Every baby is unique, even when it comes to teething . Generally, you can expect that your child will start teething around the age of 6 months, but it might happen earlier, such as around 4 months. And, as more teeth grow in, your baby might experience teething symptoms until the age of 2.
How can you tell if your baby is teething? Symptoms vary, but they typically include crankiness and irritability, along with drooling. Your child might also cry more, and might want to chew on things in an effort to get relief from sore, swollen gums. Also, you might notice that your baby’s appetite decreases, and his or her temperature might rise slightly, but not enough to be considered a fever.
When your precious son or daughter is uncomfortable because of teething, you want nothing more than to eliminate that discomfort. With the tips below, you can do just that, and before you know it, you’ll see those adorable little chompers whenever your little one smiles.
How to Soothe a Baby That’s Teething
There are a variety of ways to soothe your teething baby, and they include:
- Wash your hands, and then gently massage your little one’s gums using circular motions with your finger. Alternatively, you can try using wet gauze instead of your finger.
- Gently apply a clean, cold washcloth to the gums, or let your baby chew or suck on it while you supervise. Start by soaking the washcloth in water. Then, wring it out and let it sit in the refrigerator until it’s nice and cool before giving it to your child.
- Put a metal teaspoon in the refrigerator until it’s cool to the touch. Then, you can gently place it on your baby’s gums to massage them.
- Purchase a teething ring or teething toy that’s designed for babies, and be diligent about keeping it clean so your child can chew on it for relief. You might also be able to place it in the refrigerator to provide cooling relief but read the label carefully to be sure it’s safe to do so.
- As an alternative to a cold washcloth or spoon, you can try giving your child some fruit that has been chilled in the refrigerator, as long as he or she is already used to eating solid food. You can use a mesh feeder, placing the fruit inside, so your little one can chew on it.
Note: You might be wondering if teething bracelets and necklaces are a good option for teething relief. The answer: not really. Experts recommend steering clear of these products, which are a choking hazard.
What About Medications for Teething Babies?
Should you give your baby medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to provide relief from teething discomfort? Well, it’s best to consult your child’s pediatrician for the answer to this question because some remedies are not recommended.
For example, it isn’t a good idea to give your baby a medicine that contains lidocaine or benzocaine, and even herbal and homeopathic remedies might not be appropriate. Your baby’s doctor can direct you to the best and safest remedy so you can rest assured you’re making the ideal choice.
It’s Time for Your Baby to Meet the Dentist!
Once you see your baby’s first tooth erupt, it’s time to make an appointment with a dentist . That way, your child’s mouth can be examined by a pro, and you can get advice on oral care for babies so you can help ensure every tooth grows in perfectly.
Thankfully, It’s Temporary!
It might be a difficult time for you and your baby, but teething symptoms often decrease and resolve after a few days, particularly when the tooth starts erupting from the gums. By being patient, and by comforting your child with the suggestions above, you can make teething a less intense experience. But if you’re noticing that your strategies aren’t working, consult your baby’s dentist or physician for personalized guidance.