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Teething is one of the milestones that parents are often most anxious about. The changes that happen during this period affect both the babies and their parents; painful gums mean your child can be more difficult to comfort, and unintentionally make you feel more worn out as a result.
But how can you tell if your baby is teething? And if they are, how can you make this process as easy as possible for you both?
Here’s everything you need to know on the subject; if you’ve any additional questions please leave them in the comments below.
When Do Babies Start Teething?
Every child is unique and teething pattern differ from child to child. On average, the first tooth appears when the child is between 3-7 months. In some cases, it might appear when the child is 12 months. However, if your child doesn’t have a single tooth by the time he/she reaches 15-18 months, you should consult a health care professional, preferably a pediatric dentist.
There are also babies who are born with teeth, these are called natal teeth. Sometimes babies grow teeth within between the first and thirtieth day after being born. These teeth are called neonatal teeth. Both natal and neonatal teeth don’t normally pose any harm to the child but they can be removed if the parent wishes to.
Signs Of Teething
Although babies react differently to teething, there are some who show the following symptoms during this time:
This is one of the most common signs of teething especially when the baby is between 3 and 6 months old. However, the drooling doesn’t usually mean that the tooth is about to grow. As a matter of fact, drooling can start weeks or even a month before the tooth becomes visible in the gum.
Chewing And Biting
If you notice your child chewing on his toys, clothes or fingers, he/she might be teething. Although babies are usually curious about their surroundings and they constantly put things in their mouth, when teething, they tend to even gnaw on your finger to soothe their gums.
Teething affects the child’s sleeping pattern. They take a longer time to sleep and are usually restless throughout the night. Most of the time, parents don’t realise that teething is the cause of this unrest since the tooth might not even be visible in the gums.
Coughing And Gagging
This usually results from the excessive drooling. The large volume of saliva produced by the baby is the cause of this. However, there’s no need to worry unless there are other symptoms that suggest that your child has a cold.
This is also caused by the drooling. Moisture from the drool causes a rash as well as redness around the mouth, lips and gums. You shouldn’t be alarmed, it’s nothing a little Vaseline can’t handle!
Crying And Irritability
Teething might make the baby feel tired and irritable. Although some go through teething without any problem, there are those that experience a lot of pain. The pain results from inflammation of the gums.
Lack Of Appetite
During this period, you should be extremely patient with your child when it comes to feeding. They might lose their appetite as a result of the soreness in their mouth. However, if this persists for a period of two days, seek medical advice.
Ear Pulling And Cheek Rubbing
You’ll often find little ones pulling their years and rubbing their cheeks in an effort to relieve discomfort during teething. This is because the gums, ears and cheeks share the same nerve pathways. However, ear pulling can also be a sign of ear infection. If you think this is the case, seek the opinion of a pediatrician or GP.
Symptoms That Aren’t Normal During Teething
There are a few symptoms that are commonly associated with teething but aren’t a normal part of the teething process. If your child has diarrhoea, fever or is vomiting, this is not normal when teething. The cause of these symptoms is having contact with germs.
Since babies don’t discriminate what they put in their mouths. This contact with germs is what causes vomiting, diarrhea and fever, not teething. If any of these symptoms last for more than 24 hours, take your child to a doctor.