All parents cringe at the word “Teething”. Be aware of common teething symptoms to help alleviate stress on both parent and child. I’ve heard whiskey helps with teething, so I drank a shot before bed last night. Turns out it’s true.
All babies are different and they will start to grow their primary teeth (sometimes known as baby teeth or milk teeth) anywhere between the ages of three months and 12 months. Usually, the lower teeth will arrive first and the upper teeth will come one or two months later. Teething normally starts around the age of six months and by the time your child is three years old, he or she should have all 20 primary teeth.
Teething can be a stressful time for both the baby and the parents because children often have difficulties in sleeping during this time. There are a number of common teething symptoms that your child may go through, although some babies are affected more so than others. Some children may have only a few mild symptoms whereas others will have a lot, and some lucky parents might have a child that shows none of the following symptoms!
It’s important to remember that the symptoms listed in this article could be a sign of a different problem and if the symptoms are severe or don’t go away after a few days, then you should contact your doctor.
Swollen Gums & Refusing to Eat
If your baby is already on solid food, you might find that they become fussier eaters and the reason for this is that the child’s gums usually become swollen, inflamed, or sore a few days before the teeth start to come through. In this instance, a child might start biting on things to help relieve this pressure.
If you are still breast feeding, you might find that your child starts to gnaw on your breasts which can be incredibly painful! If you are bottle feeding, you will be able to see your child gnawing on the nipple of the bottle.
There are a number of over-the-counter pain relievers available for babies, but you need to ensure that you are buying the correct product for the age of your child. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about which pain relievers are suitable for your child and always make sure that you follow all the directions provided by the manufacturer.
Some parents also have success with specially designed teething rings and blankets. Moreover, some parents have effectively used frozen food such as grapes or frozen breast milk in a mesh feeder bag to help soothe the pain of teething.
You might also want to try gently rubbing your finger on the gums of your child. You baby might resist at first, but some babies will find this very soothing.
Not so long ago, parents used to use whisky to relieve the pain! Whilst some parents still swear by this method, you’ll find that most doctors will advise you against it because your child will become slightly intoxicated with even a little drop of whisky!
Crying & Difficulty sleeping
As a side-effect of the pain, you might find that your baby starts to cry a lot more than usual. This is quite normal and not something that you should be worried about.
Moreover, they might have difficulty in getting to sleep or only sleep for short periods of time. Therefore, you should be prepared to spend a lot of time helping your baby to sleep during the teething period.
More often than not, babies will start to drool when they are teething. You might want to consider using a bib to keep the clothes from getting soggy and you’ll also need to wipe their chin regularly to stop chapping. Sometimes the saliva will pool in the mouth and cause the child to gag or cough. Again, these are common teething symptoms are are perfectly normal, if your baby is otherwise healthy, then this shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
Rubbing at the Face
When we’re in pain it’s normal to rub or hold the area that hurts and the same will apply to your baby. You might see your baby rubbing at their face, jaw, and around their ears a lot more than they usually do.
Some doctors and parents believe that diarrhea, fever and cold like symptoms are also caused by teething. However, there is no scientific proof to indicate that this may be the case. On the other hand, a 2007 study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood analyzed 78 babies and found no link between these disputed symptoms and teething. Therefore, if your child does get a fever or diarrhea, you are well advised to contact your doctor in case these are symptoms of a more serious issue.
Teething is something that all parents have to deal with when their children are growing up and you’ll undoubtedly be very anxious about relieving some of the pain associated with teething. Really, the only thing you can do is try to apply gentle pressure on the gums. You can do this yourself, or you can use special products designed for this purpose. It also helps if the products used are icy cold because it will provide a numbing effect on the gums.
Whatever you give to your child to help to relieve pressure, you should ensure that it is clean and you always supervise your child to prevent choking and accidents.
Remember, that although you might be in for a difficult few weeks, it will pass and you and your baby will soon forget all about it!