Babies cry all the time. They cry when they're hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, uncomfortable or bored. When any of this is the case, you just remove whatever it is that's causing distress on your child or give her what she needs to pacify herself and everything will be good in an instant. But if your child is in pain and you have no idea what's happening, that can be a scary experience especially for new parents. Don't worry, it could be because your child is teething.
What is Teething?
Teething refers to the process of developing the first set of teeth called primary teeth. These first set of teeth break through the gums and cause pain to a baby. It usually begins around six months of age but it can be anytime from three months to 12 months. Your child would have completed her set of teeth by the time she is three years old.
The first teeth that come out are those lower front teeth. Then one to two months after that, the upper front teeth follow. The rest will come weeks after the front teeth.
You would know that a baby is teething when you see soreness and swelling on the gums. She would also be very fussy and tend to bite on the fingers or toys to relieve pressure on the gums. Sometimes, a baby may refuse to drink or eat because her mouth hurts. Mild symptoms are normal. When these symptoms don't get better in a few days or they seem to get worse even after the teeth have broken out, you need to call your baby's doctor.
Reliefs from Teething Pain
To help your little one get by, here are some tips to sooth a teething baby:
- Rub your baby's gum using a cold teething ring or a clean finger for two minutes. Repeat the process after a while when you see that your child is soothed by it.
- Provide chewable objects such as non-toxic teething rings. Chewing on something would help relieve the pressure felt on the gums.
- If pain persists, you may also use a teething gel product on your baby's gums. But don't do this without first consulting your baby's doctor. Many are skeptic about the safety and effectiveness of these products. It's best that your doctor gives you an advice on what products to use for your baby and how often.
- If none of these works, consider giving your child a mild pain reliever suitable for her age. Again, it's imperative to consult your doctor first about this. Your baby's doctor may prescribe acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to ease your baby's discomfort. However, aspirin is not advisable to young people as it has been linked with a rare but serious disease called Reye Syndrome.
Finally, give your baby lots of hugs and kisses. Touch is a natural antidote to pain. Not only would this relieve your child's teething misery, it would also make you happy and make you feel a lot closer to your precious one.