If your baby is teething, you’re probably well under way into your Google search for how to help a teething baby with toys and remedies to give your little one some sort of comfort or relief during this horrendous time in their lives. I know I was all-over Google when at 14 weeks James started to show the first signs of teething – excessive dribbling, red gums with white patches, hands constantly in his mouth, screaming, pulling off the breast/bottle during feeds, foul nappies and red cheeks.
Teething is no fun for babies and heartbreaking for parents. I knew it was painful but I had no idea how agonising it is for little ones to cut their first tooth (and second, third, fourth…). At 16 weeks James was in full-blown teething mode and we had some horrendous days and nights where he would just scream in pain, struggling to feed and sleep.
I can’t really see any teeth emerging, and for a while I thought the worst had passed, but now at 30 weeks, my poor little James is struggling again with his teeth, so we’re back to square one. I’ve whipped my teething kit out of the cupboard and I’m doing everything I can to help my baby (and ultimately, myself as well, because we’re not getting much sleep or rest). Although, in the end, nothing really helped him on a couple of extremely bad days, most days we have been able to keep him calm and moderately pain-free using these toys and remedies.
Handy Rubber Teether, £3.99 – Mothercare (similar)
This was great when James was younger, because it’s easy for his little hands to grip and it stopped him from putting his hands or my hands into his mouth – at least for a few minutes. Now, James loves playing with it in the bath and whilst waiting for his food to cool. The rubber material is quite rigid, so I think he finds that relieves some of the pain when he bites down hard into it. My mum brought this one from Brazil, so I can’t find the exact same model online, but Mothercare sells a very similar rubber hand.
Tommee Tippee Stage 1 Teether, £4 – Tesco
If the rubber part of this teether was slightly narrower, this would definitely have been James’ favourite toy. It’s quite chewy and also easy to grip, but James can’t get the whole thing in his mouth, so he just ends up biting on one side and the other side sticks out of his mouth. It’s quite a clever design, as it mimics the shape of a dummy, and you can also put it in the fridge for a few minutes to make it nice and cool (not frozen) before giving it to your baby, which is often soothing on the gums.
MAM Starter Teether, £5.50 – Tesco
This was the first teething ring I bought for James when he was only 3 months old, and at first he found it difficult to hold and bite on it at the same time, but he slowly got the hang of it and seemed to really enjoy it. Again, the same as the Tommee Tippee one above, he can’t quite get it in his mouth properly, so it frustrates him a bit and it usually ends up across the room within a few minutes.
Sophie La Giraffe Teething Ring, £9.99 – Boots
This is by far the best purchase I made in terms of teething toys! James absolutely loves Sophie and will happily bite and chew her for a really long time. It’s the perfect size for small hands to grip, he can put all of the sides in his mouth, including Sophie’s head (his favourite part!), and it’s rather soft on his gums. I can’t tell you how much this was worth the money and I would highly recommend getting a Sophie for your teething baby.
Bonjela Teething Gel, £2.69 – Boots
This goes with me everywhere because it provides a quick, albeit very mild, pain relief by numbing the affected area. I rub it all over James’ gums when he starts to get a bit grizzly and it seems to work, unless he’s having a very bad teething day, in which case, I move on to something stronger. On a normal teething day, I use this every 3 hours on James so that he remains as pain-free as possible throughout the day.
Nelsons Teetha Powder, £4.49 – Boots
One that I resort to when Bonjela is not working for us, as another attempt to help James before moving on to stronger medicines. To be honest, I find it a bit of a faff to get it in James’ mouth without the powder ending up everywhere but in his gums. It does tend to calm him down, which is due to the presence of Chamomilla, a homeopathic ingredient that has a soothing and calming effect. This is also a medicine, so make sure to consult your doctor or health visitor before using it.
Calpol (Paracetamol), £3.15 – Boots
Also know as ‘life-saver’ when all else fails. On some of our worst teething days, Calpol has been the only thing that helped James calm down and not be in so much pain. Always consult your Health Visitor or doctor before giving medicine to your baby (2 months +), but I think they will all agree that a bit of Calpol will be just fine. James loves the sweet taste of it, so it’s easy to get him to have his medicine!
Calprofen (Ibuprofen), £2.65 – Boots
Once or twice I have resorted to Calprofen when even Calpol wasn’t working and my baby was in so much pain and discomfort that I felt like he needed a bit of a stronger medicine. I consulted with my sister, who is a paediatrician, as well as with our GP and I got the thumbs up to give it to James when he was struggling a lot. Calprofen can only be given to babies 3 months or older.
I hope you found something useful to help your teething baby. It can be a bit trial and error until you find something that works, but try not get too disheartened if nothing really takes the pain away, and take one day at a time. They won’t all be bad days, I promise.
What your best teething tip? Have you found a miraculous cure that works for your baby? Do share :)