Teething can be a painful experience for some little ones. It can affect their sleep, make them irritable, or affect their feeding. But, those teeth have to make their way through, so here are some tips to take some of the stress out of teething.
There are a lot of signs that your baby could be teething, here are just a few:
Red or swollen gums
An increased amount of drool
Rubbing of their ear on the side that the tooth is coming through
Your baby trying to chew on their fingers
Irritable, or hard to settle
Waking more regularly in the night
Not feeding as well
Right before a tooth cuts through, your baby may experience a temperature or diarrhea. If your baby does develop these symptoms, please monitor them closely and take them to a doctor if you are concerned. While they are common symptoms of teething, they are also symptoms of other more sinister bugs.
Biting down on something can give your baby relief from painful teething. Here are some ideas on what to try:
Chunks of frozen fruit (if they are over the age of 6 months)
A frozen washcloth
Ice cubes in a baby mesh feeder
You can also try other tactics for soothing your baby’s teething pain.
Wash your hands thoroughly and use your finger to rub your baby’s gums. Just be mindful if they have teeth already, as those little things are sharp!
Chill a teaspoon or dip it in ice cold water. Place it on your baby’s gums for relief. This tactic is especially good if you are out at a café or restaurant and your baby has dropped their teether on the ground.
Your baby may find some relief from sucking on their pacifier or chewing the teat. Ensure that the dummy is safe to use before giving it to your baby.
Teething gels usually contain a local anaesthetic and antiseptic which will numb the gums slightly for a short period of time. This numbing effect wears off quite quickly, as the gel is washed away by the baby’s saliva. Ensure you use one formulated especially for babies. Make sure that the gel does not contain sugar as this can cause tooth decay.
Worn around the neck or wrist, amber teething aids are designed to sooth. There is no medical evidence to say that these necklaces have any affect, but many mothers swear by them. Amber is meant to have healing properties and releases a tiny amount of oil into your baby’s skin when worn. This oil is said to soothe teething pain and reduce drooling.
With any necklace, there is a choking or strangulation hazard if the necklace gets caught on anything. Ensure your baby is supervised at all times while wearing an amber necklace and definitely do not let them sleep in it. Also, do not let your baby chew on the necklace as they could choke on the beads.
If your baby is having a particularly stressful moment with teething then you are able to give them a dose of baby paracetamol. Do not use this as a regular remedy for teething though.
Be mindful that things such as ear infections can present the same symptoms as teething. It is best to have a medical professional check your baby if you have any concerns.
Mums that are breastfeeding need to be very mindful when their baby’s teeth first start coming through. Because biting down can give some relief, your baby may begin biting at feeding time. This can obviously be quite painful for Mama!
Unfortunately, there is no set length of time for teeth to grow in. Some children’s teeth will come through very quickly, while others will seem to take forever.
Most babies will get their first teeth around 6 months, but teeth can begin growing anywhere from birth to one year old. These first teeth are often the most painful, so once you get through the first couple, the rest should follow easier.
Your baby’s molars are likely to start coming through around their first birthday. These are the larger teeth at the back of their mouth, so can be quite painful to grow. By the time your child is two and a half, they should have their full set of milk teeth.