How Do I Know If My Baby Is Teething?
Your baby will let you know when they’re teething and its something that can be a challenging time for new parents. Teething is a natural process that marks the emergence of a baby’s first teeth. While it is an exciting milestone, it can also be a challenging time for both parents and babies. Teething can cause discomfort and irritability, and many parents may wonder how to know if their baby is teething. In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of teething and offer tips for easing your baby’s discomfort.
Signs and Symptoms of Teething
Every baby is different, and not all babies experience the same symptoms during teething. However, here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for:
Increased drooling: Teething can stimulate saliva production, leading to excessive drooling.
Biting and gnawing: Babies may bite or chew on toys or their fingers to relieve the discomfort.
Irritability and fussiness: Teething can be painful and uncomfortable, leading to crankiness and fussiness.
Red and swollen gums: The area where the tooth is erupting may appear red and swollen.
Disrupted sleep: The discomfort of teething may make it difficult for your baby to sleep through the night.
Refusing food: Babies may refuse to eat due to the discomfort of teething.
Ear pulling: The discomfort in the gums may lead babies to pull on their ears.
Tips for Easing Teething Discomfort
While teething discomfort is a normal part of a baby’s development, there are some things parents can do to help ease their baby’s discomfort:
Offer teething toys: Soft teething toys, such as rubber rings, can provide relief and help massage the gums.
Use a cold compress: A clean, damp washcloth chilled in the refrigerator can help soothe sore gums.
Give a massage: Gently rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger can provide relief.
Offer soft foods: Soft foods, such as mashed bananas or cooked apples, may be easier for your baby to eat during teething.
Use over-the-counter remedies: Over-the-counter remedies, such as teething gels, can help numb the gums and provide relief.
When to Call the Pediatrician
While teething is a natural process, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention. Contact your pediatrician if your baby experiences any of the following symptoms:
High fever: A fever over 100.4°F (38°C) may indicate an infection and requires medical attention.
Diarrhea: Teething should not cause diarrhea, so contact your pediatrician if your baby experiences diarrhea.
Excessive crying: If your baby’s crying is inconsolable or lasts for an extended period, it may be a sign of another medical condition.
Teething is a natural process that can cause discomfort and irritability in babies. Look for signs of teething, such as increased drooling, biting, and fussiness. Offer teething toys, use cold compresses, and offer soft foods to help ease the discomfort. Contact your pediatrician if your baby experiences any concerning symptoms. With a little patience and care, you and your baby can navigate teething with success.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2019). Teething: 4 to 7 Months. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/Teething-4-to-7-Months.aspx
Berg, J. H. (2015). The eruption of the primary teeth: timing, sequence and clinical considerations. The Dental Clinics of North America, 59(1), 125-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2014.08.002.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2021). Teething. Retrieved from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/infant-oral-health/teething
American Dental Association. (n.d.). Teething. Retrieved from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teething