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How To Help A Teething Baby Sleep

Your gorgeous little bundle of joy has suddenly turned into a drool monster. They’re irritable, fussy, covered in a sticky mess and a rash is breaking out all around their mouth. Worse still, the poor little thing can’t get a decent sleep! And neither can you… And so you pose the question. How to help a teething baby sleep?

Teething can be a really tough time in a newborn’s life for parents and children alike. Unfortunately it is an unavoidable part of a child’s growth and development journey. If your child isn’t sleeping well, it’s almost inevitable that you won’t be sleeping well either. But don’t worry, although it may seem like you’re at a loss, there a few things you can do to help soothe their pain and make the journey that little bit easier. Here are the top tips on how to help a teething baby sleep! And remember, once your little monster is sound asleep, there are still things that you may need to do to manage your own sleep deprivation, so don’t forget about looking after yourself too!

How to help a teething baby sleep

How To Help A Teething Baby Sleep
Part 1: The Detective

I would argue the hardest thing about raising a newborn is the fact that they can’t tell you how they are feeling. Its up to you as their parent to determine what they want or need in any given moment. The relationship you develop with you child helps make this easier, but oftentimes its just a matter of trial and error. When your child is teething, the same principle applies. Try to do a little detective work to determine any other potential sources of discomfort.

  1. Are they hungry? Maybe try to breastfeed or offer a bottle.
  2. Does their nappy need changing? That’s an easy one to check.
  3. Are they too cold? Too hot? It’s worth trying to maintain a relatively consistent temperature in your child’s room to help them sleep. You may also want to check their temperature, just in case.
  4. Is there too much light or noise preventing them from sleeping? Blackout curtains or white noise machines can really help your child sleep, even outside of the teething phase!

Do your best to eliminate any other possibilities before jumping to any conclusions about teething. That being said, if they are soaked in saliva and their gums are bright red, maybe its OK to jump to conclusions! 

How to help a teething baby sleep

How To Help A Teething Baby Sleep
Part 2: The Doctor

Step aside Sherlock Holmes! Your detective work has revealed that it must be teething. You’re job now is to soothe your child. This may come directly from soothing their pain, or from a more broader sense of comfort and safety that only a parent can give to their little one. Here’s some advice on how to soothe a teething baby at night.

  1. Dry the drool – Do you best to soak up any excess saliva and even change their clothes if necessary. The moisture can create discomfort and may even be making them cold. It may be tempting to put a bib on, but the choking risk is too high, so please don’t do this.
  2. Gum massage – This may seem a little odd, but plenty of parent swear by it. Using clean hands, take your finger or knuckle and gently rub the little ones gums, focusing on whatever area you think their soreness is coming from. A little bonjela on their gums might help too!
  3. Cuddles – Holding your child close and rocking them gently is an age-old way to make them feel safe, loved and comforted. This may be all it takes to get them to go back to the land of nod. Try out your favorite technique for a few minutes and see if they settle.
  4. Teething toys – There’s a good reason that there are so many different teething toys out there. It’s because they work! During the teething phase you are likely to notice baby is putting absolutely everything in their mouth. This is because the act of chewing helps provide some relief to the irritation. Don’t be afraid to promote this with good quality, safe teethers. Why not check out our review of the best teethers for babies!
  5. Provide something that offers relief through cooling – Like many aches and pains, applying cold can help to soothe the discomfort. Teething pain is no different. Chilled food/drink or a clean washcloth that’s been in the freezer for a little while can provide some comfort. Some teethers can also be placed in the fridge / freezer, so keep an eye out for those too! Just be careful not to offer fully frozen things to your child as the sudden temperature may be a shock and cause even more discomfort.
  6. Pacifiers – Research has shown that sucking can help calm babies. A pacifier may help them get back to dreamland, so its worth a try. What’s more, sleeping with a pacifier has even been linked to a reduced risk of SIDS!
  7. Pain medication – Children’s Ibuprofen or paracetamol can be super helpful. It’s not something to make a habit of, but if you need a good night’s sleep it can be a lifesaver. If you are doing this more a day or two in a row, it would be wise to consult a doctor. Please keep in mind that aspirin should be avoided as it has been associated with a greater risk of Reye’s Syndrome.
How to help a teething baby sleep

As a last piece of advice, routine can be a very powerful thing with a child. If you haven’t already, consider implementing a schedule with your baby. If they become accustomed to sleeping at certain times, after certain activities, or cued by certain sounds, sights or smells, it can help to condition their little bodies and brain into a more restful state. This allows for a longer and more peaceful sleep, even during the teething phase. If you haven’t already, do a little research, its definitely worth learning about bedtime routines for babies

If none of these tips work, you should consult your pediatrician for advice on how best to manage night time teething pain. It could also be another developmental change that causes sleep regression, so best consult an expert!

It’s tough, I know. Every parent goes through it and makes it out the other side. You can too, and hopefully these tips will help make things easier. Once all those teeth are in, life will get easier.

How About A New Toy For The Little One?

This is our jam! Baby toys are what we’re all about, so you’re sure to find something exciting, educational and super-duper fun! Why not check out loads of great ideas right here!

And if you’re just starting your baby toy journey, then it’s best to begin with the basics by taking a look at our Definitive Guide to the Best Toys for Babies. Here, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to get those creative juices flowing and help you find the perfect baby toy.

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