As new moms, we are especially eagerly waiting to see a glimpse of that milky white tooth popping out of our cute baby’s gums even before baby turns six months old. As joyous as this hint of white would be to us, the experience of our little teething baby at during these times are not so joyous after all.
Typically a baby’s first tooth will appear at around six months of age. However, this will largely vary from baby to baby where some would start teething as early as four months of age and some much later.
If you notice baby getting becoming more cranky around this time, it could possibly be that your baby has started teething. Being more aware of the teething process and understanding what to expect from a teething baby would certainly be a consolation for both the baby and you.
Signs that can be seen in a teething baby
Cranky and irritable most parts of the day
Change in eating and sleeping patterns
Need to chew on objects and hard surfaces
Tender and swollen gums
What can you do to sooth a teething baby?
What works for one baby might not work for yours. However, there are many things you can do to help ease your baby’s pain when teething. You can can try a variety of these to see what works best for your baby.
1. A safe and cold object to chew on
As the baby’s gums are sensitive at this stage, something cold in his or her mouth would help ease the pain. A cool clean washcloth, cold pacifier, a refrigerated teething toy are some objects you can try.
Overly cold or frozen objects may harm your baby’s mouth and gums. As babies love to chew on objects and hard stuff at this stage, you need to ensure that these objects are also well cleaned prior to handing to the baby.
As the name suggests, teethers are meant to comfort teething babies. Good teethers could not only comfort and ease baby’s pain but will also distract the baby and engage him or her in play.
Bubble Tea-Taro (S$18.00) and Gem Biscuit Design Teethers (S$18.00, or S$28.00 with Teether Clip Set) by Little Bearnie. | Image source: theAsianparent
Some teethers may be cooled in the refrigerator—this gives a cooling relief to the baby. You need to carefully read instructions and guidelines that come with the package prior to using it.
Please ensure that you do not freeze teethers as frozen objects could damage baby’s gums.
3. Rubbing baby’s gums
With a clean finger, you may gently and smoothly rub baby’s gums where the pressure you put in would help ease the pain.
4. Comfort your teething baby
Offer some extra cuddles and hugs to your baby who can be cranky and fussy. Spend some extra play time that will also help baby get distracted from the pain.
What should you NOT DO to ease the pain of your teething baby?
1. Avoid using Teething necklaces, anklets or bracelets
These objects are unsafe in that they post a threat in choking, strangling and as well as mouth injury and infection.
2. Teething medications that may be unsafe
When considering medication to ease baby’s pain, benzocaine or lidocaine relievers could be harmful or even fatal sometimes. It is always recommended that you always consult your doctor prior to settling for which over-the-counter medication you use.
When do you need to call the doctor?
Teething could be painful for babies. However, if there are other symptoms other than the above that might make the baby feel sick, you might need to get medical assistance.
If you notice any one or more of the following symptoms would need you to call a doctor as soon as possible.
How can you care for baby’s new teeth?
Once the teeth sprout out, you can care for the new teeth gently and following are some tips and guidelines that will help you care for your baby’s new teeth.
1. Run a soft cloth over baby’s gums very smoothly and gently once or twice a day.
2. Once your baby’s first tooth appears, you may use a small soft brittle toothbrush to clean baby’s tooth. Until the baby is able to spit out on his or her own, that is up until the age of 3, you need to ensure that you use a smear of fluoride toothpaste that is no bigger than a grain of rice.
3. You may start regular detail check-ups for your baby starting his or her first birthday.