Teething symptoms and how to best soothe your baby

Photo of smiling baby boy with his first teeth for our article about teething symptoms
Image by Mojpe from Pixabay

What are the baby teething symptoms? How do I soothe my teething baby? Are common questions. In this article, we answer these questions along with dispelling some myths and when you can expect your baby to start teething.

You’ll start seeing teething symptoms in your baby at around 6 months. Some times a baby is born with some teeth. In others, it can be after 12 months. It can be hard to see your baby in pain or discomfort but there are ways you can help. However, some babies have no symptoms of teething though.

Normally the bottom 2 front teeth will be the first to appear. This will be followed by the upper front four teeth. The rest will then follow. By the time infants are two and a half years old, they will have 20 teeth in total.

Teething signs and symptoms

There are several signs that your baby has started teething. These could be:

  • The cheek on one side is red and flushed
  • Your little one dribbles more as extra saliva is produced to help the tooth come through. If your baby is dribbling more, you may want to wipe them with a soft cloth as dribbling may cause rashes to appear.
  • You may notice the gum is red and sore where the tooth is coming through.
  • They may rub their ear or even pull at it. Babies do this because it feels good – it’s a way of self-soothing. They’ll usually do this before going to sleep. It is often done as a distraction from the discomfort.
  • They may chew on objects more as a distraction.
  • For obvious reasons, they may be irritable, grumpy and cry more frequently.

How to help soothe teething symptoms

Teething rings are great as they can be a good distraction. Rings that can be cooled in the fridge are best as the temprature can also reduce discomfort.

If your baby is older you could give them a carrot or other hard raw vegtable to chew on.

Some parents say that teething gels are effective. However, there is no medical support for this. Beware of unlicensed homoeopathic gels. These get sold in the UK via the internet but have been linked to some side effects that have been severe.

Pain relief for a teething baby

If your little one is finding it hard to cope with their teeth coming through you may want to try sugar-free baby paracetamol. Paracetamol such as Calpol or a supermarket own brand which is cheaper but has the same ingredients. If you do this make sure you follow the directions on the bottle. Check with the chemist when you buy it if you are not sure about suitability.

Teething myths

Many people think there are other symptoms when a baby starts to get their first teeth. Thes symptoms are;

  • Constant runny nose
  • A teething cough
  • Vomiting
  • A teething temperature or fever

These symptons have not been connected with teething and there is no medical evidence to support them. It is likely that they just coincide with a cold or other illness.

If you are concerned about your baby when they are teething do call NHS 111 if it’s urgent and you’re not sure what you should do.

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