Baby teething is a time that most parents dread. Their otherwise happy little baby starts to become a grouchy little drool monster that can often have a miserable time while teething. Just know that you are not alone – generations of parents before you went through this uncomfortable stage with their babies, so let’s look at some tried and tested tips to help soothe your baby during this time.
What happens during teething
Babies will usually start teething anywhere from 6 to 12 months old. This is when their baby or milk teeth start to erupt from their gums. Sometimes a baby can show signs of teething from as young as four months old, so keep an eye out for the early signs of teething in your baby.
Not every baby will experience teething in the exact same way. Most babies will experience at least one of the following symptoms though, so look out for these tell-tale symptoms so you understand why your baby may start to become a little cranky.
- A low-grade temperature
- Changes in sleep cycles or eating habits
- Crying, grouchiness, fussing or sobbing
- Desire to chew or bite their hands or other objects
- Red, tender or swollen gums
Be careful at this stage because symptoms of teething can cover up the signs of illnesses that you may not notice. If your baby develops a rash, starts to vomit, develops a high temperature, develops a persistent cough or has bouts of stomach pains and diarrhoea, then consult your GP as soon as possible.
Soothing your babies teething symptoms
There are a few effective things you can do to help reduce the discomfort of teething in your baby. You can buy baby teething rings that are specifically designed for your baby to safely chew on. These are often gel filled plastic rings that you can chill in the fridge. The chilled teething ring acts like a cold compress for your babies teeth and gums, helping to reduce the pain of their new teeth cutting through their gums.
You can also use a square of terry cotton cloth, such as a wash cloth for example, that you can dampen down in chilled water. Wring out the chilled wash cloth and allow your baby to chew on it – but keep an eye on them to avoid choking risks.
Your baby will automatically want to start gnawing on hard things such as plastic toys, so make sure you can offer them some clean and safe toys for them to gnaw on. Avoid plastic toys that have small pieces that can easily break off or could pose as a choking hazard.
Dealing with the drool
Babies skin is very sensitive, so excessive drool from teething can cause the skin around the mouth to dry out and become chapped and sore. Keep their mouth as dry as possible and use a gentle barrier cream on any sore or tender patches to ease any discomfort.
Should your baby experience any severe symptoms during their teething process, then check with your dentist to ensure that everything is OK. Your dentist will be able to check to make sure your babies teeth are developing correctly and can spot any problems, such as a gum or tooth infection that may be causing your baby some extra pain.