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How Can I Make Teething Easier?

My 6-month-old son is teething and seems irritable all the time. What can I do to make teething easier for him?
Alison

Although some babies find teething painless, others become cranky, have sore gums, and have disruptions in their usual sleeping and eating patterns. Often, when babies are teething, they have a desire to chew on things. Try giving your child something safe to chew on, like a rubber teething ring or a wet washcloth that has been frozen for about 30 minutes.

Whatever object you choose, make sure it's not hard enough to bruise the gums and that it can't break into smaller pieces. Objects also should be big enough that babies can't get the whole thing in their mouths. You also can try rubbing your baby's gums with a clean finger. Some babies prefer cool foods when teething.

If your child is still cranky, an occasional dose of acetaminophen is sometimes helpful. But always check with your doctor first. If your baby has a fever, it's probably due to something other than teething and you should call your doctor.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: March 2010

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