When do babies start teething?Babies typically start teething around six months but some start as early as three months. If your baby hasn’t started teething around the 6-month mark, don’t be concerned. Some babies start teething much later, as late as 14 months. Whenever they start teething, get ready for a long process. The full set of 20 teeth can take several years to come in.
What are the symptoms of teething?The symptoms and pain levels are different for every baby. Some like to chew more while others tend to drool. For some lucky babies, the symptoms only last for a day or two before the tooth pushes through the gum. Others may have pain for up to a week before the tooth finally shows up. For most, the first few will probably be the worst and then the whole process of cutting teeth tends to become easier. However, some parents find it difficult to tell if their baby is teething or if he is getting sick. Here are some of the most common teething symptoms to watch out for.
DroolingIf you noticed that your baby seems to have a lot of drool coming out, it could be a sign of teething. For many babies, teething stimulates the production of saliva. Mild drooling during teething is totally normal. It can lead to a rash if you aren’t careful. To prevent irritation of your baby’s delicate skin, keep it clean and dry with a soft cloth. If it gets too dry, apply a cream or lotion. But excessive drooling could be a sign of something more serious. If it seems like your baby is drooling buckets, get it checked out by your pediatrician.
IrritabilityMany parents have heard about the nightmares of baby teething and they usually involve severe irritability. You may notice your baby is irritable and fussy during teething. They are not only dealing with the pain of having the tooth push through the gum, but he could also be tired. Many babies start waking up at night because of the pain, making him fussy the next day. He might even be irritable if he hasn’t been eating regularly. If you notice your baby isn’t eating as much during teething, his blood sugar may have dropped, leading him to become irritable and cry.
BitingYour baby may start biting or chewing more when he starts cutting teeth. Biting helps the teeth come through the gum and the pressure can often relieve some of the pain. This can be painful if you are breastfeeding. If you notice your baby is trying to bite rather than nurse, try substituting a teething toy.
Rubbing Ears or CheeksBabies that in pain from teething may rub their ears or cheeks more frequently. Because the gums are tender and sore, they try to put pressure on the jaw area to stop the pain.
Loss of AppetiteThe pain of the emerging teeth may also put your baby off his food. The discomfort of the inflamed gums make your baby’s mouth hurt. The discomfort may increase when he tries to feed on the bottle or eat. Because the gums are so sensitive, any touch may cause pain. Though loss of appetite is common for teething babies, make sure they are staying hydrated. If your baby is older than six months and transitioning to solids, try offering softer foods like applesauce or yogurt. The loss of appetite should not last more than two weeks. If you notice your baby is still not eating after that, consult your pediatrician.
What can you do for your teething baby?
Gum MassageSometimes babies need a bit of pressure on the gums to relieve the pain. Giving your baby a gum massage helps soothe sore gums by counteracting the pressure of the tooth. Make sure you clean your hands first to make sure he doesn’t get sick.
ColdChilled foods, frozen washcloths, cold spoons or cold teething rings can all help relieve teething pain. The cold reduces inflammation of the gums to make them more comfortable. If your baby is hungry (and old enough for solids), cold applesauce might be just the thing to soothe the gums. When your baby wants to gnaw on something, try using a frozen washcloth or a frozen teething ring to satisfy his need to chew while relieving pain at the same time. The cold spoon works best before the teeth break through the gum, otherwise, you might risk chipping that new tooth!
Teething ToyOrganic plush toys or teething rings are safe for your baby to gnaw on. Since biting can help the teeth push through the gum, teething toys might be the perfect option for your little one. When they bite and chew, it also puts counter pressure on the gums, soothing the pain.
This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.