It is one of the most dreaded phases in a child’s life when babies start teething. Most babies are not born with any teeth, they take time to break through the gums usually around the three-month mark. There are some babies out there who are born with a tooth or two, but that is extremely rare.
Teething can start as early as just a few months old, and parents better hold on because it is going to be a wild ride. Teething has many symptoms and a lot of them are unexpected, and unfortunately, all of them are unpleasant. The only thing that is remotely positive about teething is at the end of it all, the little baby will sprout a toothy grin.
However, this doesn’t mean that mom has to struggle in silence alongside her baby. There are definitely things she can do to make it an easier time for everyone involved. Sometimes, when babies are upset, it can be frustrating because mom thinks there is nothing she can do. They can feel completely useless.
No one wants moms to feel this way, so we have compiled a list of all the miserable symptoms of teething and some things that mom can actually do to help her baby feel just a little bit better.
You will quickly get to know your baby and what their individual signs are that a tooth is coming. My daughter handled teething like a champ and the only sign I got that a tooth was coming was a runny nose. Her nose would turn into a faucet right before she cut a tooth.
However, according to BabyCenter.com, there is no medical evidence that supports that a runny nose is a true sign of teething. Though, it is reported by a lot of parents as being an indicator. It is also important to keep the nose clean if this happens, so that it does not irritate the skin. If your baby suddenly has a runny nose and does not appear to be sick in any way, then you may want to keep an eye on their gums.
If you haven’t stocked up on bibs, now is definitely the time to do it. One of the clearest signs that your baby is teething is they will start drooling. Drooling when they are little can also be common because they don’t have much control of their tongue and keeping their saliva in their mouth. It also may seem like drooling is not really that big of a deal, but it can be.
Excessive drooling can cause a cough as there is an excess of saliva running down the back of their throat. It can also cause a red rash around their mouth due to the skin being constantly wet. It is always a good idea to try and keep the area dry as much as possible.
The biggest downside with teething is that you may lose your happy baby. Not all babies are affected the same by teething, so your little one may still remain in good spirits while they are teething, but they could become quite grumpy. It is understandable, they don’t know what is happening and they don’t know to handle pain.
It can also switch quite dramatically. Your little one can be totally fine one minute and the next, they could be incredibly fussy. This can confuse parents because they seemed absolutely fine a moment ago. Unfortunately, this also may be worse at night because there are fewer things to distract them from the pain.
It is always important to check your baby’s mouth every once and a while to make sure everything is okay. This is also where you may see some swelling where a tooth is about to erupt. There are a lot of physical changes that may happen in your baby’s mouth while they are teething. There may be a cyst or a blister-type bump on the gum where your little one is getting a tooth.
Normally the first two teeth to emerge are the bottom center teeth, followed by the top center ones. Then they will slowly fill on from the front to back and usually alternate on each side. This is not a rule, more of a guideline, as every baby is different and will get teeth in their own unique order.
Here is another little piece of bad news, there is the possibility that your baby will get more than one tooth at a time. My daughter would always get four at one time, she would show signs and then after a few days, there would be four new teeth. If you want to do a quick scan of their mouth, you are going to want to look for an outline of the tooth through the gums.
According to DrSears.com, a good way to check if there is a tooth coming is to clean your hands and rub your finger over their gums. If you feel a hard spot under one of the gums, that is likely a tooth that is about to come through. Just be careful, they are likely to immediately bite down.
A fever is another symptom that does not have any medical evidence as being a true sign of teething, but it can happen. Parents will often report that their little one runs a low-grade fever while they are teething. This is clearly evident when there is no other reason for the fever to be there. If they don’t appear to have any other symptom of being sick, a fever could be due to teething.
Only mom can decide if the fever is due to teething or if it is something else because she knows her baby best. Since it is usually a low-grade fever, there is not much she needs to do. Make sure to keep the baby cool and offer some lukewarm baths to help bring it back to normal.
Another handy tool that almost all mothers have in their cupboard is a washcloth. This hack has worked for mothers all over the world and it is super easy. Take the washcloth and run it under some cool water. Ring it out so it is not dripping wet and give it to your baby to chew on. The cool sensation will help soothe the pain and the pressure from them chomping on it will also help.
If you want to make sure it is extra cool, you may want to put it in the ridge for just a little bit. This is a bit tricky because you don’t want it to be too cool. Just use your common sense. It is never a good idea to put it in the freezer because then it will freeze, and it will do more harm than good when the baby bites down on it.
Has your little one suddenly become obsessed with their face? Like they can not keep their hands off it? This is another symptom of teething. That is because they are trying to soothe the pain they are feeling in their gums. They may rub their cheeks and ears, pull on their hair and rub their face. Mom just may want to make sure that the baby’s fingernails are trimmed so they don’t end up scratching themselves in the process.
If mom sees that her baby won’t seem to leave her face alone, it is a good indicator that she is teething. If she is really pulling at her ears, mom may want to make a doctor’s appointment just to make sure that there is no ear infection going on.
As if changing baby’s diapers was not enough, a teething baby may also have to deal with a bit of diarrhea. DrSears.com states that this is due to all the extra saliva that a teething baby is dealing with. All of this extra saliva ends up in the baby’s system and it can loosen everything up a little bit.
This can lead to some messy diapers and diaper rashes. Anything that is loose can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin on their bottom. It is important that mom stays on top of these diaper changes so that they are not sitting against the skin for too long.
The amount of food our babies eat is very important to parents. We monitor the amount they eat to make sure they are getting enough food. We constantly worry when we think they are not getting enough. If your baby suddenly goes on a food strike, it could be because they are teething.
