Teething is when your baby’s first tooth is cutting out of their gums. Although it can be helpful for them to chew on solids, the process can be irritating and difficult for the babies. In most cases, your baby will first get the front two middle teeth in the bottom called the bottom incisors. This will be followed by the top incisors. Over time they will get their full sets of teeth at around 2 years of age.
Signs and symptoms when babies start teething
It might not be clear whether your baby is just doing baby things like drooling and putting their hands in the mouth or if it is a symptom of teething. Normally, your baby will start to show the symptoms of teething at around 4 to 7 months. Some babies might not even have any symptoms.
Around four days before and after the teeth erupt your baby might show these symptoms:
- They will bite excessively on toys, fingers, and any solid object on the site.
- There will be excessive drooling. This might cause them to wet their clothes easily and also cause itchiness and rashes around their mouth and neck.
- Your baby might remain uncomfortable most of the time and try to avoid eating solid foods. The discomfort in their gums will make it difficult for them to eat solids.
- Baby might try to rub and poke on their gums to relieve the itchiness.
- Baby might not sleep through the night and wake up in between naps.
- Your baby’s gums might also appear a bit sore, tender and swollen where the tooth is coming.
- It is not uncommon for the baby to fret a lot during this time. Your baby might even cry more than usual and cling on to you for attention. You will notice that they are more cranky and fussy because of the discomfort and irritation.
Relieving the symptoms of teething
Seeing your baby irritated might make you want to be able to help them. And there are a few ways that you can ease their pain as well.
- You can help their discomfort by rubbing or massaging their gums gently with your clean fingers, or a damp clean cloth.
- Giving your baby toys like teething rings and chewing toys can also help them massage onto the gums. This will relieve the itch. You can even get toys that you can chill in the fridge beforehand so that baby can soothe the gums.
- Make sure to keep a bib on your baby all the time as they can drool extremely during this time. A bib will make sure that their clothes and neck are dry.
- If your baby has already started to eat solids, you can also offer them chilled fruits and vegetables.
- A baby over six months can also take ibuprofen or other pain relievers prescribed by a doctor in case they are in pain.
Be careful of these things:
- When giving your baby chewing toys, make sure that you are always taking care of them and making sure that the toys don’t break off. Use toys that are non-hazardous and friendly for babies.
- Babies are susceptible to putting objects in their mouths during this time. So, you need to be very vigilant around them as there is an increased risk of choking.
- Do not confuse your baby getting a fever with a symptom of teething. Teething doesn’t cause fever. If your baby has a temperature above 100.4 F, it might be a symptom of any other illness or infection. Make sure to contact your care provider as soon as possible in that case.
- Although you can offer your baby chill food and chewing toys, do not give them frozen things. This can lead to cuts and bruises on their gums.
- If your baby has any other symptoms like diarrhea, or runny nose contact your doctor immediately.
Remember that all babies are different and will have their own experiences when it comes to teething. Rarely some babies might even be born with teeth. Some babies start early and some start late in their teething journey. You as a parent will have to be patient and careful with the baby.
- How to Soothe Baby Teething Symptoms: https://www.verywellfamily.com/teething-and-your-child-symptoms-treatment-2634391
- What is teething syndrome?: https://www.healthline.com/health/teething
- Baby teething symptoms: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/babys-development/teething/baby-teething-symptoms/