Are you worried about your baby crying constantly? If questions, like “when will the baby start teething?”, “how long will it take?”, and “how painful will the process be?”, are lingering in your mind, then fear not. Every mother goes through this. There is no fixed pattern for teething, and the process will be different for each infant.
When Do Infants Start Teething?
Normally, the first tooth appears during the sixth month, although in some cases, it can be noticed as early as in the third month, or as late as around the child’s first birthday! Sometimes, there is no pain at all, and cutting a tooth happens overnight without any signs; while for some babies, it can be a long, drawn out, irritating, and painful process.
Symptoms of Teething in Babies
Loss of Appetite: It is quite normal for babies to refuse to eat or drink in this condition. The pain in the gums will make them refuse food.
Disturbed Sleep: Due to constant pain in the gums, your baby will not be able to sleep.
Drooling: This can be considered as one of the main symptoms. Teething induces drooling. Remember, excessive drooling can cause facial rash as well. So, you need to find out and eliminate the drooling causes.
Cough: Teething stimulates production of saliva, and excessive saliva may accumulate in the mouth. This might cause coughing, and sometimes, may also lead to a gag reflex.
Constant Biting: Teething in babies will make them gnaw and gum down anything and everything in sight: toys, fingers, shoes, etc. The biting and gnawing action counters the pressure of the gum with that of the object, and temporarily helps the baby to get rid of the pain.
Swollen Gums: This is perhaps the first and most common telltale teething symptom. Reddened and swollen gums may have bumps over them, from where the teeth are about to appear. An outline of the teeth emerging from the gum can also be seen. The intolerable gum pain is difficult for the baby to bear, and as a result, he/she might be very irritable and cranky. However, with more and more teeth occurring, the child gets used to the pain, and calms down.
Diarrhea: As mentioned earlier, more saliva is produced during the process of teething, and the ingested saliva loosens the stool. This results in loose motions. You should consult the doctor immediately if diarrhea lasts for more than two stools.
Rubbing of Ears: The baby rubbing or pulling its ear is also one of the commonly observed teething symptoms in infants. Particularly when the molars erupt, the pain will radiate through the mouth into the cheeks, and can be experienced in the ear. The infant will constantly pull and rub the ear, which is on the same side as the erupting and hurting tooth.
- Fever (known as teething fever)
- Constant crying
- Runny nose
- Increased irritability
Relieving The Pain
These days, teething tablets for infants are available everywhere. However, you should consult the pediatrician before buying these. You can give your child pain relievers prescribed by the doctor. Teething rings are safe objects for biting. You can massage your kid’s gums with clean fingers, or a wet cloth to relieve gum pain. A clean, wet, cold cloth is good for the baby to chew on. It will also absorb the excess saliva. You should keep a clean cloth handy to wipe the chin, to prevent skin rash that might appear as a result of drooling.
You are expected to try different remedies until you find what provides the best relief for your child. The teething symptoms for infants should be managed skillfully and patiently, as the process will come and go, just like so many other things with newborn babies.