As a parent, you have to be very keen on the development of your baby, and this is even more important during his or her early days in life. One of the main things that you have to watch out for is teething because it one of the most challenging times in an infant’s life. As a mother, you should not wait for that nasty bite to know that your child is developing teeth. Instead, you should know what to look out for so that you can expect it.
On average, an infant will develop his or her first tooth when they are six or seven months. However, this varies from one child to the other because some can start teething as early as two or three month’s while for others it will only happen after their first birthday. Factors such as when the parents started sprouting their teeth and whether your baby is a preemie or not will influence the age at which an infant begins teething. The most important thing is to know the common symptoms to watch out for and also the remedies that you can use to reduce the pain and also make the process more comfortable for your baby.
Symptoms of Baby Teething
The most reliable sign of teething is when you see a tooth poking through, but you do not have to wait for this to happen because there are several other reliable symptoms. However, it is important to note that they will vary from one baby to the other because the process is different. Below are few possible symptoms that you should watch.
Drooling: Teething will stimulate drooling, and it is hard to believe that al that fluid can come from your little one’s mouth. Even if you do not see the actual drooling, you will find that your baby’s shirt is always soggy, and this mostly happens when they are either three or four months.
Irritability: The little tooth that wants to sprout will cause your baby’s mouth to ache, and this will make him feel annoyed and uncomfortable. Irritation may happen for a few hours for some babies, and it may also last for some days or even a couple of weeks for others.
Biting: Teething babies will gum (bite) on anything that they can find whether it is a teething ring or not. And this is because the pressure from the tooth will cause them a lot of discomforts and so to relieve themselves they tend to bite in anything including your nipple when you’re a breastfeeding them.
Crying: Crying is the only way that a baby can express himself and so if they have any discomfort in the mouth they tend to cry a lot. The inflammation of their soft and tender gum causes a lot of pain, and so they will express this by crying. However, most will get used to this discomfort as they grow, and so the first tooth is usually the most painful.
Refusal to Feed: Although cranky babies like the soothing effect of anything in their mouth this is not the case during the teething stage. Anything that enters their mouth will make the sore gums feel worse or more painful, and so most babies will refuse to feed. And so if your child does not want to eat anything this might be a sign of teething.
Difficulty Sleeping: The pain of a sore gum and the discomfort that it causes will make it hard for a baby to sleep. Even if they sleep, they will wake up occasionally in the middle of the night and start crying. Although infants fall asleep quickly, any discomfort will disrupt this and make it difficult for them to get any sleep.
Teething Rash: The constant pouring of a large amount of drool will cause some redness, chapping and also rashes on the chin and around the mouth. Sometimes the rashes can spread up to the neck and so when you notice them you should not panic because this might be a sign of teething. However, it is important to seek medical opinion because this might also be a sign of something else.
Best Teething Remedies
It is sad to see your baby in pain and uncomfortable during the teething stage. Although you cannot stop it from happening or get rid of the pain completely you can still make it less painful and ensure that the baby remains comfortable. And to do this, you should try the following helpful remedies.
Chewing: Chewing is one of the best remedies for teething pain, and so it is not surprising that babies will want to bite on anything during this phase. You should give your child rattles, teething rings and other toys for teething as they provide counter pressure and hence making the gum less painful.
Cold Drinks and Foods: A bottle of cold water can offer your baby a lot of relief from his achy gums, but this is if he is over six months which is the ideal age for introducing water. Cold foods such as yogurt and fruits will also not only ease the aching in the gums but also ensure that they eat something because teething comes with the refusal to feed.
Topical Medication: There are several over the counter gels and creams that you can rub on the baby’s gum to reduce teething pain. However, you should be careful with what you buy because some can have a severe reaction. You can consult your pediatrician before you buy just to be on the safe side.
Pressure: Pressure and comfort are very effective in alleviating this pain. Playing with your baby and making him feel comfortable with hugs and kisses can help him forget about the pain. Pressure is a direct intervention, and you should use a clean finger to rub the gum gently for a couple of minutes. Most babies will find this very soothing, and it also draws their attention away from the achy gum.
As heartbreaking as it may be to see your child suffering from the pain of teething, it is part of growth, and they cannot avoid it. And so the best thing that you can do is to know the symptoms and most importantly the remedies so that you can make the process less painful. However, it is important to note that some situations will necessitate medical attention because the symptoms may be a sign of something else. A good example of this is when the fever is more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.