Teething is a nightmare for many parents because many babies cry a lot. Symptoms of teething can last for a few days before a tooth first becomes visible or may last up to several months in case a number of teeth are all coming through at almost the same time. Babies show teething symptoms as early as 2 to 3 months before the first tooth actually appears. The timing of teething has no definite time period, although most babies have their first tooth when they hit 7 months. Some babies grow their first tooth by their third month, some late teethers only get their first tooth after they turn 1 year of age.
There is no reason to worry if your child is a bit slow in teething. So long as your child’s bone growth is normal, and he has healthy skin and hair, your child should be okay. Late teething may even be an advantage, according to some experts. The upside of late teething is that the later the teeth come in, the less time there is for the teeth to decay before the child’s permanent teeth start showing. Do mention it to your doctor, however, if your baby has reached 18 months without showing any signs that a teeth may be coming out, just to be sure.
The two teeth located in the bottom center are the most common first teeth to appear in babies. These are usually followed by the two front teeth located in the top center. After these first set of teeth, the pattern of appearance of the teeth goes on an outward path beginning with the lateral incisors, which will be followed by the molars that are closest to your child’s mouth. The next teeth that will appear are the canines beside the lateral incisors and finally followed by the molars.
Teething could be a pain not only for the baby for yourself as well. Your little one will feel discomfort and pain and he wouldn’t know what is happening. As a result, you have your hand full with a fussy baby who can’t seem to stop crying and whom you can’t seem to console. Consoling a teething toddler would be much easier if, well, you knew he was teething. If your toddler is unusually fussy and you have no clue what is going on, here are things you should look out for:
Signs of Teething
- Swollen gums and red spots where the teeth are budding just under the gum line. This is due to the inflammation of the tender gum tissue during teeth growth.
- Excessive drooling that results in rashes on the toddler’s lips and chin area. Teething stimulates drooling. You may find your baby’s clothes soaked or soggy from drool. The best way to handle this is to place a bib around his neck to keep him cleaner and more comfortable. Be sure to gently wipe away drool from his chin and mouth since drooling may cause teething rash. The constant drool on your baby’s skin may cause irritable chapping and redness around his mouth, chin and neck. You may also apply Aquaphor to form a moisture barrier on your baby’s skin.
- Coughing or gag reflex. The coughing and gagging is due to all the drool in your baby’s mouth. So long as there are no other signs of flu or cold, your baby should be alright.
- Irritability. Your baby’s mouth will be painful due to the pressure caused by the the tooth pressing against his gums. Your baby is bound to be very irritable. His irritability may last from just a few hours extending to a few days or weeks. While some babies are able to breeze through teething, most babies are unable to bear the pain and they sure are vocal about it. A lot of crying will be involved when your child is teething. The very first tooth usually hurt the most. Hopefully, as more teeth begin growing, your baby would have grown used to what teething feels like.
- Difficulty in sleeping. Your baby’s discomfort, the same source of his irritability, may well continue past his bedtime. This may cause difficulty in sleeping or sleep disruption during slumber. When this happens, try soothing him with gentle rubbing or by singing him a lullaby. Do avoid feeding him as this may start a routine of nighttime feeding.
- Rubbing his face or grabbing his ears. This is explained by the fact that gums, ears and cheeks all share nerve pathways. As a result, when the gum is painful, the ache can travel and be felt elsewhere.
- Biting, chewing or sucking on things that he gets his hands on. When the teeth is trying to poke through the surface of your baby gums, there is a huge amount of discomfort and this may be relieved by applying counterpressure. This explains why teething babies tend to bite anything they can get their hands and gums on.
- Unexplained sucking on the gums. Like biting and chewing, your baby sucking on his own gums is probably his way of relieving the pressure from the tooth growing.
- Reduced appetite and turning away food. Babies tend to refuse eating because their sore gums may feel worse with the suction of nursing. Eating solid food may not seem as appealing either, but be patient and keep encouraging your child to eat. In this article are a few tips on what food to feed your teething toddler so that he is both soothed and fed.
There is a common misconception that diarrhea, fever and a runny nose are signs of teething as well. Lots of parents swear by this misconception. There has been no scientific evidence to support that these symptoms are indeed signs of teething. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, fever and diarrhea are not considered to be normal teething symptoms. It is quite possible that the presence of these symptoms around the time when the baby is teething is due to the tendency of babies to put objects in their mouth in an attempt to soothe their gums. This means that the possibility of getting in contact with germs and viruses is high. Another thing that may be a cause of panic is bleeding under the gums. It is nothing to be concerned about because teething naturally causes bleeding, given that teeth are trying to bore through your child’s gums. Bleeding gums can be managed and relieved by applying a cool and wet washcloth to counter the pressure.
