The Teething Baby

No two babies teeth the same. It is confusing because you don’t know if your baby is sick or she just forgot how to sleep. Little changes can cause drastic changes. Many parents have no idea teething was the cause until the tooth popped through. There are a few tips to look for, though, to identify if you have a teething baby and how to comfort her.

Teething Symptoms

Teething can start at any age. In rare instances, newborns come out of utero with teeth already in place. Some babies get their first teeth around two months while others take a full year. If you think your baby may be teething, look for these symptoms:

  • Drooling: your baby’s mouth hangs open and there may be plenty of clothing changes due to an increase in saliva production.
  • Gnawing: in attempt to ease mouth pain, everything and anything becomes a chew toy including fingers, toys, books, and blankets.
  • Loose Stools: also due to the increased saliva production, many babies have loose stools and diarrhea while teething.
  • Poor Sleep: it is difficult to sleep through teething pain, so you may find your baby is fussier and harder to settle/stay settled.
  • Bulging Red Gum: when running your finger across your baby’s gum, you may feel a bump or see a swollen area. This is the tooth moving up.

Teething occurs at all ages, but the pattern is almost always the same. The first two teeth to come in are generally the top center, followed by their respective bottoms. Then, they move backward with the molars coming in last. The canines may come in later than the first molars as well.

Relieving Teething Pain

If you know your baby or toddler is teething, there are natural methods you can use to help relieve the pain. You may need to try different ones before finding the one that works best with your child; while each of these tips can help, your child’s temperament will be the deciding factor. Some ideas include:

  • Teething Toys: there are many that can be frozen or placed in the fridge so the cold numbs the gum. Others, like the Razberry, feature texture that massage the gum while chewed.
  • Teething Pacifier: these use mesh that you can fill with chilled fruits or ice. Your baby then mashes their teeth and gets a yummy treat at the same time.
  • Teething Tablets: teething tablets are natural, plant based tablets that disintegrate on the tongue. It is said to aid in sleep and pain.
  • Frozen Items: a number of easy frozen items can be used while teething as well. This can be as simple as a frozen waffle to numb on, a wet washcloth, or a popsicle. If your baby is breastfeeding, you can make popsicles from breastmilk, too.

If all else fails, and especially if you are having trouble with sleep, it may be time to turn to Tylenol. It can help you and your baby get a solid night sleep. Please note that there are teething gels available over the counter. These are used to numb the gums so that your baby won’t feel any pain. Dentists, however, do not recommend utilizing these products. Believe it or not, the gel actually slows the movement of the tooth down and actually increases the length of time teething lasts. So your baby may feel better, but the symptoms will last longer.

If your baby is teething, experiment with different ways to help her get through the pain. If your baby seems to have some teething symptoms, but you don’t feel a bump, she may still be teething. The teeth move in small stages up from the jaw before they burst through the gum. Any movement causes your baby pain. Just remember, this stage doesn’t last forever and as your baby gets older she generally deals with the pain better. This means even though teething seems long term, your baby learns how to handle it.

 

Check out our article on Pacifiers HERE