It’s often easy to miss the signs of teething. You may simply think your baby is having ‘an off day’ and is grizzly and grumbly for no apparent reason. This is especially true with first babies as new Moms don’t always know what to look for or expect.
Your baby’s teeth develop in the gums before they are even born. During her early months, whitish spots with a pearl like appearance may show on the gums. These are not teeth, are quite harmless and will vanish.
At around six or seven months, your baby’s primary teeth should start to appear, however this is just a guide because they can appear at any time from birth to fifteen months. These teeth will keep on coming until the child is about two-and-a-half.
Some babies breeze through teething with barely any issues and their gums seem to sprout teeth effortlessly! Others suffer to varying degrees and for some, it’s a particularly miserable time. Parents agonize along with their child since it’s difficult to know how to ease their pain when they’re crying inconsolably or not sleeping well in the night.
Without the benefit of experience, it helps to know the signs of teething in your baby, to help you all make it through a trying time.
With or without pain and discomfort, many babies begin putting everything they can get their hands on, into their mouth. Whether it be toys, the corner of a rug, their mother’s finger or the railing of their crib, everything ends up covered in slobber! Some babies seem to be permanently adorned with a bib to catch the drips. Teething can make for very dribbly mouths. Often, the extra moisture around the lips can result in a rash, similar to wind burn, and this can spread from the mouth to the chin and even the cheeks and sometimes the neck and chest if the area can’t be dried regularly.
As baby’s teeth begin to ‘erupt’ through the gums, her mood may be cranky and miserable. The sensation is foreign as well as uncomfortable and/or painful and it’s no wonder that she is irritable. It would seem that one minute, she had smooth, lovely gums, and out of the blue, she has odd little hard things poking out from them!
Her gums will likely appear red and may be swollen. They may even harden a little during the teeth process adding more discomfort.
Fever is often a sign of teething but mustn’t be overlooked as a symptom of another illness just in case. Not all babies will experience fever with teething so be alert for other causes. You may choose to administer some baby teething drops or Acetaminophen to reduce pain and lower the temperature.
Please note that you should always ask the advice of your doctor or pediatrician before giving any medications to your baby.
Being aware of the symptoms of teething is an excellent first step. Be prepared with teething preparations, pain relievers and lots of love and patience, and everyone will avoid the dramas and applaud each and every tooth that emerges.