Teething Pain

What to do and how to manage it

tips for Teething pain in babies

“Teething” is when a baby has a tooth come through the gums, which can be uncomfortable for your baby, especially the few days before the tooth busts through. When your baby is teething, usually you’ll see red, inflamed gums and even a little white shadow just below the surface of the gums. Fussiness, drooling, and putting hands to mouth could indicate teething, but they’re also very common when babies aren’t teething so they’re not definitive signs. Contrary to popular belief, teething is not associated with fever, diarrhea, and refusing to nurse.


teething toys

Chill a silicone teether in the fridge for 20 minutes before giving to your baby (don’t freeze it—this can hurt your baby’s gums)

Avoid teething toys that have beads as they can be choking hazards if they come apart

Household objects that you can use as teething “toys”: a silicone spoon, baby toothbrush, Tupperware lid

cold things

Give your baby a cold, damp washcloth to gnaw on. Tie one corner in a knot, dip in water or breastmilk/ formula, and put in freezer for 20 minutes until it’s chilled but not frozen solid

For babies 6+ months, you can offer semi-frozen, easily mashed fruit

gum massage

Massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger or toothbrush


For babies 3+ months with really bad pain, consider giving acetaminophen

The FDA and AAP advise against using numbing gels, creams, or pain relievers intended to be rubbed on gums

See Fever Cheat Sheet for a quick reference dosage chart for acetaminophen and ibuprofen

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