If your little one’s sleep has gone totally off the rails lately because of teething, this blog is for you. I’m going to walk you through three ways that you can soothe your baby in the night when teething is the issue.
When it comes to teething, this is the thing, this is the one, the big one that is going to totally derail your child’s sleep. If you let it.
In this blog, I’m going to share three ways that you can help soothe your baby, help your baby get back to sleep when they are struggling because it might be teething.
Number One: offer them something that they can chew on during the bedtime routine while they’re reading a book with you.
This is my favorite one!
You’re able to give them comfort, to be able to help relieve any amount of pressure while you’re monitoring them.
So babies under 12 months are not having anything extra inside their crib. There’s no blankets, there’s no stuffed animals, there’s no nothing. Babies don’t need and it’s unsafe to have extra things inside their crib. But at bedtime routine, while you’re monitoring them, this is the ideal time to allow them to chew on a frozen washcloth, a newbie chewbie, any of their favorite teething items. (See all my favorite teething options here)
While you’re reading a book, maybe while they’re sitting on the floor and you’re getting the room prepared for sleep, let them gnaw on something to help relieve any pressure that could possibly be happening before the night even begins.
Once they’re done and it’s time to get into the crib for bedtime, obviously remove the teething object, remove the frozen washcloth, and then you’re putting them into the crib with nothing in there besides themselves, the mattress, the fitted sheet.
Before we get too much further, I have to tell you, I’m not even going to discuss medication in this blog.
I’m not offering medical advice. I’m not offering dosage charts for you and your family.
That is something that if you are going to offer medication for teething purposes, please talk with your child’s pediatrician.
I do not want you to get into the habit though of using medication night after night after night after night after night. I have worked with way too many families who have been offering Motrin for two solid weeks at bedtime routine.
So please make sure you’re not overusing these and talk to your child’s pediatrician.
The second way that you can offer comfort and help to your baby is by going back to your sleep training foundations.
So what I want you to know, whatever method you used, if you’ve been inside of my sleep e-coaching programs, if you have used another method, that layer of foundation is exactly what you can go back to if you think your child is waking up because they’re teething.
So an example would be if you have used the leave-and-check method, which I teach inside of our baby program.
If you have used that method then you’re going back to a leave-and-check system in the night if/when your baby wakes.
Here’s what I want you to avoid:
I want you to avoid unraveling and thinking, “Oh, poor baby, they’re teething! They need to come to bed with me.”
Because if you have worked diligently with your little one and they know how to sleep, they’re maybe having some bumps in the night that you think could be teething, then I want you to know and understand that that foundation is still there.
Remind them using the sleep training method that they are familiar with.
So go back to your leave-and-check method, go back to your staying-in-the-room method.
Whatever you were utilizing with your child to teach them how to sleep, go back to that. It’s a tool that’s in your tool belt that you can pull out anytime you think your child may be teething or may be having a bump in the night.
The third way that you can offer comfort and help to your teething baby in the middle of the night is to be consistent.
So let’s pile all three of these together. They all stack up perfectly!
When you start to go backwards, maybe you’re offering that comfort at bedtime routine. and you’re trying to stick to whatever sleep training habits that you form but you’re like, “Oh fine, just come to bed with me,” all you’ve done is trained your baby or conditioned your baby to cry until they get what they want.
And you guys know that I am not about unnecessary crying.
When we originally train our child how to sleep well there is going to be protest.
What is most unfair to your child is to now teach them that they cry X amount of time, then you’ll do whatever it is, and I eventually get to go to mommy/daddy’s bed.
And then what happens?
The next night it repeats in the same way.
“But Becca! It must be teething…so what can I do?!”
There actually is nothing in the middle of the night that you can physically offer your child because they shouldn’t be sleeping with anything.
It’s the habits.
In fact, I’m backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I love what they share in their blog:
If you’re using teething pressure as the underlying excuse, even the American Academy of Pediatrics says you can start to become having sleep issues in the nighttime because you’re not consistent on what you initially did.
So I want you to know that this is what I truly care about. I’m here to give you the pep talk that you can offer that comfort at bedtime routine. You need to go back to your main foundations of how you sleep trained your child in the first place and be consistent on it.
Now, if you’re like, “Becca, I have no foundations. “Zip, zero, zilch, none,” then I’ve got the perfect free guide for you to start tonight!
Because if you’re convinced that teething is the reason I have to just lovingly tell you it’s not that.
Your child is not teething for weeks and weeks and weeks on end, okay?
We absolutely have to solve the root issue of this.
While you work through this free guide continue to offer that frozen washcloth, offer that teething toy at the bedtime routine, which is going to be so helpful for you in your mind to know they’ve had some relief.
But it is not something that should be causing havoc in the middle of the nighttime.
Now before I start getting all the comments below on, “But Becca, you haven’t met my child!”
I want you to know… I’ve worked with the unicorn babies!
I had a few years ago a little one who was about eight, nine months old.
And when he got teeth, he erupted with a horrible diaper rash.
Like I’m talking like blister-like diaper rash. Sweet poor little boy!
So obviously it wasn’t the teething. It was like a side effect of the teething. In which case when that happened, we had mom go in, offer more diaper cream, offer some relief and then put him back to sleep.
So I want you to know that if for whatever reason your child has maybe like an outlier situation, they get really high fevers, they do have these like outrageous diaper rashes, they’re maybe having diarrhea, you absolutely should and need to respond to that, which is why I really want you to go back to maybe the leave-and-check method or go back to your stay-in-the-room method.
Whatever you’ve done with your child go back to those root causes.
If your little one has these kind of outlier situations you do need to help them.
When you download my four steps to solving your child’s night wakings you might be wondering, but can I sleep train?
Can you sleep train while they are getting teeth?
And the answer is yes, children gain and lose teeth up until 12 years old. So we should never put just a pass on our life like “We’re just gonna be exhausted until they are 12!”
We need to work on these sleep habits and you can still do this even while they are gaining and losing teeth. That is perfectly fine. I hope this was a super insightful blog for you all!
Comment below with what your child loves to use as their favorite teether. I think that would be super fun to understand what other options there are.
Sweet dreams throughout it all!
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