While it’s such a blessing to enjoy the happiness of a new addition to your family, there’s typically a lot of changes happening. Within the first couple months, the baby begins the teething process. It’s one of the most uncomfortable experiences and can be distressing for both the parents and the baby. Thankfully, there are things you can do to help your baby work through the teething process. Consider the following four ways to help your baby through the painful transition with as little distress as possible.

Consider reflexology massages

Reflexology massages are amazing because the technique involves using the feet to soothe other parts of the body. By learning the right techniques, you can administer reflexology massages to your baby in order to relief them from the pain of teething. It’s also okay to consult a professional for assistance in this type of process. Applying gentle, circular motions to the toes can do a great deal to ease the pain and distress your baby is experiencing. You can also give massages directly to the gums with your fingers to help encourage blood flow and ease tension that may be causing unnecessary aching in your baby’s mouth.

Book a consultation with a pediatric dentist

If you feel that your baby is spending more time crying from the teething pain than doing anything else, then it may be best to seek professional help. A pediatric dentist can check your baby’s teeth using digital x-rays (meaning no radiation) and do a physical examination to ensure that the teeth are coming in correctly. Some professionals can even help you find pediatric orthodontists who can help correct any teeth misalignments that may be causing the extra pain, and prescribe numbing medications to ease your child’s distress in the meantime. It is generally recommended that a baby see a dentist as early as their first year of life either way, so putting a dentist visit on your agenda is important to the proper development of your child’s dental health.

Try chilled gel teething rings and pacifiers.

One of the most common ways to approach teething is through using a cold compress for soothing purposes. You can start by purchasing one of the chilled gel teething rings. After allowing it to sit in the freezer for a few hours, it can serve as an excellent option when a baby is in pain. The cold pacifier can similarly be very beneficial for reducing swelling and creating a numbing effect to ease your baby’s pain. A frozen pacifier, as well, is much softer and safer than using ice. It is important to remember that while the cold is good for your baby’s mouth, hard objects and food will hurt their gums and teeth during this sensitive stage.

Always keep chew toys on hand.

While you may think that leaving their teeth alone may be the best method to let the teething run its course, using their mouths is important during this process. Even if they aren’t chewing on a chilled pacifier or gel ring, it is important that they have proper baby chews to gnaw on to stimulate their teeth and gums. This tells their mouths that it’s time to push those teeth out. Leaving your child with nothing to gnaw on can stagnate their dental growth and lead to awful aching gums and restlessness. Whether it’s a chew toy or even your finger, make sure your baby has something available whenever possible to keep their developing mouth busy.

Like growing pains in teenage years, teething is an uncomfortable but necessary process for your baby to go through. Some pain and distress is inevitable, and essential to encourage the teeth to grow. However, with a little preparation and research, you can find ways to ease the pain. No parent likes to sit idly by while their child suffers, and these four tips are a great place to start to allow you to take a certain amount of control during this important developmental stage.