From approximately three months old to 15 months old, babies may have moments when they scream excessively and drool. They are not possessed. They are teething. The process of those first teeth breaking through the gums can be quite painful. Fortunately, parents can learn the signs to look for, what to do to ease their little one’s discomfort, and how to care for new baby teeth.
Symptoms of Teething
Teething is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of ailment. Some babies have teeth breakthrough, and their parents were none the wiser. For those tots who are not as lucky, there are telltale signs that teeth will make an appearance soon.
Drooling more than usual- Be prepared to keep extra bibs and clothes handy. Also, the excess drool may cause a rash around the baby’s chin and neck.
Sticking everything in their mouths- If a baby sticks their hands in their mouth consistently, they are probably teething. They may try to suckle on mom’s necklace or dad’s shirt, but the goal is to find comfort somewhere.
Tugging their ears- The pressure from a tooth erupting is enough to spread across their cheeks and ears. Be careful not to mistake this with an ear infection.
Disrupted sleeping- If the child is experiencing discomfort, they will wake up at odd times. Fun Fact: Sleep deprivation increases pain sensitivity.
How to Help That Baby Feel Better
A baby wants to be comforted as much as possible while teething. Breastfeeding mothers should nurse as much as their baby wants during this time and snuggle for added relief. Also, cold items will be the solution for a good portion of this issue. Some cold solutions that work very well:
-A BPA-free teething ring from the refrigerator
-Soaking a clean cloth in cold water and letting baby suckle on it
-Making popsicles from breastmilk or formula
-Placing some chilled fruit in a mesh feeder. Bananas and watermelon are great, tasty options
-There are other choices such as oral teething tablets or pain relievers if the parent prefers to take the medicinal route.
They’re Here. Now What?
Before teeth begin coming through, it’s a good idea to rub the baby’s gums with a washcloth in the evening before bedtime. Once teeth start cutting, parents should use a baby toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride-free toothpaste. Letting a child go to sleep with milk residue is a breeding ground for cavities and tooth decay.
Teething can be a stressful period in early parenthood to go through. Remaining calm and using some of these simple tips will help ensure that everyone makes it out safely. Taking care of the baby’s pearly whites from the beginning will set them up for a good start with oral health. For more information about teething and parenting, consider taking some child care courses in Sydney.