Some things in life just don’t seem fair. For many parents, just about the time their baby starts sleeping through the night on a regular basis, she starts getting teeth, bringing about a whole new reason for exhausted mommies and daddies to stay up through the night.
Babies can start getting teeth as early as three months old, though in most cases, they don’t start getting them until they are five to six months old. Usually the symptoms of teething show up well before the teeth come in. With the range of symptoms, it’s easy to see why many parents think their babies are sick when they first start cutting teeth.
The early symptoms of teething include:
- Runny nose. Usually a baby who is teething will have clear fluid from his nose. If the fluid is yellow or greenish, baby likely has an infection or a cold.
- Fever. It’s typical for babies to run a fever when they have teeth coming in.
- Fussiness. Even the calmest of babies often becomes fussy and has trouble sleeping when he has a tooth coming in.
- Chewing on whatever he can get in his mouth.
If your baby is experiencing these symptoms, feel his gums. You will probably be able to feel the little tooth underneath the surface. While cutting teeth can be painful for babies, and makes it hard for them to sleep, there are some things you can do to help.
- Put a pacifier in the refrigerator. The coolness helps soothe baby’s gums.
- Use a teething ring. These can also be placed in the fridge or freezer.
- Use Baby Orajel or another medicine as recommended by your baby’s pediatrician.
- Be patient. Baby is going to be fussy. It’s all part of the package. While you’re up at night taking care of her, just think about how cute the pictures will be when the tooth comes in.
The bad news is that you’re going to go through the whole teething process several times before baby has all of his teeth. The good news is that it usually doesn’t take more than a few days for each tooth.