When your little one is cutting their first tooth, it can be a difficult time for both of you. As a parent, it’s essential to be able to distinguish the signs and symptoms of teething so that you can provide relief. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common signs and symptoms of teething so that you can help make your child more comfortable during this process.
Teething is a normal phase of infant development. Teething usually starts at about 4 to 8 months and lasts for around a year. However, the age for teething can vary between infants, as some babies show signs in the first few weeks of life, whereas others don’t start until later in the first year.
Many parents are unaware of what their baby’s body is experiencing and that you should take signals seriously. I hope this post will help you understand what your infant may be showing you during the teething time!
Teething Signs and Symptoms: How would I know
Teething can affect a child in many ways, ranging from mild discomfort to extreme pain, so it’s essential to know which symptoms your child may be experiencing. Knowing the signs and symptoms will provide you with the knowledge of how to relieve your child and when it’s time to seek help from your pediatrician.
Below are the signs and symptoms your child may experience as their teeth erupt, with ways to help relieve the pain they may be feeling.
Tooth Excess Gum Swelling
One of the most common teething signs and symptoms is excess gum swelling or enlargement of the gums. It occurs when the area becomes inflamed and irritated from all the pressure placed on it as teeth begin to develop beneath the surface. If your baby’s gums seem swollen and tender, you should consult your pediatrician. Taking action will prevent infection and disease down the road.
✔️ Gently clean your child’s mouth with a soft toothbrush and warm water.
✔️ Do not use soap or toothpaste on the affected area, which will irritate the spots. You can also use gentle massaging motions starting at their gums and working towards the cheek area to help ease teething symptoms in babies.
✔️ Avoid using harsh teething jewelry on your baby as it could hurt them or hinder their ability to properly chew on objects such as wooden chew toys and teething rings.
Distress and Irritability
As the baby’s teeth erupt, many new sensations can and will enter their system. For example, your baby may feel strange sensations as they pull or tug on their gums. The feeling may cause distress and irritability, which will then make your child cry.
As the teeth grow, your child may start drooling more often since they probably feel a lot of discomfort in their mouth. Also, drooling may cause a rash around the mouth, cheeks, chin, and neck due to the bacteria on the skin from the saliva. Try to wipe the area regularly to keep it as dry and clean as possible. Be sure to have a bottle of baby cream on hand in case there are any rashes on your child’s face.
As their teeth grow, the extra saliva in your child’s mouth will also cause them to cough more. Drooling is also a natural part of the teething process and can be another sign of distress and irritation.
If the coughing doesn’t go away, or if it is becoming severe and bothersome for your baby, call your pediatrician for further evaluation.
As babies’ teeth emerge and their gums become more sensitive, they may search for something to ease the pain. It is when many parents report that their teething babies tend to bite and gnaw on anything they can get their little hands-on, including fingers, toys, furniture, etc.
Sometimes just a gentle touch from you or another loved one will be enough to make your baby happy. Also, anything cold works great! You can try mixing water with baby food pouches and freeze them to make veggie and fruit popsicles.
Cheek Rubbing and Ear Pulling
Cheek rubbing and ear pulling should also be considered warning signs. It is caused by irritation in the gums, which can travel to the cheeks and ears, especially when the molars are erupting. Infants may rub the affected areas. Your baby may look as if they are trying to hear better, but it is a sign of discomfort.
However, keep in mind that ear pulling can also signify an ear infection; don’t hesitate to get in touch with your baby’s pediatrician if the symptom continues.
Another common sign of teething is a low-grade fever, which occurs when a baby’s gums are irritated. A low-grade fever is a diagnosis when the infant’s temperature is 98-100 degrees. Some babies may experience this as a slight fever, and others may have one that lasts for several hours.
In addition, teething can cause mild inflammation in the gums, resulting in your baby’s body trying to fight off any outside microorganisms that could potentially enter their system through their mouth or nose.
Tip: Take your child’s temperature with a rectal thermometer to get an accurate reading. If you’re not sure if it’s teething or something more serious, check with your pediatrician before giving your child any medications or home remedies.
Changes In Sleeping Patterns
As teething progresses, your baby may not be able to sleep as well. Their gums and teeth may continue to hurt until it’s time for their next teeth to erupt. Teething can also be a reason why your baby is taking longer naps at night.
If your child is able to fall asleep but wakes up due to discomfort, try giving them a cold teething ring or some ice cubes wrapped in a damp cloth. You can also try giving them a bath; the water may seem soothing and help ease the pain from their gums.
Also, if you’re having problems putting your baby down at night for their nap, try a pacifier and rocking them until they calm down and fall asleep. Check with your child’s pediatrician if you feel that your child is taking in excess of 3 hours to fall asleep, as it may be a sign of sleep deprivation.
You can talk with your pediatrician about ways to make their naps longer so that they are more alert during the day.
Changes In Eating Patterns
As their gums become more sensitive, infants may be unwilling to eat the same foods they used to love before teething began. They may end up refusing certain food items or become pickier about how their food is prepared. They may also eat and drink more than usual because of the added saliva in their mouth.
Try giving your baby small portions throughout the day (instead of big meals), so they will be more likely to finish what they have been given. If they are not hungry, try offering something cold or wet to help provide them with some relief and a snack within a few hours before their regular feeding time.
Teething biscuits and cookies are also easy to make at home, inexpensive, and very helpful.
Many believe that the increasing saliva produced during teething might cause stool to become slightly loose. It can cause your baby to have frequent bowel movements, either solid or liquid. However, this symptom is also a sign of an infection or food allergy. So it should be reported to your pediatrician immediately.
Teething is a natural process that infants experience, but as parents, we are left with the responsibility of helping them through this time. If you can identify the common teething signs and symptoms, you can make sure that your little one is comfortable throughout the process. It might be a bit of a challenge to get through this period with your baby, but at least they’ll have you there to help them feel better.
I hope these tips will help you on your journey to take care of your baby during this time. Also, please feel free to share this article with others who might find it helpful.