Baby Teething is an important milestone in a baby’s development, but it can also be a difficult time for both babies and parents. As the baby’s teeth start to grow, they may experience discomfort, pain, and irritability, which can affect their sleep and appetite. In this article, we will explore some ways to handle teething in babies, from recognizing the signs of teething to providing relief for your little one.
Recognising the signs of baby teething
The first step in handling teething in babies is to recognize the signs of teething. Typically, the first teeth appear between 4 and 7 months, although some babies may start teething earlier or later. The signs of teething can vary from baby to baby, but some common signs include:
- Drooling: Teething babies may drool more than usual, which can cause skin irritation around the mouth.
- Chewing: Babies may start to chew on objects, such as toys or their fingers, to help relieve the pressure on their gums.
- Irritability: Teething can cause discomfort and pain, which can make babies more irritable than usual.
- Disturbed sleep: Teething can affect a baby’s sleep, causing them to wake up more frequently or have difficulty falling asleep.
- Loss of appetite: Teething can also cause discomfort when babies try to eat, which can lead to a loss of appetite.
Providing relief for teething babies
Once you’ve recognized the signs of teething in your baby, it’s time to provide relief. Here are some ways to help your baby through the teething process:
- Massage the Gums: Rubbing your baby’s gums gently with a clean finger can help relieve some of the pressure and discomfort caused by teething. You can also try using a clean, damp washcloth or a teething ring to massage your baby’s gums.
- Cool the Gums: Cooling the gums can help numb the pain and reduce inflammation. You can try giving your baby a cold washcloth or a teething ring that has been refrigerated (not frozen) to chew on. Some parents also find that a cold spoon or a frozen banana wrapped in a washcloth can provide relief.
- Use Pain Relief Medication: If your baby is in significant pain, you can talk to your paediatrician about using pain relief medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and not to exceed the recommended dose.
- Provide Distractions: Sometimes, a little distraction can go a long way in helping your baby cope with teething pain. You can try playing with your baby, reading a book, or going for a walk to take their mind off their discomfort.
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Even before your baby’s teeth come in, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent infection and decay. You can use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums after feedings, and once teeth start to come in, you can start brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride-free toothpaste.
When to seek medical attention
In most cases, teething is a normal part of a baby’s development, and the discomfort can be managed at home. However, there are some signs that may indicate a more serious problem, such as:
- High fever: A fever over 100.4°F (38°C) may indicate an infection or illness unrelated to teething.
- Diarrhoea or vomiting: These symptoms may indicate an illness or infection.
- Rash: A rash around the mouth or on the body may indicate an allergic reaction or infection.
- Excessive crying: While some fussiness and irritability are normal during teething, excessive crying may indicate another issue.
- Refusal to eat or drink: Teething can cause discomfort when babies try to eat, but if your baby is refusing to eat or drink anything, it may indicate another issue.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact your pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical conditions. While teething is a normal part of a baby’s development, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention if you’re unsure.
Baby teething conclusion
Teething can be a challenging time for both babies and parents, but there are ways to handle it effectively. By recognising the signs of teething, providing relief through massages, cooling the gums, and offering distractions, parents can help their babies manage the discomfort and pain. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and seek medical attention if any concerning symptoms arise. With proper care and attention, parents can help their babies through this important milestone in their development.
You can find all your baby’s teething needs on amazon.
As your baby has started teething you may want to read our guide to baby food and feeding.