When that first tooth emerges, it’s pretty cute - but getting to that point can be rough on babies (and their parents) because the discomfort can disrupt sleep.
This may be why you're here looking for advice on how to help a teething baby sleep. Well, you're in luck - we're going to share the top home remedies for teething baby at night today to help you and your child find a sense of calm amidst the chaos.
Knowing how to be ready can help you relieve sore little gums—and stick to your sleep routine. Before we offer tips on how to help soothe a teething baby at night, let's talk about the process of teething itself.
Meet our expert
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Owner, Sweet Pea Sleep
When do babies start teething?
Between 6 months and 2 years, babies grow 20 teeth, starting with the bottom two. However, some baby teething can start as early as 2 to 3-months-old.
Central Incisor (Upper)
Central Incisor (Lower)
Lateral Incisor (Upper)
Lateral Incisor (Lower)
First Molar (Upper) (Typically Most Painful)
First Molar (Lower) (Typically Most Painful)
Second Molar (Upper) (Typically Most Painful)
Second Molar (Lower) (Typically Most Painful)
How to tell if it’s teething
If your baby is unusually fussy, drooling, has tender or swollen gums, and is constantly putting little fingers or objects in her mouth, she’s probably got a tooth on the way. Here’s some other teething symptoms to look out for:
- Diarrhea (all that excess saliva can make baby’s poop runnier than normal)
- Refusal to feed (nursing and eating can be uncomfortable for a baby with tender gums)
- Biting—in their hands, toys, or you (while you’re breastfeeding)
- Rashes around the mouth or chin from drool
- Rubbing or pulling of ears and/or cheeks
- Sore gums
Ear rubbing and pulling can also be a sign of an ear infection—so be sure to check with your pediatrician if you're unsure.
Why Learning How to Help a Teething Baby Sleep is So Important: Avoiding Teething Nightmares
Studies show that less sleep heightens a child's sensitivity to pain, so it's for your sweet baby's sake to be getting as much sleep as possible while going through the ups and downs of teething.
If your baby has a little trouble with bedtime already, teething will exacerbate their inability to sleep in a more dramatic way. Work on good independent sleep habits with your baby before teething strikes. That way you'll have a good foundation of sleep to work from if teething does throw an occasional snag into your habits and routines!
So, let's get into the home remedies for teething baby at night. Here is how to help a teething baby sleep - and by extension, help yourself get some much-needed sleep!
How to Help a Teething Baby Sleep: Home Remedies for Teething Baby at Night
It can be tricky to soothe a teething baby, yet perfecting this skill can help you and your teething baby sleep as much as you both need. Teething symptoms can be incredibly painful for your little one, and your baby may need a lot of care and support during this time.
To soothe a teething baby to sleep at night, try giving them a gum massage or offering a cooling treat. Both of these methods will help to reduce the amount of pain that your baby is feeling, which will then help baby sleep.
You could also try playing white noise to help your baby sleep, as this will distract your child from the pain that they are feeling. These are all great ways to help your teething baby get the sleep they need. We'll elaborate on these home remedies for teething baby at night below.
Try the Best Sleeping Position for Teething Baby
The right sleeping position can help soothe your baby's teething discomfort and help them sleep more soundly. A common recommendation is to elevate the baby's head slightly, which can help with any associated teething discomfort, such as swollen gums or congestion from excessive drooling.
To do this safely, you can elevate the head of the crib or bassinet mattress by placing a thin towel or blanket under the mattress. It's important not to use pillows, as these can pose a suffocation risk for babies.
Laying your baby on their back is always the safest position, even when teething. This position has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). For extra comfort, you might try swaddling your baby, as this can provide a sense of security and coziness that might help them drift off to sleep.
Keep it chill with cold washcloths or foods
A damp, chilled washcloth can be a simple and effective teething remedy. Simply wet a clean washcloth, wring it out, and then chill it in the fridge for a bit. The textured fabric of the washcloth is perfect for the baby's gums, and the cool temperature provides additional relief.
Once your baby is old enough to handle solid foods (usually around 6 months), teething biscuits can be a helpful remedy. They're hard and satisfying for your baby to gnaw on, and they can provide some relief. Similarly, cold foods like chilled cucumber or banana slices can help soothe your baby's gums. However, always supervise your baby while they're eating or gnawing on these items to prevent choking.
Apply a little pressure
Massaging your baby’s gums with your finger, or giving her hard foods (if your baby is eating solids) may feel soothing.
Use an-over-the-counter remedy
If your baby's extremely fussy, you may want to call your pediatrician. He or she may recommend children’s pain meds like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If using any type of pain relief on the advice of your pediatrician, give it to baby about 45 minutes before bedtime so they're comfortable while falling asleep.
Consider natural remedies
Many moms swear by the naturally calming properties of chamomile tea for teething babies. For babies 6 months or older, 1 tsp of concentrated tea mixed with warm 30ml water can do the trick*.
Other moms diffuse essential oils in the nursery or try amber teething necklaces to help with teething pain. When considering a natural remedy, be sure to do your research, and run it by your pediatrician—just to be sure.
Remember the Power of Distraction
Never underestimate the power of distraction when it comes to teething. Sometimes, the best remedy is simply helping your baby focus on something other than their discomfort. This could be a new toy, a game, a song, or a walk outside.
