Teething and Traveling

2668536899_6f79dd8c87Happy Friday, my friends! Ready to help out a father in need? I got an email. It read (edited slightly):

 “My 5-month old son is cutting 2 teeth and of course goes through bouts of being very unhappy. I was wondering if you gave anything to your son while he was teething? We’re flying from Japan to Los Angeles Monday and we’re worried it will be a very very bad flight. :( Do you have any suggestions?”

There’s so much about those earlier months I have forgotten! For example, I completely forgot that you’re not supposed to give the little people Motrin or Tylenol before they reach a certain age. Quite honestly, I’m not sure how I got through it! Maybe that’s why I don’t remember? 

My only suggestions are for older babies since my brain has apparently archived the earlier months. I remember offering Emory pea chips (frozen peas, which he still loves to this day.) I remember that he chewed on our wooden kitchen spoons like a dog with a rawhide. I remember giving him ice cold toys. But that’s all I got and I feel I’m an especially bad person to ask because we never flew anywhere with Em.

So, I thought I’d try and help him by posting his email. Do you have any tricks for teething travelers aged five months?


  1. A cooled, damp washcloth. My son loved to suck the water out of the cloth.


  2. Aren’t there homeopathic remedies for younger teethers?


  3. While it didn’t work for our son, I know several people that swear by Baby Orajel.


  4. I used pretzel logs (with the salt, to help keep broken gums clean) and frozen waffles – just giving my boys the waffles still frozen.


  5. A local grocer or drug store should have teething tablets. They are homeopathic and dissolve quickly. We used them for a few months along with baby orajel.


  6. Hiland Teething Tablets. There are more than one brand but these homeopathic ones are my preference because they disolve super easily. My son had a bad gag reflex but these didn’t bother him because they melted instantly. At that age I would hold my finger on it while it melted and then as he got older I stopped. Another suggestion is baby orajel as others have suggested and for traveling they have them in little q-tip applicators so you break off one of the tips and it lets air in and the other q-tip end you rub on their little gums. A tip for these is when it drains slowly I sometimes blow into the open end to make the q-tip fill with liquid more quickly. Hope this helps! PS: Teething rings and other things help too but once they are at the fussy point I usually use the above mentioned methods.


  7. Check with your pediatrician about Baby Tylenol or Baby Motrin; ours advised us to give Baby Tylenol from around 4 or 5 months post-vaccination and he’s had no bad reactions. Might work for teething as well.

    We are currently trying the homeopathic tablets. They do indeed dissolve quickly. They seem to offer only limited relief, though, at least in our son’s case. On a long plane flight I might wish for something stronger.


  8. You know, I seem to remember giving Em some tylenol after vaccines as well now that you mention it. I will have to check the archives to find out when that was. Perhaps a little tylenol won’t hurt after all? Although, we tend to lean toward motrin because Toby is a bit wary of liver stuff and acetaminophen.


  9. YES! We did give him tylenol early—just over 3 months. Infant’s. It was right after one of the bigger vaccines.


  10. We used baby orajel and teething tablets. We also froze a tiny washcloth in the freezer and then he would suck on it as it melted. We made tiny ice pops out of very watered down juice. He enjoyed holding them by the stick and trying to bite them. But sad to say – there were a few nights where we did EVERYTHING and the miserable moaning would not cease. It would take all efforts and then I would just walk the halls bouncing him until he would sleep for 5 seconds in my arms before it began again. Those nights were the worst so far because you feel so incredibly helpless while your child is sobbing in your arms. We were lucky though because it has only happened three times. Two nights early on and first-year molars gave a few rough nights.


  11. I’m sorry, but were NONE of you going to let me know that I had “Frozen PEE chips” written instead of “PEA chips”? Like I’m giving him popsicles of urine?

    Apparently, I need sleep or something.


  12. The frozen baby washcloths were one of the best things for my son. Unfortunately, this is probably not useful for a long plane ride! Something to chew on that is not hard but gummy/gel-like also helped. 5 months is probably too young for food, but cold fruit was good too. At that age, my son cut his first teeth, and liked to just chew on my index finger. Of course, this was not so good once the teeth cut the gums (ouch!), but a cheap and easy solution. Advil or Tylenol as last resort was also a good thing.


  13. Folks, are you really all suggesting that this dad give his son FOOD? Frozen FOOD? He’s five months old! It’s a great suggestion for an older baby or toddler, but let’s not forget that it’s a good idea to wait on ALL solids until six months old. If your pediatrician has given the go-ahead, fine, but five months is early for all that.

    Tylenol is safe from two or three months, I believe (well before five, anyway) and Motrin/Ibuprofen safe after six if I recall correctly. Make sure it’s the baby kind and not the kid kind.

    Hyland’s Teething Tablets are great to try, as well as various textured/material teethers and makeshift teethers, like the washcloths and wooden spoons suggested. For flying I would totally go for Tylenol if he’s fussy. Teething’s a long road… at 2.4 years we’re still on it.


  14. Our ped told us OK to start solids at 5 months. Has worked out fantastically. We much prefer to give him real stuff to formula (and he prefers it too). Started with rice cereal around 5 months then moved on to veggies. Steamed and pureed, of course. No salt. By about 6-1/2 months she told us we could give him pretty much anything, including meats — though we started slow on that, just chicken and turkey breast at first. At 8 months he’s a monster eater, haven’t found anything yet he doesn’t like — apples and pears and peas and carrots and sweet potatoes, of course, but also spinach, broccoli, beef, corn, green beans, plums, bananas. He’s got a better palate than I do.


  15. I faced a similar situation when my kiddo was 6 months old, and my pediatrician gave me this sage advice:

    Benadryl + ibuprofen.

    I can’t remember the dose, but I got it off the bottle. The ibuprofen helps the swelling and pain, the benadryl also helps with the swelling and makes baby sleepy. Also, when teething babies’ sinuses can be affected, so the benadryl helps open those up for the flight.

    Do not give cold medicine (combination meds, like Tylenol Children’s Cold) as you can easily OD your kid on that stuff.

    Nothing wrong with drugging your kids every once in a while.


  16. infants tylenol and ice in a mesh pacifier. Orajel works well too, just not too close to bedtime as it also numbs the throat and can cause swallowing problems. Good luck and have fun on your trip.


  17. We started with Tylenol at the 8-week vaccinations per the doctor’s advice. Here’s a link to Ask Dr Sears for both Tylenol and ibuprofen (Motrin). According to him, you can start at five pounds for Tylenol and nine pounds for ibuprofen. Scroll down for the dosing chart.



    You can also alternate them every three hours–lifesaver for those really heavy teething days/weeks. (My kid had all her teeth except the two-year molars by 15 months, so we basically spent the entire first year teething!)


  18. Similar to the wet or frozen cloth already suggested, someone told me they put an ice cube inside of a sock, tie it in a knot to keep ice in, and the kid goes to town chewing.


  19. We travelled from Finland to Vancouver Canada with a teething 7 month old. Infant Panadol did the trick. I breast-fed him to sleep, and he slept many hours in the infant bassinet on board the plane. I recommend asking the flight attendants about the bassinet. Our son also got the trick of bouncing up and down in our laps during that flight, practicing standing. It’s a good workout for your arms!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s