2 Great Ideas for How to Survive Your Teething Baby

Baby chewing on a damp washcloth
FOTF/Brian Mellema

Is your little one teething and you need solutions for soothing his or her discomfort? Try these tips:

Low-Cost Teething Hack

At 5 months old, my little one cut her first tooth, but she rejected all the teething rings and fancy frozen chewies. What really worked was a washcloth. I put a wet washcloth in the freezer, and my daughter preferred this over any cold chewy from the baby store. It wasn't as harsh as the plastics, and the cold temperature was still a fun and comforting sensory experience for my baby.

—Briana Burchett

Nursery Biter

My son couldn’t walk, but he could bite his friends. The nursery caregiver smiled to soften the words as she told me. A mom standing nearby said her daughter had been called “Jaws” at day care. I wasn’t sure if this made me feel better.

Teething babies bite to make swollen gums feel better, while toddlers with limited verbal skills bite to get immediate attention. Neither age understands the difference between biting toys and people.

Although teething toys work for infants, toddlers need to be shown appropriate behavior. Ask to sit in the nursery to observe your child’s interactions. If he becomes aggressive during play, remove your child from the group and firmly explain that biting is not appropriate and that biting friends hurts them and makes them sad. Allow him to rejoin the group after a few minutes in timeout.

Praise your child when he exhibits kindness toward others. Tell him that his nice behavior makes you happy and makes his playmates happy.

Each child learns differently, but cultivating acceptable social behavior will help your child relate more appropriately to others.

—Julie Scudder Dearyan

The compiled article "Great Ideas for How to Survive Your Teething Baby" first appeared on FocusOnTheFamily.com (2018). "Low-Cost Teething Hack" first appeared in the August/September 2018 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. "Nursery Biter" first appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of Thriving Family magazine. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get this publication delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

"Low-Cost Teething Hack" © 2018 by Brianna Bloom. "Nursery Biter" © 2010. Used by permission.

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