Babies are so much fun, but a lot of work. Especially for first-time parents, it can be challenging to know what’s going on and what to do to keep your baby happy.
One thing you can know for sure is that all babies go through teething. This process of teeth coming in can be quite uncomfortable for babies and cause them to be fussy or cranky.
I’m sure you have questions, so let’s jump right in.
What Is Teething?
Teething is a natural process of teeth breaking through the gums.
Babies actually start to develop teeth within the gums during the eighth week of pregnancy. Their teeth will begin to break through the gums when they are around 6 months old.
Some babies may get their first teeth as soon as 2-3 months, while others may get theirs as late as 12 months, but 6 months is the average time frame you can expect.
As they come in, they’ll typically come in pairs. The first teeth to come in are the lower front teeth or central incisors. Then, shortly after, the upper front teeth come in.
By the time your baby is 3 years old, 20 teeth will be in their mouth.
Signs of Teething
Usually a few days before teeth start to come in, the signs and symptoms begin to appear.
Below are some of the most common signs of teething seen in babies:
- Visibly see a tooth below the gums
- Excessive drooling
- Fussy, irritated baby
- Chewing on anything
- Trouble sleeping
- Swollen gums
- Decreased feeding
- Grabbing or pulling their ears
Home Remedies for Teething
Now that you know what is going on, I’m sure you want to know how to relieve this discomfort for your baby. Here are common ways parents and caretakers can provide relief for teething babies.
Rub or Massage the Gums
With clean hands, take a finger and gently rub or massage your baby’s gums. This is a simple and easy way to give your baby relief.
Massaging your baby’s gums helps relieve that itchy, uncomfortable feeling that is causing your baby to be fussy.
Be careful that your little one doesn’t bite you. Those little jaws are strong!
There are an assortment of teething rings and toys for babies. Teethers can be found at your local grocery store and online. Be careful with the fluid-filled teether, as they can leak.
Try offering one to your little one after first placing it in the refrigerator to chill. You may have to start by putting the teether near their mouth so they know to chew on it.
If your baby doesn’t seem interested in the teether, don’t be discouraged. There are other ways to give your baby relief.
Give Them Something to Chew
Your baby will naturally want to chew on something to get relief. You can try offering a smooth rubber utensil or even a rubber toy.
Washcloths are especially helpful because of the texture. Make sure the wash cloth is damp and cold.
If you find your little one wanting to chew on your necklace, you may want to look into teething jewelry. Not only will your baby love it, but it’s safe and smooth on their gums and is also fashionable and stylish.
Search online to find teething bracelets and necklaces that you may find yourself wearing even after your baby is done with teething. Amazon has some great options!
Frozen fruit is a nice remedy because it’s tasty and the cold provides relief to baby’s gums. Be sure to supervise or assist your baby with any small pieces. You can use the mesh food holders to make it easier for your baby to hold.
Speaking of cold, making popsicles with breast or formula milk is a huge hit. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. You can use an ice tray and popsicle sticks that can be found at the Dollar Tree.
Key Points to Remember
Remember that teething is a natural process that all babies go through. Some babies have a harder time with teething than others.
Knowing the signs to spot teething is the first step. Finding the remedy for teething that works best for your baby is next.
If you have additional concerns about baby teething, talk to your dentist.
Check out our Mom’s Guide for more dental health tips for your kids!
About the Author: Dr. Toni is a general dentist in Jacksonville, Florida, and a blogger at drtonidds.com. She has experience working with patients that are very young and young at heart, as well as serving as an officer in the Navy Reserves.