How can I help my teething baby?
Teething is one of those things that new parents dread most. If a baby understood what was coming, they would probably dread it, too, but thankfully they don’t know until the moment it begins. When your baby is born, there are 20 primary teeth below the gumline that are just waiting for their chance to shine later on. Their time to reveal themselves will be around the ages of 6-12 months, and when they decide to make their first appearance, things can become very difficult for your infant and for you. Teething causes a host of symptoms that are unpleasant for your baby. When things get unpleasant for your baby, things can become unpleasant for you.
Your baby’s behavior during teething may be unpleasant, but it’s necessary and completely normal. Your job as a parent is to find out ways to soothe your baby’s discomfort and by extension your own. Sometimes knowledge itself is comforting, so let’s take a look at exactly what teething is. Once you understand what teething is and the symptoms, you can help your teething baby. The bottom two teeth are usually the first to appear. Then you can expect to see the top two teeth. That’s the way teething usually happens. And now, on to what you can do to help your teething baby.
What Is Teething?
When your baby is born, they have all their primary teeth below their gums. You won’t see these teeth for many months – usually between 6 and 12 months – but they’re there. Teething is the process by which these teeth make their way outside of the gums and into your baby’s mouth. These deciduous teeth are sometimes called “milk teeth.” Unfortunately there’s no set time for these first teeth to appear. It could be anywhere from 6 months old to a full year old before you see those adorable little teeth begin to pop up and say hi to you and the world. Another instance of misfortune is that teething can be very uncomfortable and sometimes even painful for your child.
Your first priority after it’s apparent that your child is teething will be to schedule an appointment with a dentist. This will be your baby’s first trip to that all-important doctor’s office, and the sooner you get them an appointment after teething begins, the better. Not only will this help give you wonderful advice about how to handle teething, but you’ll also make your child more likely to be comfortable in a dental setting in the future. Acquainting them with a dentist’s office is vital to their future, as it will help give them an early start taking good care of their teeth. They won’t remember these first visits consciously but the experience is there in their mind for future reference.
How To Help Teething Baby
The first signs of teething are very obvious, painful to watch, and often frustrating for a parent. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by signs of teething, don’t feel bad. This is a natural response for a parent who sees their child in discomfort or pain. Every baby is different. Some will handle teething better than others, but almost every teething baby is going to have some discomfort and show signs that a parent will instantly recognize as teething (with a little research that is). You can help your teething baby by recognizing the general signs of teething. These signs include:
- Swollen gums
- Trying to chew on hard objects
- Abnormally difficult time sleeping
If you notice any of these signs, it’s likely that your child is teething, and it’s time to schedule an appointment with a dentist. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to make this difficult physical process easier for your baby. Naturally, learning about teething will make you calmer because you will know what’s going on when those first signs appear. If the crying begins before any obvious physical signs, and you’re not sure if it’s a teething problem, it never hurts to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician. An unusually large amount of crying should obviously be a very alarming sign for any parent, so if you’re unsure if it’s teething or not, a doctor’s visit will probably give you an idea. If it is teething, there are some simple steps you can take to make life easier in your household.
You should also be aware that sometimes a teething baby will run a fever. It’s usually a lower-grade fever, but it’s a fever nonetheless, so it’s very important to monitor that fever just in case it’s not coming from the teething process. If it goes higher than normal for a teething baby, you should help your teething baby by taking them to their pediatrician to make sure they don’t have another problem in addition to teething. 99 degrees Fahrenheit, as gauged by a rectal thermometer, will be the typical fever if it’s teething. Anything higher than that should probably send you to a pediatrician.
soothing a Teething Baby
During the teething process, your baby’s gums will be very sore. Here are the specific things you can do to help your baby during the teething process. Here are just a few of those things.
- Wet a gauze pad and very gently massage your baby’s gums. This can help your teething baby.
- Teething rings have long been the friend of teething babies. Grab one for your child and let them keep it as a constant companion during the teething process
- Dry your baby’s chin frequently to keep excessive drool off
- Children’s Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain relievers approved for children can really help your teething baby
- Gentle cuddling and soothing can really help a teething baby. They need your love and support.
Many people use a cold spoon or even let their baby chew on their finger (providing the teeth haven’t come in yet) in order to help their teething baby. All of these things are perfectly okay, too. Just make sure your finger is clean before placing it in the child’s mouth to allow them to chew. And of course if their teeth have already sprouted, it’s probably not a good idea to let them bite on a finger of yours. Try one of the other methods in this case.
It’s okay if you’re panicking a little when the teething process starts. Most parents can’t stand to see their baby in any type of pain. Your first instinct might be to feel anxious and worried about your baby. Remember that they’re just going through a natural process in life, and it’s your job to guide them through it. Consider it the first of many times you will guide and soothe your child during life. It’s great practice for you to practice soothing them and terrific practice for them to practice being soothed by you. With the right tools, you’re going to make it.
As a final note, teething isn’t just difficult for babies. You can help your teething baby by also helping yourself during the time they’re teething. Get plenty of rest, ask for help with the crying, and make sure to continuously look for things that can soothe your baby while they’re feeling the pain of teething. By taking good care of yourself, you’ll always have a stronger and happier bond with your baby. If a crying and teething baby becomes overwhelming, ask a friend or family member to take over for a little while. You deserve rest as well. Following these few helpful tips will help your teething baby endure the process of teething, and it will help you help them endure it better.