If you are the parent of a teething baby, you are most likely distressed that your child appears to be in pain, is having trouble trouble sleeping, and is more fussy than usual. Read on for an overview of teething and how to help ease your child’s discomfort.
When Does Teething Start?
Babies usually start teething (or have their teeth begin to erupt) around six months old, but timing does vary from child to child. The two lower central incisors (the bottom front teeth) usually erupt first, followed by the two upper central incisors (the top front teeth). Check out this handy chart from the American Dental Association with typical ages of when each baby tooth should erupt!
What Are the Typical Signs of a Teething Baby?
Your child’s gums will feel sore and tender as their baby teeth emerge. Because of this, teething babies are often more irritable, cranky, and fussy. They often drool more, exhibit an increased tendency to chew on objects, have a hard time sleeping through the night, and may experience a low-grade rectal fever or diarrhea.
How Can I Ease My Child’s Teething Pain?
Here are some simple ways to help ease your baby’s teething pain:
- Try rubbing your baby’s gums using a clean finger or piece of moistened gauze, applying gentle pressure to ease their discomfort.
- Offer a cold washcloth, soft spoon, or chilled teething ring to soothe their gums. Avoid giving your baby frozen teething objects, which will be too cold for their sensitive gum tissue.
- The teething process and chewing on teething toys involves a lot of drool. Regularly dry your baby’s face, neck, and chest and apply a baby-safe moisturizer to prevent any skin irritation.
- Add foods like melon, apples, strawberries, peaches, mango, and grapes into a mesh or silicone teething feeder so your child can self-feed (with supervision) and have a soothing sensation on their tender gums.
- If your baby is having an especially hard time with teething, consult with your pediatrician about an appropriate pediatric pain reliever.
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