Sometimes eating can be uncomfortable when they are teething, and they will just refuse to eat any food during this time. This can worry mom a lot when their little one refuses to eat. As long as it doesn’t go on for more than a few days, it is usually fine and nothing to worry about. If you are concerned, you can talk to the doctor and they may be able to confirm that the baby is getting in some teeth.
Now we are on to the great section, the 10 things that mom can actually do try and bring her baby some relief and make the home a happy place for just a little bit. The first thing a lot of parents do is they reach for some over the counter meds. It is important to make sure that your little one is able to have meds, and this can be answered with a quick call to the doctor.
Meds can help your little one with teething and the inflammation of the gums and bring some relief. A lot of parents turn to this at night time to make sure that everyone gets a good night’s sleep so they can feel better.
We had mentioned this a bit earlier, but it is one of the easiest ways to help soothe their gums. When anything is aching or hurting, a good way to take the pain away is to apply pressure to the area. We do this when there are cuts and bumps, and it can work for teething as well. Mom doesn’t even need to buy anything fancy, she already has everything she will need.
All mom needs to do is to make sure she cleans her hands and then she can take her finger and rub it along the baby’s gums. This can take away some of the pain and discomfort and it can also help mom to figure out just how many teeth are coming in. Just watch out for a bite if your little one already has some teeth.
If your little one has already started solid food than this is a great and nutritious hack. You can give the baby some hard vegetables to gnaw on. Something like a carrot is perfect. Take it right out of the fridge so that it is nice and cold. Make sure to wash and peel it and let your little one chomp away on it. Mom will have to be very careful with this one.
Mom will need to keep an eye on her little one while they are chomping away in case they are able to snap off a large piece that can become a choking hazard. They may be able to shred some off, but they should be able to eat the smaller pieces and now you have just solved the food-strike problem as well.
There is no limit on the market for teething toys out there. Manufacturers everywhere know how hard teething can be or a baby and their parent so there are a ton of teething toys out there for purchase. These are a little touch-and-go because babies respond differently to different kinds. It may be a bit of a guessing game on which one your little one likes.
This may lead mom to have to spend a bit of money on trying different teethers that work, which is the only downside of this hack. Silicone-based teethers are great and they can be put in the fridge so that they are cool when they chew on them. Be careful of any teethers that are filled with gel as it is possible that the baby could puncture it with a tooth and the liquid may be harmful.
There are a lot of basic products out there that claim to help with teething. This is perfect for the mom out there who wants to try a more simple method and wants to try and avoid meds. The only problem with this is that they are not guaranteed to work. Since they are basic products, there is no way of knowing if they will have any effect on your little one. The only option is to give them a try and see if they offer some relief.
Essential oils are a big thing right now, and there are some moms out there who swear by them for their teething babies. However, there are a lot out there that can actually cause more harm than good, so it is important to make sure you speak to a professional before using any of these items.
This is another item that is hit-or-miss for a lot of parents. Amber teething necklaces are supposed to help bring some teething relief. The amber sits against the skin and it has properties that are supposed to help ease the pain, drooling, and other side effects that come with teething. There are parents out there who swear by them and think they help a lot. Then there are parents who have tried these and have noticed no, or very minimal, change.
The only thing mom can do is try it and see if it brings some relief to her baby. Parents of a teething baby are often desperate, and they are willing to do anything if it has some promise of bringing relief. It is important that these necklaces are never worn while the child is sleeping, as they could become a strangulation risk.
Mesh or silicone feeders have become quite popular over the years. They look like little popsicles and they allow mom to place some food inside for her baby to chew on. It prevents choking and allows babies to still get some of the food safely. These are also a miracle when it comes to a teething baby and every mom of a teething baby should get one now.
Mom can place some frozen fruit in there, like blueberries or bananas and let their little one chomp away. Not only is it going to soothe their sore gums, but they are also going to have a nutritious snack. Of course, this one only applies to babies who have already started solid foods and are able to have various food items. If your baby has had some water, another good hack is to place some ice cubes in it for some extra relief.
This is another simple relief method that a lot of mothers have sworn by. It is a good idea to speak to your baby’s doctor to make sure this is safe for your baby. Chamomile has a lot of great benefits. It is naturally calming, and it can help relax nerves and soothe pain. There are a couple of ways to prepare this so that it can offer some relief to your baby.
You can make a very weak tea and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then pull out your mesh or silicone feeder and place some inside. Baby can gnaw on it and receive some of the great benefits of chamomile. Mom can also make something called a ‘Tincture’ and can place a drop or two on their finger and massage it into their baby’s gums to relieve some pain.
A teething baby just wants to chew, that is all. Sometimes the best thing to let them chew on is you. A clean knuckle is always a good place to start and it is something you always have on you. If you are out in public with your baby and teething starts to rear its ugly face, mom can quickly offer her knuckle to her baby and let her have a quick chew.
If your baby already has some teeth, mom may want to be careful because she is likely going to get a bit of a bite. Milk teeth, or baby teeth, are incredibly sharp and they may be little, but they have the ability to be quite painful. This hack may only work for when babes is getting their first little teeth.
The biggest flaw with teething is that it lasts a long time. This will depend on your own individual child though. Some babies handle teething really well and other than a few clues, mom would never know until a tooth popped through. Other babies are absolutely miserable throughout the entire process and it can be a hard time for everyone.
Most babies start teething around the age of 4 months and it can continue off and on until they are 2 years old. Babies also can show signs of teething long before that first tooth pops through. My daughter started ‘teething’ at 5 months old and that little tooth did not pop through until she was nine months. You can’t go by what the Internet says either, because every baby is different when it comes to teething.
References: livestrong.com, babycenter.com, mayoclinic.org, wellnessmama.com