Don't Forget About Hydration
With all the drooling that happens during teething, babies can become dehydrated. Keeping your baby hydrated can help them feel more comfortable. If your baby is breastfeeding or formula-feeding, they're likely getting plenty of fluids. But if your baby is older and eating solids, you can also offer water in a sippy cup.
Experiment with Different Teething Toys
Different babies may prefer different types of teething toys. While some might prefer a firm silicone teether, others may find a soft, plush teether more comforting. Similarly, some might enjoy a teething toy they can wear as a mitten, while others may prefer a traditional handheld one. By offering a variety of teething toys, you can find the one that your baby prefers and provides them the most relief.
What to Do if Your Baby Wakes Up From Teething Pain at Night
Addressing teething pain before bedtime can help—but if your baby wakes up in discomfort from teething pain at night, try these nighttime tips to keep your baby’s bedtime on track.
Put in the paci
Many babies find a lot of relief using their pacifiers to suck and chew while teething. You can even throw your handy dandy paci in the fridge to give your baby's gums cool treat.
Try a teething ring or mitt
A chilled teething ring may do the trick—try giving this to your baby before picking her up, so she can continue learning to self-soothe. Alternatively, teething mitts go right over your baby’s hands—great for younger babies who can’t hold onto rings or toys.
Just remember that your baby should be supervised while chewing on any teething rings, toys, or mitts.
Stick to your routine
When babies have a set pattern of sleep, their body adjusts to it, and they become sleepy as bedtime approaches. Foregoing sleep training during teething will actually make it harder for your baby to get to sleep in the future.
Give extra comfort for acute teething
Acute teething is when baby's gums are red and swollen with the tooth visible and clearly about to poke through the gum.
If you're considering starting a new routine, it's best to wait 2-3 days for the acute teething to pass, but if you're just trying to make it through the night, providing a little extra comfort can go a long way. Feed or rock your baby to help soothe them to sleep, but try to allow your baby to ultimately fall asleep independently.
Remember, your baby will teethe for 2 years—so you don’t want to stop sleep training now! Your best bet during these years is to help your baby learn to self-soothe, so she can fall back to sleep on her own.
*Chamomile tea can trigger allergic reactions in some babies. It's always a safe bet to discuss with your pediatrician before introducing any type of oral
Commonly Asked Questions about How to Help a Teething baby Sleep
Before we wrap up our guide on how to help a teething baby sleep, we want to address a few questions we get asked about these home remedies for teething baby at night - and teething in general, for that matter.
What are the most common symptoms of teething?
The most common signs of teething include sore gums, a mild temperature, a rash (usually this will be on their face), your baby may be gnawing or chewing on things a lot. It may also be baby teething symptoms if they regularly rub their ear or begin dribbling more than usual. Teething may cause your baby to act out of character or become irritable, which isn't helped by the lack of sleep they may also be experiencing.
How effective are teething toys?
Teething toys can help to relieve the symptoms of teething by giving babies a safe surface to gnaw or chew. Doing this can help your little one to soothe any pain that they may be feeling in their gums and distract themselves from the discomfort that is often caused by a new tooth coming through. Teething toys will also stop your baby from chewing on other objects that may be less safe for your child.
At what age do babies start teething?
The age at which your baby will start to teeth will be completely unique to them. Some babies will start to teeth before 4 months of age while others may not begin until after 12 months. The majority of babies will start to teethe at around 6 months of age.
Can a baby be teething at 3 months?
Some babies will show signs of teething a lot earlier than others. Early teething is nothing to worry about and could just be a sign that your baby's development is ahead of the norm.
When is teething pain the worst?
Teething pain is usually at its worst during the four days before a tooth emerges and the following three days afterward, and it can have a huge impact on baby's sleep. If your child is still irritable a few days after the tooth has emerged, there may be other problems going on.
Wrapping up Our List of Home Remedies for Teething Baby at Night to Help Your Child Sleep
If you're newborn is not sleeping, it can take a serious toll on your health and happiness as a parent. Unfortunately, this is the outcome for many when the baby starts teething. That's why we put together this guide on how to help a teething baby sleep. We genuinely hope these home remedies for teething baby at night help you and your child both find a sense of calm and get a good night's rest.
In summary, try creating a soothing environment, applying pressure to the gums, using natural or over-the-counter remedies, and adjusting your baby's sleeping position. All of these strategies can be helpful, but it's important to remember that every child is unique, and it may take a bit of trial and error to find what works best for your baby.
Remember, teething is a temporary phase. It can be challenging, but it's also a sign that your child is growing and developing. And while the sleepless nights can be tough, they will pass.
Above all, don't hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician if you're concerned or if your baby's symptoms seem severe. They can offer additional guidance and reassurance to help you navigate through this milestone.
You can learn more about how to get a newborn to sleep in our blog. We have guides on what to do when your newborn won't sleep unless held, when to stop swaddling baby, choosing between a sleep sack vs swaddle, how to hold a newborn, how to dress newborn for sleep, signs of sleep regression, and a whole lot more.
We also have weighted sleepwear to help you create the most comfortable sleep environment for your child - ranging from zipper swaddles to arms up swaddles, weighted swaddles, weighted sleep sacks, winter sleep sacks, and more.
Good luck and remember that this is all part of your incredible journey in parenting. Your love, patience, and dedication to finding ways to soothe your teething baby's discomfort are a testament to the wonderful care you're providing.