The arrival of a new baby brings joy and excitement, but it also comes with a few challenges. One of these challenges is teething. As your little one grows, their teeth will start to emerge, causing discomfort and sometimes fussiness. If you suspect your baby is teething, it’s important to understand what to expect during this stage and learn how you can assist them through this process. In this blog post, we will explore the signs of teething and provide you with practical tips to make this milestone a little easier for both you and your baby.
Signs of Teething
While every baby is unique and may experience teething differently, there are some common signs to look out for:
- Excessive drooling: Teething stimulates saliva production, which can lead to excessive drooling. You might notice your baby’s chin and clothes are often wet.
- Irritability: Teething can cause discomfort and pain, leading to increased irritability. Your baby may become fussier than usual and have trouble sleeping.
- Biting and chewing: Babies often find relief by biting and chewing on objects. They may frequently put their fingers, toys, or even your shoulder in their mouth.
- Swollen and sensitive gums: The gums around the emerging teeth may appear swollen and red. Your baby might be more sensitive and may avoid eating certain foods or even breastfeeding.
- Changes in appetite: Some babies experience a decreased appetite during teething due to the discomfort they feel. Others may find comfort in nursing or bottle-feeding.
- Disturbed sleep patterns: Discomfort from teething can disrupt your baby’s sleep routine. They may have trouble falling asleep or wake up more frequently during the night.
Assisting Your Teething Baby
While you can’t prevent teething, there are several ways to assist your baby through this challenging phase:
- Provide teething toys: Safe and age-appropriate teething toys can provide comfort and alleviate pain. Look for toys made of soft silicone or rubber that your baby can chew on.
- Offer chilled items: Cold temperatures can help soothe sore gums. You can provide a chilled teething ring or a clean, damp washcloth that has been refrigerated (not frozen) for your baby to chew on.
- Massage their gums: Gently massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger can provide temporary relief. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before doing so.
- Use a teething gel or ointment: Consult your paediatrician or dentist about using teething gels or ointments that are specifically formulated for babies. These products can help numb the gums temporarily and ease discomfort.
- Comfort with cuddles and distractions: Sometimes, all your baby needs is some extra love and attention. Comfort them with cuddles, soothing music, or gentle distractions like a favourite toy.
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Even before your baby’s first tooth emerges, it’s important to establish good oral hygiene habits. Gently wipe their gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings to keep their mouth clean.
- Consult your paediatrician: If your baby seems excessively uncomfortable or is experiencing symptoms such as a high fever, diarrhoea, or a rash, it’s essential to consult your paediatrician. These symptoms are not typically associated with teething and may indicate another underlying issue.
Teething is a natural and necessary part of your baby’s development, but it can be challenging for both you and your little one. By understanding the signs of teething and utilising these tips to provide relief, you can help ease your baby’s discomfort during this milestone. Remember, each baby is unique, and what works for