When your child is unhappy you are unhappy, so you need some tips to deal with these teething symptoms in such a way that it helps them be less fussy. Be advised that it is normal for a child to exhibit the symptoms of teething and not get their first tooth for a few months after the first symptom. The main symptoms to look out for are swollen gums indicating the teeth buds are coming in. Once you ascertain it is teething here are few ways to deal with it.
Use Teething Aids for Toddlers
When selecting teething aid for your child you need to ensure that they meet the following criteria.
- Make sure the aid you choose is too big to swallow so they can’t choke on them.
- Ensure that the aid is firm but yields to pressure so that it helps to massage the gums and bring relief to the child.
- Any teething aid you give your child has to be clean.
- Cool object work well so you should consider sticking your teething aid of choice into the freezer for a few minutes. This works well with wet cloths, a wet gauze pad, frozen teething rings and frozen bagels or cold spoons.
These are dissolvable tablets that you can put in the baby’s bottle or rub on their gums to help them deal with the discomforts of teething. There have been some negative reviews on certain brands of teething tablets, but generally many moms agree that they are a life saver when it comes to dealing with teething trouble. The main thing is to use them as instructed.
There are a number of teething gels that are readily available over the counter. These are pastes or liquids that essentially numb the gums so that the baby does not feel the pain. However, doctors recommend that teething gels are used as a last resort because they can cause a few problems.
It has been ascertained that some numbing agents used in these gels can be harmful to babies. Added to this many of them taste terrible and as they numb the gums they may end up numbing the tongue and the lips which may be dangerous. They have also been linked to harmful diseases like Reye’s syndrome and should be avoided.
Teething pains normally occurs 4 days before the teeth pops out, and 3 days after it comes in. So this is a week. You should reach for the simple solutions such as frozen items first to deal with the problem and move on to any medication when it is seriously out of hand. Get those frozen items with a handle they can grasp without freezing their fingers. Alternatively you may use mesh feeder bags and frozen pacifiers.
Feeding During Teething
Babies during teething are fussy eaters. This is normal as they are sensitive in their gums and are afraid to cause additional pain to this area. Cold foods seem to work well at this time. Here are some food ideas to make feeding your teething toddler easier:
- Yogurt. It is easy to feed a teething toddler some yogurt. It’s soft. It’s smooth. Oh, and it’s cold, which is a favorable condition for a teething mouth. You can mix in fresh fruit in a healthy plain yogurt. You can even freeze the yogurt and fruit to make a popsicle out of them.
- Applesauce. Applesauce is good because like yogurt, it does not need to be chewed and it can be served cold. It is a healthy snack for your child, packed with fiber and vitamins.
- Cheese. Cheese is an easy favorite for toddlers. Cheese sticks are good because they can suck on them and they massage the aching gums while they eat them. Cottage cheese is soft enough that your child can eat it without having to chew. Shredded mozzarella or cheddar are easy on the growing teeth as well.
- Cooked vegetables. Cooked vegetables that have been rendered soft are healthy snacks that you can serve your child. You may cut the soft vegetables into smaller pieces or make a puree to make eating them easier.
- Fruits. Pick out soft fruits like bananas or watermelons, which would be easier on a teething mouth. Cut them up into small pieces to limit the amount of chewing needed. Make tasty smoothies using any kind of nutritious fruit and chill a bit before serving it to them mango and banana with nutritious milk or cereal mix is a great solution. Berries are a good option because they are soft and they can suck on them. They are full of vitamins, so it’s a good solution.
- Eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamins and proteins, and it is fortunate that they are easy to serve to your teething toddler, who has probably refused eating meat every chance he got. Adding a tablespoon of water and a sprinkle of cheese while you are beating the eggs can make your scrambled eggs fluffier and softer.
- Pasta. Another favorite of most toddlers, pasta can be rendered teething-friendly by cutting them to small bits or choosing bite-size pasta like mini shells and by cooking them for a few extra minutes to make them softer than usual.
- Soups. Try making tasty soups from rice peas and chicken and puree the mixture so that it’s easy for them to eat it.
All in all don’t fuss as this is a short period after which they will get back to eating. Give your child a range of the above solutions and let them eat what they like. It’s a good idea to include milk somewhere as it gives a lot of nutrition sweeten it with fruit or apple sauce and cool it in the freezer a bit of a healthy treat.