All babies experience teething differently. Some babies are born with their first teeth. Others begin teething as early as 4 months of age, and some begin after 12 months. However, most babies start teething around 6 months of age.
For both parents and children, the appearance of the first teeth can be an unexpected and restless time. A little preparation and a few aids will help you and your family get through these difficult times.
- Increase in saliva flow
- Sore and red gums
- Flushed cheeks
- Mild temperature
- Dribbling more than usual
- Chewing on things
- Rash on their face
- Not sleeping well
Tips for helping your teething baby
Although teething can be stressful for some babies, there are ways to make it easier for them. Since every baby is unique, you may have to try a few different approaches until you find one that works for you.
- Teething rings – Teething rings are a safe way for your baby to chew. This may alleviate pain and discomfort. Teething rings can be cooled first in the fridge, which may soothe your baby’s gums. Keep your baby’s teething ring away from the freezer, as it can damage their gums if it gets frozen.
- Massage the gums – Applying pressure to your baby’s gums may assist to relieve the discomfort. Lay your infant on the bed after carefully cleansing your hands, and softly massage their gums with your finger. This may actually assist your baby in relaxing and falling asleep. If your infant wakes up in the middle of the night, try rubbing his or her gums again.
- Make milk popsicles – Teething babies and toddlers tend to refuse food out of discomfort while they are teething. By making popsicles using milk or baby formula, you can keep your baby hydrated and soothe its gums. As popsicles melt, they can become messy, so wrap your baby in a bib and place them over a washable towel, blanket, or flooring that can be easily cleaned.
- Serve chilled purees – If you are feeding your baby pureed food, put it in the refrigerator so the food is cool on the gums. This will feel good and maybe encourage them to eat more.
- Extra cuddle time – There is no better treatment than cuddling. Nursing mothers should offer more breastmilk than usual to ensure their babies are nourished and to provide additional comfort. Bottle feeding? Try cuddling during and after feeding time.
- Teething gels – Parents are advised to try non-medical options for teething first, such as a teething ring. If you do choose to use a gel, make sure you use one designed for young children. Babies should not use general oral pain reliever gels.
One of the most frustrating baby milestones is teething. Most parents have a love-hate relationship with this phase. It’s exciting to see your little one grow and develop. However, during those first few teething months nighttime sleep is the most disrupted, and teething symptoms are at their worse.
The good news is that there are things that you can do to ease the discomfort and make sleep easier for both you and your baby. Please contact your pediatrician if you notice a fever or rash – there could be something else causing it.
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