Teething: What Parents Should Know
By Richard Freeland
The appearance of your baby’s first teeth can be a day of celebration. At times, however, teething can be accompanied by irritability and discomfort, sometimes outright pain. But parents need not despair. There are many tried and true solutions for relieving the symptoms of teething.
Dependent on your infant’s timetable, new teeth may arrive on schedule or take their own sweet time to appear. Baby’s first teeth usually appear between the six and seventh month. However, they can break through as early as the second or third months. Teething has also been known to take a path similar to that of the parents, so if you began the teething process early, your child may do the same. Which teeth appear is more predictable, and typically begins with the bottom front teeth. The top front teeth and the back ones follow soon after, with the canine and second molars being the last to break through.
Symptoms of Teething
A number of symptoms can signal the beginning of your infant’s teething process. Symptoms and their severity typically vary based on the individual child. For some children, teething can mean lots of tears and discomfort, while others seem to glide through the process without any pain. Signs of teething can include drooling, chin and face rash, biting, coughing, pain, and irritability. Harsher symptoms may manifest as diarrhea, low-grade fever, loss of appetite and disruption in the baby’s normal sleep patterns.
Relieving Teething Discomfort
It can be difficult to watch your baby go through the teething process, especially if they’re feeling pain or discomfort. Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to lessen teething pain.
The gumming motion of chewing can relieve the pressure from new teeth pushing through. Provide your baby with a variety of rubber teething rings and chew toys.
Many interactive activity centers designed to aid in the development of a child’s sensory and visual motor skills, such as baby play gyms, may come equipped with the same amenities.
Frozen wet washcloths and cold treats such as popsicles can also aid your teething child and bring them much needed relief.
Rubbing your clean finger firmly against their gums is another way to provide soothing comfort.
And once your infant has been introduced to food, you can allow them to suck on cold foods such as applesauce, yogurt and blended fruits to help relieve their aching gums.
Teething biscuits are baby friendly and can also help your child enjoy relief through chewing. There are a number of tasty brands on the market or you can make your own.
If your child is unusually cranky, take their favorite juice drinks and freeze them. Place the frozen juice in a cup and let them enjoy the cold, tasty treat.
Chamomilla, clove oil and organic teething rings are holistic approaches that have proven effective in relieving the discomfort of teething.
If you’ve tried everything, and your infant is still in pain: pain-relieving products such as topical numbing solutions and baby acetaminophen may be the answer. Always remember to check with your pediatrician before giving your child over-the-counter medicines.
Teething can be a challenging time for both parents and child, but dealing with your baby’s symptoms immediately can reduce their discomfort. It can also bring welcome relief to moms and dads having to cope with this momentous occasion in their child’s development.
About the Author:
Richard Freeland is the father of two rambunctious boys and has made it through the teething trials and survived to tell the tale.