All You Need to Know About Your Baby's Teething Journey

  • Team Kidmish Nov 20, 2018

Motherhood is a momentous occasion in any woman's life and the joys of parenting cannot be extolled enough. Watching your little one grow up is an exhilarating journey; your baby will keep you utterly busy with all his/her first milestones like crawling, walking, talking etc. and one of these very special occasions is when your baby will start teething for the first time. While on an average, babies start to show signs of teething when they're around six months old, but if your baby is an early bloomer, then he/she might start teething as early as three months!

There is no rule of the thumb when it comes to babies and every parenting journey is unique. So, to guide you through this very special event in your baby's life, here's our guide to baby-teething and all that you need to know about it:

What is Teething?

Teething is generally classified as the process when an infant starts to develop his first teeth. Also known as 'Milk Teeth' or 'Deciduous Teeth', these teeth are temporary and fall off when the permanent teeth start to bloom.

When do Babies Start Teething?

Generally, baby-teething begins around the time the baby is six months old, however, some babies might start teething anywhere between 3 months to 12 months of age and in some extremely rare cases, some babies are even born with teeth! Usually, the frontal teeth are the first ones to appear followed by the top middle teeth. By the time your baby is three years old, he/she will usually have a full set of 20 teeth.

Signs and Symptoms of Teething:

Every baby's teething experience is different, while some may just breeze through the process and before you know it, the teeth have sprouted out, for some, it might cause discomfort and pain, which would also be distressing for you as a parent. Earliest signs of teething will usually begin a few days prior to the emergence of the first tooth. So, a little proactive parenting is necessary and you must keep an eye out for the following teething symptoms:

  • Irritable, Fussy Behaviour: Teething can cause much pain and discomfort for your baby. You might see them being irritable for prolonged periods of time, accompanied by fussiness or refusal to eat. You will need to exercise patience at this point, especially when it comes to feeding.

  • Increased Bouts of Drooling and Coughing: Due to increased accumulation of saliva triggered by teething, your baby might drool or cough excessively. You may notice that your baby is coughing/gagging more than usual. Though generally not a serious problem, but you need to look out for pulmonary aspiration.

  • Rashes Around the Mouth and Chin: As a result of excessive drooling, it is often noticed that infants may develop skin rashes around the chin, face and mouth during teething. This can be helped by wiping the wet area gently, more often.

  • Inflammation of Gums: In order to relieve themselves of the growing discomfort, babies tend to bite and chew any object that they can lay their hands on. This may sometimes lead to inflammation and eventual swelling of the gums, which may cause transference of pain to the cheeks and ears. So, if you notice your baby constantly pulling their ears, or even rubbing their cheek, it can be a sign of teething.

  • Lack of Appetite: Sucking on a milk bottle or breastfeeding causes pain to the inflamed gums, hence, more often than not, infants reject the offered food.

  • Restlessness and Lack of Sleep: Since teething pain tends to intensify during the night, babies might wake up more often and sleep much lesser, during the night. To ease this, make sure your baby gets adequate and extra sleep during the day. Lack of sleep and restlessness may make your baby even fussier and irritable, however, sometimes these symptoms escalate into a 'teething fever', for which you should consult your doctor, if the symptoms cease to persist, or become severe.

Teething Relief

Once the teething process starts, you might notice the growing discomfort that your baby is feeling. There are a couple of things that you can do, to help ease that discomfort. While there is no sure-shot remedy or foolproof strategy that helps with baby teething, however, most women agree that these things are definitely worth a try. You can keep trying new things, till you find the best way to provide relief for your baby.

So, here are a few pointers, that can help in making your baby feel much better:

  • You can try to gently rub your baby's gums with a clean finger, for about 2 minutes. Though you might find a little protestation at first, however, a lot of babies eventually find it quite soothing.

  • Since cold objects generally tend to numb/lessen the pain, offering your baby cold objects like a wet washcloth, cold water bottle, chilled teething ring, cold mushy food etc. may really help with the teething pain.

  • Safe chewing objects like teething rings are a great way to distract your baby from the pain. Also trying other distraction tactics like a change of scenery, rocking, cuddling etc. can also help quite a bit.

  • Sometimes the doctors may prescribe, mild, age-specific painkillers, for instances when the baby is feeling extreme pain or discomfort. If your baby is older than four months, then sometimes a cooling teething gel, which can be spread across their gums, is of great help too.

Teething is an exciting yet difficult time for both the baby and the mother. There will be crying nights, refusal to eat food, irritability etc. but once the discomfort is over, the first toothy smile of your precious little baby, will make it worth your while. A little patience, little-proactiveness and a whole lot of love, will go a long way in making this ‘baby’s teething’ milestone, a memorable one.

Until then, Happy Parenting!

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