A baby can start teething as early as 3 months with all 20 milk teeth growing by the time they are 3 years old. Parents have to be vigilant and look for signs of teething so that they can relieve the discomfort of their baby and also to prevent building up of bacteria in the mouth.
While some babies suffer during teething, others don’t show any pain at all. If you pay attention and look out for the signs of teething, then you can be prepared with home remedies that will help with your baby’s discomfort and make it easier to get through.
When Do Babies Start Teething?
While the symptoms of teething start as early as 3 months, most babies get their first tooth when they are 6 month old. So don’t get worried if you don’t see the first tooth of your baby as some babies don’t get their first tooth even until their first birthday.
Baby Teething Symptoms
What are the symptoms that you should look out for to find out if your baby is teething? Your baby might not be able to tell why he is feeling the pain but you can look out for the symptoms that are troubling him. Some of the most common symptoms of teething are:
- Refusing to eat
- Waking up at night
- Rubbing cheeks and pulling ears
Let’s talk about each of the symptoms one by one.
Teething stimulates drooling so much that there will be constant fluid coming out of your baby’s mouth. It can start when they are 10 weeks old and go on until they are 3-4 months or even older. If you see that your baby’s clothes are always wet, use a bib and keep wiping your baby’s chin gently through the day to prevent chapping.
Constant drooling can cause chapping and rashes on your baby’s mouth and chin. Instead of wiping it, gently pat to prevent any damages on your baby’s skin. You can also apply a moisturizer such as vaseline to protect the skin.
All that drooling can cause gagging and coughing for your baby. It can also lead to choking sometimes. But you don’t have to be concerned if there are no other symptoms like cold or flu.
Your baby experiences a lot of discomfort when they go through teething. They try to relieve through counter pressure i.e, by biting and chewing. They try to chew anything that they can find.
While some babies go through teething stage without any pain, others suffer a lot of pain due to inflammation and the only way they can communicate their pain to you is by crying. The first tooth pains the most and then your baby get used to it and later stops bothering about it. If your baby is in constant pain, then you can talk to your doctor on when to give pain reliever to your baby.
Since the tooth will be trying to come out of the gums, it will make your baby feel uncomfortable. Some babies will feel the irritation for a few hours but it can go on for even days or weeks.
7. Refusing To Eat
Due to the irritation caused, most babies try to find solution by chewing something in their mouth. But if your baby’s gums feel sore, they try to avoid eating anything. This may usually go on for a few hours but if it continues for days then you can call your pediatrician.
8. Waking Up At Night
It’s not only day time that your baby feels uncomfortable due to teething and it can continue even at night. Before comforting your baby see if you can get her back to sleep. If your baby is feeling restless, then comfort her by lullabies or patting her. Just avoid feeding her overnight or it will haunt you even after the teething phase has passed.
9. Rubbing Cheeks And Pulling Ears
Babies going through the teething phase may rub their cheeks and ears a lot. This is due to nerve pathway that is shared by gums, ears and cheeks. So if your baby is experience pain in gums, it can travel to other places also. Babies can also rub their ears if there is an infection, so always consult your pediatrician if you suspect anything.
Baby Teething Remedies
If your baby is suffering from pain due to discomfort, then below are some remedies to ease their pain.
Babies who go through teething love to chew a lot. They apply counter pressure to ease the pain. Keep teething toys prepared if your baby feels like chewing. It is more effective if the chewing toy is cold since they numb the gums, so keep them in the fridge. Remember not to keep them in the freezer since having them very cold will hurt the gums.
A clean finger, teething toy with soft edges or even a soft baby toothbrush will give the same counterpressure effect as a teething ring. Your baby might feel a slight pain in the beginning but later it will bring relief.
3. Cold Water
If your baby is over 6 months old, then you can give cold water which will help in relieving achy gums. If she does not want the water bottle, then you can give the water in a small cup.
4. Cold Food
Just like cold water you can give your baby cold food such as yogurt and apple sauce which can help in easing the teething pain.
5. Pain Reliever
If cold water or food is not helping your baby ease the pain, then you can use a pain reliever such as baby acetaminophen after consulting your pediatrician.
Shower your baby with lots of kisses and snuggles. Also have lots of patience since you will need it a lot to help your baby go through the pain.
7. Avoid Numbing Agents
The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the use of any numbing agents such as alcohol to be used on baby’s gums to ease their pain as it can put your baby at risk by reduced oxygen levels in blood which are under the age of 2. It has also warned the usage of some herbal and homeopathy gels which contains some ingredients that is said to cause heart problems for babies.
8. Avoid Using Teething Necklace
There is no evidence which shows that teething necklaces help in easing baby’s teething pain and even pediatricians have advised against its use. They are even told to cause causing so it is recommended not to be used.
If you have anything more to add on teething symptoms and remedies, please share with us in the comments below.
* Image source – flickr.com