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Teething: What to expect, how to sooth and what to watch out for…

Posted by Veronica Greene on

Teething: What to expect, how to sooth and what to watch out for…

In this era of a global pandemic, it may be difficult to take your little one to a pediatrician or a pediatric dentist, especially for an in-person visit.

Teeth, however, will not wait to make their presence known, and usually start to make their appearance around age six months. Teething is usually a challenging time for babies, and occasionally even more so for the parents.

Having just gone through my baby’s first teething stage (at age 8 months), I can understand, first hand, the challenges of keeping your baby happy and healthy through their teething process.

Here is a rundown on what to expect, how to soothe, and what to watch out for during your baby’s teething stage.

1. What to expect – the following is a list of symptoms and signs that your baby is teething: 
  • Irritability – the baby may cry more than usual.
  • Drooling and skin rash around the mouth – when teeth are coming in, they may stimulate your little one’s salivary glands to produce more saliva so that the baby may drool more than usual. The presence of saliva may cause a rash around the lips.
  • Coughing – mild and without congestion.
  • Biting and Gnawing – a natural reflex to relieve the discomfort of teeth coming through the gums.
  • Low-Grade Fever.
  • Cheek rubbing and ear pulling – your baby may have referred pain making them feel some discomfort in the cheeks and ears.

2. What to do – there are several things you can do to help your little one through this process:

  • Chilled Fruit – any fruit that is cooked and does not cause any allergies can be chilled and placed into a mesh feeder (to prevent choking) and given to the baby.
  • Cold Washcloth – may be placed on sore gums. Make sure to keep it in your hands at all times when it’s in the baby’s mouth.
  • Gum massage – with washed hands, you can gently massage their little gums in a circular motion.
  • Teething toys – you can give your baby a non-gel filled teething toy. The toy can be chilled in the fridge or freezer to provide some relief. Choose a toy that is easy for your baby to hold.
  • Wipe the drool away – this prevents irritation. You can use a soft burp cloth or a small soft towel.
  • Plenty of cuddles – babies feel vulnerable during this stage. Giving them comfort and reassurance through hugs is a beautiful way to help them through the process.

3. What to watch out for – certain things are not part of the norm during teething and may need you to contact a pediatrician. These include:

  • Fever – if over 101.
  • Liquids – the decreased need for fluids.
  • Rash – other than a facial rash.
  • Cough and congestion – may be a sign that the baby is ill.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting – if uncontrollable.

I hope that these suggestions and tips will help you to navigate your baby’s teething process.

In the meantime, look out for our November article, where we will explore the teething timeline and how to take care of your little one’s newly erupted teeth.

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