Toddlers and Teething: Ways You Can Help Your Little One
Just when you think you’ve gotten through the worst of teething during the first year, your toddler begins showing all the signs of teething again! How can you help your toddler deal with teething pain?
Teething often begins around 6 months of age, although many babies can begin much sooner or later. Teething pain can be difficult to manage during infancy, because your baby is so sensitive and can’t communicate with you what’s hurting them. Once your baby turns 1, you may think that the hard teething days are a thing of the past - but your little one may still have several teeth to come!
The Phases of Teething
Between 6 and 12 months, your baby will usually sprout her first teeth: the two top central incisors, and the two bottom central incisors. Between 9 and 16 months, the top and bottom lateral incisors usually appear. Between 14 and 22 months, the canines will appear. During this time, your baby may also get her first molars. Your little one will get her second set of molars around two years of age.
The Two Year Molars
Sometime between 23 and 33 months, your little one will get his second set of molars. They appear further back in the mouth than the first set of molars that came through around your baby’s first birthday. The two-year molars might not even make an appearance until closer to your child’s third birthday. The two-year molars are large and square compared to your child’s other teeth - but thankfully, they don’t seem to cause any more discomfort than other teeth erupting through the gums.
Most children are done teething by the time they turn 3. A toddler will have 20 teeth, known as primary teeth.
What Are Some Signs of Teething in Toddlers?
- Pulling or tugging at the ears
- Slightly elevated temperature
- Increased drooling
- General fussiness
- Sudden refusal for solid food
- Struggle with naps and nighttime sleeping
- Whining or crying
Some Helpful Teething Remedies For Toddlers
1. Mashed foods or purees.
You can mash bananas, pears, or steamed apples to make a soft snack for your little one. Add in a nut butter for a protein boost! Apple sauce can also be soothing during teething.
Many toddlers enjoy eating soup or stews, and this also gives them a great opportunity to practice using utensils! If your toddler seems to be in a lot of pain, opt for watery soups instead of thicker stews, as less chewing is involved. Little ones love soups filled with veggies such as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and small noodles!
3. Food pouches.
There are many brands of pureed foods packaged in pouches, making them easy to take on the go! Opt for brands that use organic ingredients, and always be sure to supervise your toddler while they eat from a food pouch. The pouches can also be chilled in the refrigerator, which may be extra soothing to your little one’s gums.
Smoothies are easy to make, and most toddlers love them! The great thing about smoothies is you can load them with hidden health-boosting foods such as spinach, squash, nut butter, yogurt, and more! Frozen bananas make a great smoothie base because when blended, they give an ice cream-like texture!
Popsicles can be another great option for toddlers because they have the coordination to hold it on their own! Be sure to always grab a bib and feed your toddler in a high chair, as popsicles can turn into a big mess! Try to pick a brand that doesn’t include too much-added sugar or food coloring. Even better, make your own! If you are still breastfeeding or pumping, you can make a simple popsicle out of your milk that your little one is sure to love!
As your child grows older, it’s easier to use pain medicine to ease teething pain. Always check with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate dosage. Motrin and Advil tend to work better for teething because they help with inflammation as well as pain.
7. Chilled teething toys.
One of the most soothing remedies for sore gums is a teething toy. There are many gel-filled teething toys that can be chilled in the refrigerator, perfect for your toddler to chew on. Do not put teething toys in the freezer as it may damage the product and make it unsafe for use.
8. Frozen wet washcloth.
An easy remedy for teething pain is to soak a washcloth in water and place in the freezer. Many toddlers enjoy gnawing on a frozen washcloth or holding it on their gums!
Use these eight simple remedies to help your toddler survive teething! Your little one will be feeling better in no time.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.