Having teeth break through the gums is usually painful.

How to Freeze a Washcloth for Teething

by Sara Ipatenco

Teething isn't fun. Though you can't make your little one's teeth emerge from her gums any faster, you can ease her discomfort with a frozen washcloth. It's an inexpensive and quick way to help numb the pain that teething often causes.

Saturate three-quarters of a clean washcloth with water. Leave a quarter of the washcloth dry so your baby has a place to grip the frozen washcloth while he gnaws on it.

Wring the water out of the washcloth so it's not dripping wet. Be careful not to get the dry part wet as you do this.

Fold the washcloth into fourths and slip it inside a zip-top plastic bag. This will keep the washcloth clean, but it will also prevent it from sticking to the shelves of your freezer. You might roll the washcloth instead of folding it if you think it will be easier for your baby to hold.

Place the washcloth in your freezer and leave it for an hour or two, or until it's somewhat hard. The hard texture is part of what will bring relief, according to HealthyChildren.org.

Remove the frozen washcloth from the plastic bag and help your baby grab onto the dry part.

Launder used washcloths between uses. Wet washcloths can harbor germs and bacteria because of the moist environment and washing them will prevent your little one from ingesting them and potentially getting sick.

Items you will need

  • Washcloth
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Plastic zip-top bag


  • Freeze several washcloths at a time so as one thaws out and warms up, you can quickly replace it with another.


  • Don't give your baby the washcloth in the plastic bag. He might gnaw pieces of the plastic bag off, which then become a choking hazard. The plastic bag might also become suctioned over his nose and mouth, which prevents breathing.
  • Don't freeze washcloths with decorations, such as ribbons or buttons, because these also pose a choking hazard.
  • Always supervise your baby while he's chewing on a frozen washcloth. Discard any washcloths that get holes in them or that have loose threads or seams that are coming apart.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images