he’d fall asleep) and the fresh air always cheered me up too. I find nothing worse than staying at home trying to console an unhappy baby or trying to get one off to sleep that just won’t go!

4. If you get the opportunity of a break then grab a little daytime nap if you can. I know it’s not always possible, particularly if you have an older child but I always found just a small nap would help me get through the nights where we’d have many more wakes ups (often for extended periods of time). If it meant the housework didn’t get done or we had a “make do” dinner, it was worth it for the night time sanity it gave me. I’ll say here that I don’t do well without sleep so if you’re someone who isn’t phased by a lack of sleep then this may not be so essential for you.

5. Teething jewellery – my teething necklaces and bracelets have been chewed on no end (but are still in perfect condition!). Not only was it soothing for him to have something to chew on, it also kept him occupied and took his mind off the pain. It gave us extra quality time together too as, of course, he’d be snuggled up to me as I’d be wearing the jewellery

6. Bepanthen – I swear by this for nappy rash with my second (sudocrem was fine for my first but he barely got sore). He can go from being severely sore to almost completely healed within 24 hours with regular application of Bepanthen cream. His worst times for soreness are when teething and this has been a life saver.

7. Dribble bibs – I’d get through at least one an hour (sometimes two) during the worst few days of each teething episode. So we needed a huge supply. I’d wait until you know if dribbling will be a problem though because we had loads of bibs ready with our first and never needed any. At least they came in handy second time around (plus more!).

What has helped you get through the teething stage? I’d love to hear your remedies.

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