Any parent of a toddler or child can certainly tell you that when a baby begins to get those first baby teeth it is no fun for baby or for the parent. Teething can occur at any time from about six months on. It varies wildly from baby to baby, some are born with already erupted front teeth and some seem to take forever to get those first teeth in. But most babies have some teething pain at one time or another and anything a parent can do to help is welcomed.

First, be sure to establish that the reason for the crying, drooling, low-grade fevers and the fussiness are really being caused by teething. You can run your finger along the gum line and usually feel the swollen areas where teeth are trying to come through. But if there is any question at all, let the baby’s doctor tell you if it is teething or something else.

Teething babies love to bite down on things; it seems to relieve the pressure even if just for a bit. There are water-filled teething rings you can buy, and when they are either put into the refrigerator or freezer the cold helps the discomfort a lot. You need to have several of these so that when they warm up, another cold one is at the ready. Another possibility is a clean, frozen washcloth to chew on.

Cold foods can also help quite a bit. Try feeding baby some chilled applesauce or favorite baby food fruit, and try offering it on a cold spoon. Putting some chilled water in a bottle can also help. Just make sure it is not too cold, of course. This can also help to make sure baby does not get dehydrated from all the drooling.

There are analgesic gels that you can buy and rub on the baby’s gums. These should not be over-used but they can numb the area for a time. Just make sure you get the gels that are specifically made for babies. If all else fails, consider giving baby some baby Tylenol. Be careful with the dose and do not over use this, but it can be helpful at bedtime and if baby has a low grade fever.

Due to the excessive drooling that teething causes, baby may get a rash on the chin or around the mouth. Do your best to keep that area dry and if a rash occurs, gently pat some baby lotion onto it.

Teething can be a trying time for both parent and baby. Just remember it will pass. But if it seems to last longer than you think it should, take the baby to see a pediatric dentist just to be safe.