Tips to try when a toddler is teething

Anyone who has ever been a parent will know all too well that horrible moment when the little person’s teeth start to cut their way through the gums. Teething! As if becoming a parent isn’t a tough enough process, with the many sleepless nights, the nappy changes and the feeding and soothing. Suddenly when the teeth start to make an appearance it is all intensified about ten-fold. And surviving it can be a nightmare – especially if you have already reached a point where you don’t think that it can get any worse. So, what do you do? Here are a few tips to help you navigate this difficult period.

Toys can do the trick

A lot has changed since you were a baby and one of the biggest changes is that toys are no longer made just for hedonistic fun. Toys can now be educational or functional, and to this end, if you were to buy Sophie the giraffe for your little one, you would be buying a toy that serves multiple purposes. This is a toy that is designed to soothe teething gums. With no parts that can be swallowed, with her long chewy neck and made of a substance that is not harmful and which feels good, this is a great solution. Investing in a toy like this might not solve all your issues, but it will go a long way to helping.


When they start the teething process many children have not yet started on eating solid foods. This doesn’t have to be a problem though. As is the case with the toys mentioned above the same can apply to foodstuffs. The pain and irritation of the teeth cutting through is severe and all that the toddler wants is to be able to put something in its mouth. This could be a breast, or it could be something like biltong or jerky. While this is solid food, it is more about chewing than eating. The problem here is a pain, not hunger.

Liberal minded parenting

Some parents are comfortable with rubbing a bit of alcohol on the gums. A bit of brandy or whiskey works in two ways. It serves to numb the pain in the gums, but it can also help put the child to sleep. This is not a remedy that everyone will go for, but the premise is sound – if the baby is asleep, they are pain-free and the crying stops. So even if it is not alcohol, work on finding a way to put the baby to sleep and your problems will be over – even if it is just a temporary solution. For some people putting the child in a car seat and taking them for a drive fulfils the same function.

Be prepared

Know what is coming and prepare yourself mentally for it. Children are able to sense tension and they play into it. If you manage to navigate this phase of development with calm and serenity, then you will help make it easier for your child. So do the mental preparation and reap the benefits.