How to Ease Teething Discomfort

Adapted from the Babycenter article ''Teething: How to Ease Your Baby's Discomfort".

Most babies sprout their first teeth between four and seven months of age. Some may get their first white cap as early as three months, while others may have to wait until they are a year or older. (In rare cases, a baby's first tooth is already visible at birth.)

Many babies are cranky and drool a lot for weeks or months before the first pearly white makes it to the surface. As your baby's teeth push their way out, they irritate the gums, swelling and inflaming them. This is why your baby may temporarily reject your breast or a bottle. Sucking causes more blood to rush to the swollen areas, making them especially sensitive. Try rubbing his gums before a feeding to temporarily numb the pain. Your baby will probably start to gnaw on things starting at around three months, though his first tooth may still be a long way off.

It's hard to see your baby in any sort of discomfort, but fortunately there are things you can do to help make teething an easier experience for him. To ease his discomfort, give your child something to chew on, such as a firm rubber teething ring or a cold washcloth. If your baby is old enough for solid foods, he may also get some relief from eating cold foods like applesauce or yogurt ? the cold may numb the pain temporarily. Giving your baby a hard, unsweetened teething cracker such as zwieback to gnaw on is another way to help relieve his pain. Avoid carrots or lollipops, as they can be a choking hazard.

Try to ensure that your baby is getting the sleep he needs to during this uncomfortable time. Keep a consistent nighttime routine to help your baby sleep better. JOHNSON'S® has created a nightly routine that is clinically proven to help your baby sleep better. A warm bath and relaxing massage with our new JOHNSON'S® BEDTIME® BATH AND JOHNSON'S® BEDTIME® LOTION products will cleanse and nourish your baby's delicate skin, while setting the mood for quiet time. Our new products are enriched with NATURALCALM™ essences, a unique blend of gentle ingredients and soothing aromas that help your baby sleep better.

Teething is an exciting time. Soon your little one's smile will be filled with pearly whites.