Is My Baby is Teething?
One of the possibly least anticipated milestones your baby will hit is when he starts teething. We say least anticipated because parents often know the pain and discomfort it will bring to their baby, and they do not want their baby to undergo it. How does a parent know however when teething has begun?
The average baby cuts their first tooth anywhere between five and six months old. There are some however that will cut a tooth as early as two months, or as late as a year. Occasionally, some babies will only have two-four teeth until several months after their first birthday. There is not any rule as to when your baby should sprout teeth. Just like most other milestones, it is different in all babies.
There are many signs of teething in a baby. Your baby might become incredibly fussy and cry more all of a sudden. When it is teething related then the normal things that work on your baby like feeding, changing, bathing, and playing with him, will not work.
The excess production of drool is a telltale sign of teething. When you are getting soaked just holding your baby because they are slobbering so much, it is a good sign that teeth are coming in the next few months. It isn’t necessarily a sign that they are coming soon though. A baby could start drooling during their second month of life, but not actually have any teeth pop up till they are nine months old. When your baby starts drooling, be sure to keep a rag or towel near-by to dry you both off with.
Another sign that your baby is teething could be them pulling on their ears. Since the “ear, nose and throat” are all connected, teething can cause ear aches in babies, which can lead to crying and fussiness. Other signs of teething include:
- Swelling around the gums where tooth is about to break through
- Redness in creases around neck from the excess drool getting stuck
- Sucking thumb/fingers
- Fussy feedings
There are things that can be done to help your baby feel a little more comfort however. Baby companies market heavily to parents when it comes to teething time. There are all sorts of toys that have chewable rubber pieces on them designs to let the baby gnaw at will. Some of the bigger toys like walkers and exersaucers also have attached toys with rubber ends for chewing.
There are teething rings that are either filled with water, or can be filled with water and stuck in the freezer for you to take out as needed. These are great to chew on for baby because they are cold and get soft as they thaw out. If you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on chew toys, you can wet a wash cloth and stick it in the freezer. It is a soft, reusable and inexpensive way to help your baby with his teething pain.
There are also medications you should speak to your pediatrician about. There are gels that are created that are supposed to help numb the gums. There are specific formulas of these for both day and nighttime. Some pediatricians will also recommend giving your baby over the counter pain medicines.
Remember, teething is just another stage that your baby goes through. Hopefully you will be lucky and your baby will be one of the ones that isn’t bothered by it too much, but if not, keep in mind that it won’t last forever and that soon your happy baby will be back in your home.
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