My grandparents did it and so did my Parents, and I’m sure a lot of others did too! Whiskey on the gums was a common household remedy to ease a baby’s pain caused by teething. It’s funny how times have changed! I don’t know of anyone lately who uses such an old fashioned and frankly inappropriate method to soothe teething discomfort.
The baby’s first incisor teeth, the 2 bottom ones, usually appear around 4-6 months. The remaining teeth slowly emerge until about 2.5 years of age when there will be 20 teeth in all. The most common indicators that your baby is teething are irritability, restlessness, increased saliva/drooling and a strong urge to chew on anything.
Also, physically, the baby’s gums where the tooth is coming through may be red and swollen. At times, a fever can be associated with teething, but it is recommended to always consult your pediatrician if a fever should be present. So, besides whiskey, what can you do to help ease the pain for both your baby and you?
- Use your fingers to massage swollen, irritated gums for about 2 minute intervals as often as necessary.
- Wrap ice in a wet cloth and apply to the gum. Also, a chilled, not frozen, teething ring or wet wash cloth is something baby can do himself. It is not recommended to use teething rings once the front teeth have come in, as they may puncture the soft rings
- Offer chilled, pureed food such as applesauce. Avoid popsicles or anything that may be a choking hazard.
- There are medicated ointments available such as Baby Orajel. Always consult your baby’s pediatrician before applying these ointments.
If the above methods do not seem to work, contact your pediatrician about possibly using baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It is not recommended to use baby aspirin, as it has been linked to Reye’s Syndrome, a life threatening disease.
As with all things, the teething phase shall pass so just be patient. This is an opportunity for your baby to further develop different senses such as touch and taste. Your baby’s smile will be worth all the fuss!
What other remedies have you had success with?