Your little one’s teeth are finally making their appearance through those soft gums. What an exciting time! The downside? This often means a fussy baby until that tooth has popped through. Additionally, it can often be hard to decipher whether the baby is fussy because of this or has an ear infection. What are some tall-tale signs of teething and what are some relief measures that can help? Moms on Call has the tips to get you through this new stage of gumming everything from Cheerios to cheese!
Teething can begin as early as 2-3 months of age and as late as a year of age. This typically begins when the two front teeth (top or bottom) emerge through the gums.
Let’s go over a few details:
Signs of Teething
Increased DroolingFor many babies, excessive drooling is the first sign of teething. Keep the area as clean and dry as possible to avoid a rash around the mouth OR use a little Vaseline around the mouth after meals as a safe skin protectant (even if they lick it!) Chewing Constantly This can alleviate the pressure from under the gums. Below we’ll go over safe ways to alleviate this pressure and what items are best! Swollen, Red Gums Before the tooth erupts, we often see baby’s gums turn red and swollen as the tooth gently pushes through the gums.
Here’s the good stuff. What can you do to help?
WashclothTake a dry washcloth and wet the corners of the washcloth slightly. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes and allow baby to chew on the “frozen” ends to alleviate pain. The rest of the washcloth stays soft to the touch, so baby can easily hold it. Saline-Filled Teethers These will become your new best friend, and they’ll probably end up ALL over the house, so grab a few! Take the saline-filled teether and place in the fridge for 10-20 mins, then let baby at it! Tooth Massage Using a clean finger or clean washcloth, gently rub or massage baby’s gums to relieve discomfort.
Dental care is important! Once your little’s teeth have made their appearance, begin brushing teeth/gums with a wet gauze or a washcloth wrapped around your index finger (be careful not to let the gauze slip off your finger). For more dental care tips, take a look at our guest blog on dental care with Pediatric Dentist, Dr Allie Simmons.
It can be very difficult to tell the difference between teething and ear pain; if running a fever for more than 2-3 days, not sleeping well, grabbing at ears or experiencing cold symptoms, call your pediatrician.
Moms on Call provides simple, sensible parenting resources to sleep, feed, laugh and love birth through toddlerhood. You can find tips like this and more in our books and Online Video Courses for 0-6 months where we cover everything from feeding and sleeping to schedule transitions and typical days at each stage.