For starters, know that on average, teeth erupt between 6–7 months of age. A good rule of thumb is the rule of 4’s: You can expect about four teeth every four months starting around seven months of age. There are 20 baby teeth total, and they’re usually all present by two-and-a-half years of age.
Every baby experiences the start of teething differently: Some have virtually no symptoms, while others suffer through teething pain and fussiness for months.
But if you know the signs to look out for, the timing of baby teething, and home remedies you can use to alleviate teething discomfort, it can make it easier for your baby to get through this particular milestone.
Some babies start teething as early as three months or as late as 15 months. This is considered normal and can be attributed to genetics.
Your baby is also forming new skills with self-feeding, which can be frustrating for them. This is a great time to introduce teethers. Some babies are comforted by the texture and cold feel of teethers. When feeding your baby, take your time in determining if your baby will more readily accept purees or soups. Also, try offering healthy popsicles or frozen foods in a silicone feeder.
Signs of Baby Teething
When your baby’s first tooth shows up, you might be taken by surprise, or you might just finally understand what all those strange symptoms were about. Babyshopclub.com bring you these common signs your baby is teething:
It’s hard to believe so much fluid can come from the mouths of tiny babes, but teething stimulates drooling, and the waterworks are on for many babies starting from about 10 weeks to 3 or 4 months of age or older. If you find that your baby’s shirts are constantly soggy, fasten on a bib to keep him more comfortable, and gently wipe his chin throughout the day to stave off chapping.
Some babies breeze through teething with nary a whimper, while others suffer from a good deal of pain due to the inflammation of tender gum tissue — which they feel compelled to share with you in the form of whining or crying. First teeth usually hurt the most (as do the molars, because they’re bigger), although most babies eventually get used to what teething feels like and aren’t quite so bothered later on. Talk to your doctor about when to offer pain relievers like infant acetaminophen.
Your baby’s mouth will ache as that little tooth presses on the gums and pokes up to the surface, and, not surprisingly, it’ll probably make him feel out of sorts. Some babies may be irritable for just a few hours, but others can stay fussy for days or even weeks.
Pressure from teeth poking through under the gums causes baby a lot of discomfort — which can be relieved by counterpressure. Teething babies will gum whatever they can find, from teething rings and rattles to your soon-to-be sore nipples (if you’re breastfeeding) and fingers.
If your teething baby is drooling, the constant drip may cause chafing, chapping, redness and rashes around his mouth and chin (and even on his neck). Patting it away will help prevent his skin from taking a hit. You can also create a moisture barrier with Vaseline or Aquaphor, and moisturize with a gentle, unscented skin cream as needed.
Refusing to eat
Uncomfortable, cranky babies yearn to be soothed by something in their mouths — whether a bottle or the breast. But the suction of nursing may make a teething infant’s sore gums feel worse. For that reason, teething babies can be fussy about feedings (and get more frustrated as neither their discomfort nor their hungry tummies find relief). Those eating solid foods may also refuse to eat while they’re teething. Keep at it, and call your pediatrician if the strike lasts more than a few days.
The teething fairy doesn’t only work days. As your baby’s little choppers start to emerge, his discomfort may disrupt his nighttime slumber (even if he previously slept through the night). Before offering comfort, see if he can settle himself back to sleep; if he’s still restless, soothe him with patting or lullabies but avoid a return to overnight feedings (which will come back to haunt you when this phase has passed).
Ear pulling and cheek rubbing
Babies whose teeth are coming in may tug furiously at their ears or rub their cheeks or chins. The reason? Gums, ears and cheeks share nerve pathways, and so an ache in the gums (especially from erupting molars) can travel elsewhere. (Babies with ear infections will also yank on their ears, so check with your pediatrician if you suspect your little one may be bothered by more than just teething.)
The type and severity of these symptoms vary widely from baby to baby, teething means lots of pain and big-time tears, while another might breeze right through to a mouth full of teeth without a complaint. But you can probably expect to see at least some, and maybe many, of these signs. Hang in there, Mom!