Teething remedies: How to treat teething pain

Learn about common remedies to relieve tender, puffy gums and other teething symptoms.

Cold

In the same way ice works on a sprained ankle to numb pain and reduce swelling, cold compresses and other items soothe sore gums.

Put a wet washcloth in a clean plastic bag and chill it in the refrigerator. (For an extra soothing touch, first soak it in chamomile tea, which has been shown to calm fussy babies and help them sleep.) When you remove the washcloth from the bag, your child will enjoy munching on it because the fabric massages the ridges in her gums while the cold numbs the pain.

Try a refrigerated pacifier or teether. (Never store the teether in the freezer because it can get hard enough to damage a baby's gums.)

There are a variety of refrigerated teethers available, including some with plastic handles so your baby's hands won't get cold. Liquid-filled teethers work well, but watch for leaks. Firm rubber teething rings are a good alternative. Whichever kind you choose, keep an eye on your baby to make sure she doesn't choke as she gnaws on it.

If your baby has started solids, offer her chilled (not frozen) fruit in a mesh bag specially designed for that purpose. Or give her a large carrot (not a baby carrot, which is a choking hazard). Hold one end while your baby chews on the other, keeping watch over her the whole time.