Teething is a natural process marked by the appearance of the baby’s first teeth. The first emergence of teeth can indeed make your baby look adorable but the process is painful for your baby as the gums become tender and sore making your baby crankier than usual.
Occurrence of teething
Teething can occur somewhere between four to seven months while some babies can get it as early as in three months and in some babies teething tends to arrive late by a year. The first teeth to make an entry in your baby’s mouth are the two front bottom teeth called as central incisors. The next to erupt are the four upper front teeth called as the central and lateral incisors. The central and lateral incisors usually take somewhere between four to eight weeks of time after the bottom teeth appear. Rest of the teeth- molars and eyeteeth erupt periodically and make a complete set of twenty primary teeth by the time the baby turns three years old! The emergence of teeth may not be in a consistent manner as they seem to be erupting in all directions but straight! Do not worry as eventually they will form symmetry of their own. These teeth are baby teeth which will eventually fall out around six years of age which is the time for permanent teeth to erupt. In case your child is facing a significant delay in teething, it is time to consult your doctor.
Symptoms of teething
While teething is actually painful for your baby with all the swollen, sore gums and teeth trying to make their way out but for some babies teething is painless. Some babies might be extra sensitive to the pain and might become extremely fussy during this period. The pain starts occurring three to five days before the teeth actually show up. When teething occurs the baby drools more than usual while also having a tendency to chew on things as the swollen gums irritate the baby making him chew on hard things. There is a marked change in behaviour during this time as babies get irritable, fussy with bouts of crying, change in sleeping and eating patterns. A slight fever is also a common occurrence during teething. Cases of high fever or diarrhea during teething are less heard of and should actually be checked with the doctor to rule out any other causes. So in short, the symptoms are:
- Drooling more than usual.
- Swelled and sensitive gums.
- Change in behaviour marked by irritability and fussiness.
- Urge to chew on things or bite hard objects.
- Change in appetite – unwillingness to eat or to be fed.
- Change in sleep pattern.
Dealing with teething
Teething is a hard time for the baby which needs you to exercise enough care and patience as a parent. If you are trying to train or set a pattern of sleep for your baby, relax a bit and let your baby sail through the teething period and then start again.
- Excessive drooling by the baby can lead to facial or body rashes. You should be wiping your baby’s face often with a soft clean cloth to avoid any rashes from forming. Avoid rubbing the face of the baby as the area can get irritated; use petroleum jelly when your baby sleeps to protect the skin from further irritation.
- Try gently rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
- Give your baby a teething ring or teething toys but ensure that it is big enough to be not swallowed accidentally or get broken into pieces. A cold spoon or a wet clean washcloth for chewing on can provide relief to your baby from the pain of teething. Cold teething rings which are kept in the fridge for some time provide relief too but be sure not to freeze them incase they become too hard to be chewed on which can damage your baby’s already swollen gums. A cold teething ring or washcloth will help numb the pain and provide temporary relief. M...
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