For centuries, grandmas and doctors have chalked up night waking to teething pain. There’s no question, teething can make gums throb—and make your child want to bite on everything to help push the tooth through the surface. But is this really pain, or just discomfort?

In truth, teething happens—on and off—for many months. So the pain can’t be so bad, or all kids would be up every night for months. Besides, most kids show no pain during the day. In short, teething is usually just an annoyance: a bit of throbbing that is easy to ignore during the day, but a bit more bothersome when lying flat in a dark, quiet room.

The good news is good, rumbly white noise is usually all you need to distract your baby and help her sleep right though crummy-feeling gums. However, if you think discomfort is keeping your child awake, ask your doctor about giving a good dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen thirty minutes before bed (it takes a little time to work). And, if you know that your child is going through teething, keep a few wash clothes in the freezer—whose corner was dipped in apple juice and then frozen—to let your munchkin chew on to help the throbbing while you’re waiting for the medicine to work.

View more posts tagged Baby, sleep