Is your baby irritable through the day and crying at night? Is your baby trying to bite things more than usual? Then your baby could be teething.
When does a baby start teething?
Your baby’s first tooth will start to appear around 4-7 months ,and they will have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are 3 years of age. Some babies might start teething early or late too which is also normal. Teething is a difficult time for not only babies but also parents. Each child is unique and reacts differently to teething.
Here are some common signs of teething
- Tender, swollen gums
- Drooling more than usual
- Troubled sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Mild fever
- Biting tendencies
A lot of parents think diarrhea is also directly associated with teething, but that’s not the case. A teething baby, puts a lot of random things in its mouth to soothe his/her gums. Your baby could catch a stomach bug and get diarrhea from these non-sterile things.
This is why it very important for parents to keep only clean, sterile toys around the baby. If your baby has both diarrhea and a fever, please give your doctor a call at the earliest.
There are few simple things you can do to help your teething baby. Remember that all of this is new for your baby, and they are scared and in pain, so be patient and give them extra attention and love
Do’s and don’ts
- Get a good quality silicone teether. Brands like MeeMee and Baybee have some great freezer safe variants. You can even give them a teething banana brush. It is easy to hold and bite, and its small bristles gently massage their gums.
- Your babies will love a gentle gum massage. Gently rub and knead their swollen gums with a clean finger. This will relieve their pain and make them feel better.
- Nothing relives a baby’s teething ache like cold compresses. Chill their teethers, toys or even a wash cloth and let them chew it. This will relive their pain and soothe their gums. Avoid completely freezing their toys, especially the teething rings that have liquid gels in them. These have a high change of breaking off or tearing and chocking your child.
- You can give older babies some teething foods like breadsticks or dry toast. Get sugar free and whole grain versions of these products from brands like Early foods and My little moppet. Give these foods only under supervision, as can bigger chunks can break off and choke your baby.
- Wipe away the drool and do not let it dry on your baby’s face. This will cause rashes and lead to an even more irritable baby.
- Sterilize all their teethers and toys regularly.
- Do not tie amber bracelets or teething necklaces around any part of their bodies. These can choke or strangle your baby.
- Do not apply any teething gels or ointments. Common OTC teething gels contain benzocaine which is not recommended for children under 2 years of age.
- If your baby continues to be fussy, ask your doctor for a baby safe painkiller syrup.
How to clean your baby’s teeth?
Once their teeth have erupted, make sure to take good care of them. Wipe teeth, gums and tongue with a clean wash cloth after their meals. This will keep them clean and decay free.
It is never too early to start brushing your baby’s teeth. Start with a finger brush and a rice sized grain of kid’s toothpaste. Gradually move up to normal toothbrushes and a small smear of tooth paste.
Visit your dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. Your baby should have their first dental visit by the 1 year of age. Remember to take care of your teeth, just like you take care of your baby’s teeth, so brush twice a day and floss regularly to maintain good oral hygiene.