Is your baby over drooling? Does your baby keep touching his or her gums? Is your baby getting more irritable than normal?
Every baby experiences teething differently from the time their first set of teeth emerges to the types of symptoms they may have.
So when does teething usually start? It really varies from one child to another.
However, according to WebMD.com (1):
“Teething usually begins around 6 months of age. But it is normal for teething to start at any time between 3 months and 12 months of age. By the time your child is about 3 years old, he or she will have all 20 primary teeth.”
When it comes to symptoms, expect your baby to have various teething symptoms.
According to pediatrician Deb Lonzer (2), chairperson of the Department of Community Pediatrics at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital:
“No more than a third of babies have any one symptom … one-third of the kids might drool, another third might be irritable, and another third might have trouble sleeping.”
Although the teething stage could be a very difficult time for your baby, you could help ease the pain. By being aware of the teething signs, you’d know how you could comfort your little one.
Here are the 10 teething signs that you should look out for with your baby.
10. Biting and gnawing.
A teething baby will gnaw and gum-down on anything. The counter pressure from biting helps relieve the pressure from under the gums and temporarily numbs the pain. (3)
To help relieve and ease the discomfort that your baby may be experiencing, your baby may be gnawing on anything and everything that he/she can get his/her hands on.
Be it toys, the edge of the table, or the rail of the crib, everything is fair game to your baby. Teething rings can really come in very handy for your baby.
Here is another classic tell-tale sign that your baby may be teething. Get those colorful, handy bibs ready as your baby will be doing some …
9. Heavy drooling.
The byproduct of a baby’s saliva production, drooling begins when a child is about 3 months old and lasts until he’s between 12 and 15 months old – more or less the same time period as teething. Drooling is a classic symptom of your baby’s teeth gradually pushing toward the gum’s surface, a process that can start months before the first tooth’s eruption. (4)
When your baby is teething, drooling is a common occurrence as the body creates extra saliva to lubricate the tender gums. Drooling may also be worse with some babies than others.
It’s definitely a good time to have bibs handy during your baby’s drooling stage.
Expect your baby to be putting their hands in the mouth quite often.
8. Gum-rubbing or finger-chewing.
Chewing helps to relieve the pain and pressure of teething, so you may notice your baby trying to soothe herself by chewing on her fingers. Try to keep your baby’s hands clean so that she doesn’t swallow any germs. (5)
During teething, your baby’s gums become tender and sore. As a result, your baby will have the tendency to touch their gums with their fingers to soother them.
Some parents suggest using your clean finger or a cold teething ring to rub your baby’s gums for about a minute or two to help soothe the discomfort.
Aside from placing their hands and fingers in their mouth, your baby might also be doing this next symptom. It’s not just his/her gums that your baby will be touching …
7. Cheek-rubbing and ear-pulling.
Pain in the gums may spread to the ears and cheeks, particularly when the back molars begin coming in. This is why you may see your baby rubbing his cheeks or pulling at his ears. (6)
Experts think that babies do this to create counter pressure that eases of the discomfort and pain that they may be experiencing.
It’s more of an instinctive massage reaction to ease the discomfort.
Because of the heavy drooling, expect to see some skin irritation while your baby is teething.
6. Chin or facial rash.
If your baby is a heavy drooler, the constant contact with saliva may cause the skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated. Gently wipe your baby’s mouth and chin periodically throughout the day to help prevent chapped skin and rashes. (7)
The folks at WhatToExpect.com (8) suggest the following remedy:
“Patting away the drool will help prevent the rash. You can also create a moisture barrier with Vaseline or Aquaphor, and moisturize with a gentle unscented skin cream as needed. Have some nipple cream (like Lansinoh) on hand? It’s great for protecting tender baby skin, too.”
Because of the discomfort as a result of teething, mood swings may be quite an occurrence. Be a little patient as your baby may be showing a little bit of crankiness and grumpiness.
Do not be surprised if your baby does this … see next page.