How to Help a Teething Baby or Toddler

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Help a teething baby or toddler by recognizing the signs of teething, massaging the child's gums, providing teething rings and keeping the skin around the mouth clean to prevent irritation. Cuddle and love a teething toddler to provide comfort with advice from a certified nurse midwife and professor of nursing in this free video on childcare.

Part of the Video Series: Pregnancy & Childcare
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Video Transcript

Many parents struggle with how to help their child who is teething. Well I'm Michelle Collins, Nurse Midwife and Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Let me help you with a few tips. First you need to recognize the signs that a baby is teething. Some of the things that are more recognizable are the drooling, the fussiness, the gnawing on the hands and the fingers. Some of the things that you can do to help your baby who is teething are massaging the gums gently with your finger, that feels really good and especially if the baby bites a little bit down on her finger that counter pressure feels good to him. Teething toys and teething rings like that that you can put in the refrigerator and make cool feel very good against the baby's gums that are teething as well. As the baby drools he or she may develop a little bit of a skin rash on the chin as drool falls over it so it is helpful to keep that area clean and dry so that baby doesn't get irritated just from the skin. Also there are teething gels that you can buy over the counter that can provide some relief for baby. You can also use acetaminaphin if baby is extremely cranky. You should always check with your baby's healthcare provider about giving medications to your baby. You can also freeze wash cloths after they have been dampened and let baby chew on that and that also gives baby a little counter pressure on the gums but also provides the soothing cool relief. Probably the most helpful thing is just to cuddle and love your baby. They just want to be near you and held when they're uncomfortable and who wouldn't feel better after a cuddle?

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