Symptoms of baby teething and how to manage them
Teething usually begins around 6 months of age. But it is normal for teething to start at any time between 3 months and 12 months of age. By the time your child is about 3 years old, he or she will have all 20 primary teeth. The lower front teeth usually come in first. Upper front teeth usually come in 1 to 2 months after the lower front teeth
1) Main symptoms of baby teething
Your baby may sprout her first teeth with no problems at all, but it could be a long and painful process. She’s going to need lots of cuddles!
If your baby’s teeth are on their way, you may notice the following signs of teething:
- red and swollen gums
- red, flushed cheeks or face
- heavy drooling
- gum-rubbing, biting or sucking
- rubbing her ear on the same side as an erupting tooth
- sleepless at night and wakeful during the day
- not feeding as well
- irritable and unsettled
Your baby may also develop a temperature or diarrhea just before a tooth breaks through. However, you should never assume that these symptoms are caused by teething. If you’re worried, see your doctor.
2) Managing baby teething symptoms
There are plenty of things you can try before resorting to pain relief products or teething gels. Giving your baby something cool to bite on can relieve the pressure and ease the pain. You could try the following:
- Rub a clean finger over your baby’s sore gums to numb the pain temporarily. Use a clean finger (or cold teething ring) to gently rub your baby’s gum for about 2 minutes at a time. Many babies find this soothing, although they may protest at first
- Give your baby a teething ring. Solid, silicone-based teething rings are better than liquid-filled products, which could leak and can’t be sterilized. You could try putting the teething ring in the fridge for a while before giving it to your baby. Don’t put it in the freezer, as this could hurt your baby’s gums.
- You may like to offer your baby a dummy. Chewing on the teat may help your baby to soothe herself.
- If your baby is more than six months old, you could also let your baby chew on cool, soft foods such as banana and cucumber. Don’t use hard foods though, as they could break into pieces that could potentially choke your baby.
- Never tie anything around your baby’s neck for ease of use, as it puts her in danger of strangling herself. This includes teething rings and dummies.
- You could also try chilled water in a bottle or, if she prefers, a feeding cup. If she’s old enough for solid foods, try offering her cold fruit puree or plain yoghurt. There will be times when your baby will reject all of these and want nothing more than a cuddle.