How Do You Soothe a Teething Baby at Night?

Parents Corner


Image: Myllissa

Let's be honest: teething bites.

Babies' gums get all swollen and sore, ​which makes them fussy. They get a pain in their mouths, which they often try to relieve by pulling on their ears. They drool more, they dribble more, both of which can give rise to a rash around their mouths. And the kicker—it can take 2 or even 3 years for all 20 milk teeth to come in.

Understandbly, baby may be a little irritable. And during the day there are lots of things you can do to combat those teething pains, from distracting him to giving him a teething ring or a frozen washcloth to chew on. ​

Teething baby

Frozen carrots are also known to work wonders

But what happens at night, when baby is restless, in pain and can't sleep? Here are 3 tips that will help your little one nod off, despite the chaos in his mouth.

Teething facts to keep in mind

The first thing to keep in mind is that babies are most uncomfortable between 24 and 72 hours before the tooth pops through the gum. Once that pearly white makes its appearance, your child should no longer be in pain. 

Kind of confusing, right? Now all you have to do is look into your crystal ball and see when the tooth is going to pop, ​so you know that your baby is crying specifically because of teething.

When your child cries during the night, you need to try to determine why he's freaking out: is it really due to teething? Is he hungry​? Does he just want to hang out with you? Based on your reading of the situation, you can decide if it's really his teeth or if it's something else.

How to soothe a teething baby at night​

If you think your baby is teething, there are a few things you can do to help him sleep through the night.

1. Give him a some kind of pain reliever, like Tylenol or Motrin.

What you don't want to do is give him medication night after night after night. We are not advocating that. Personally, I give medicine to my daughter very very sparingly. But if your baby is extremely fussy during the day, it might be a good idea to give him something to ensure he gets the sleep he needs at night. 

Figure out how long the dosage lasts for and give him some before he goes to bed and another dose if need be when he wakes up to feed. If he can sleep through the night, you might want to think about giving him a dose when he's sleeping. This article offers some great tips on how to do it. Also keep in mind that Motrin lasts longer, but should only be given to babies over 6 months. In any case, always check with your pediatrician first.  

2. Breastfeed or give him a bottle.​

​Even if your baby no longer feeds during the night, this is, for some children, the best way to soothe them. Don't worry about it too much if this seems like a giant step backwards. Once the teething is over you can ease him back into his normal behavior, but the truth is that this works for some children who have a hard time sleeping during the night when they're teething.

3. Create the right environment​

Some parents maintain that their child's temperature rises during teething. This is common, although it's unusual for a child to have a fever. If he has a fever, check with your doctor. If he's just a littler warmer than usual, make sure your kiddo is comfy, his bedroom is the right temperature and he's not overdressed. ​

As you can see, it's kind of a short list., but the truth is there's not a whole lot you can do at night. 

During the day there are many ways to help a teething baby. Check out this fantastic list of 57 ideas right here. ​

Keep in mind that your baby should only be in pain for a few days, and once that tooth makes its way through the gum, you can assume that any crying he's doing is related to some other issue.

Do you have any tips or ideas for soothing teething babies at night? If so, share them in the comments!​

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