A teething baby usually makes for a cranky baby. For parents it often feels like time is passing very slowly as we await the appearance of our baby’s new teeth and an end to the discomfort. If you want to understand how to soothe and care for your baby’s new teeth and sore gums, we’re here to help!
When do babies start teething?
Every baby’s teething experience is unique. Most babies begin teething between 4 to 7 months, but there is no cause for concern if it takes a little longer. The teething experience lasts approximately eight days each time a tooth “erupts” or breaks through the surface of the gums. You can expect a full set of milk teeth by your little one’s 3rd birthday.
What are the signs & symptoms of teething?
Keep your eyes open for emerging pearly whites if your baby is unusually cranky and displays any of these signs:
- Red, swollen gums
- Excessive drooling
- Fussiness and crying
- Mild temperature
- Flushed cheek or pulling on ear (on the side of the emerging tooth)
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Chewing on fists or fingers
Baby’s lower front teeth are usually first to appear, followed by the upper front teeth. They will start to emerge ever so slightly and you will see some white spots as the tooth breaks the gum surface. If you see a bluish mark or clear bubble, do not be concerned - these “eruption cysts” are uncommon and should resolve without treatment. While teething can be painful, it should not cause diarrhea or vomiting.
How can you help soothe a teething baby?
Every baby will respond differently to various soothing techniques. Here are some of the most popular methods:
Massage the gums – After cleaning your hands thoroughly, massage baby’s gums gently with your finger. Applying pressure on their gums is one of the most effective ways to ease the pain.
Refrigerated pacifier or teething toy – If your baby uses a pacifier, pop it in the refrigerator or freezer. The cool sensation is a great way to soothe baby’s gums. You can also use teething aids however avoid liquid or gel-filled toys.
Chilled fruit – If you’ve introduced your baby to solid foods, you can try chilling some of their favorite fruits to help soothe irritated gums. For babies 7 months and older who have started eating solids, you can try unsweetened teething rusks. Remember to supervise your baby.
Pain medications – Consult your pediatrician about using pain medication or teething gels.
Use a baby bib – Baby is likely to drool more than usual, so use a baby bib to absorb the saliva. Try to keep the skin around baby’s mouth dry as it can be irritated by the excess moisture.
Are there any teething treatments to avoid?
Make sure that any teething aids you buy are made from safe materials. Some general guidelines to follow include:
Avoid gel or liquid-filled teething aids which can tear or spill
Teething necklaces are not recommended as they can pose a choking hazard
Refrigerate rather than freeze teething aids - frozen teething rings will be too hard for baby’s gums
Avoid sugary products if using teething rusks
Your baby’s teeth are crucial for eating, speech development, and - over time - self-image. Take good care of your baby’s oral health from day one. Even though milk teeth eventually fall out, they are susceptible to decay the same way that adult teeth are. Emulait’s bottles and pacifiers have been designed to support good oral health and development over time.
Don’t forget to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about teething or if your feeding journey is impacting your mental health. Join our online community for more tips and support.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always consult a medical professional or healthcare provided for any medical advice, diagnoses, treatment, or health objectives.