What can I do to soothe my baby if they are teething?
I have mixed feelings about “teething”. The research that is available today doesn’t support many of the teething complaints that parents have. The most common finding when a baby is actually teething is an elevated temperature, maybe 99 degrees, for a day or two before the tooth breaks through the gums and lasting for a day or two afterward. Most times this goes completely undetected by parents. Any fever over that temperature (99 is not considered a fever) is not likely to be dental in origin. If you have concerns about a fever, it is best to contact your pediatrician.
What about other symptoms?
The other symptoms related to teething simply aren’t supported by any research. I am not saying that they do or don’t exist, but I do feel that they are often overstated. If your baby seems to be having a difficult time with teething, I recommend one of those teething rings that you can keep in the freezer. If you feel that your baby needs more comfort than that, ask your pediatrician if you can use Tylenol. Don’t give your baby any topical anesthetic such as Orajel. It’s a drug, just like Tylenol, except it isn’t dosed by weight. Although rare, there have been cases of babies having too much Orajel and getting sick. Not to mention it doesn’t seem to be an effective treatment anyway.