As exciting as it can be to see baby’s pearly whites make their debut, there’s no doubt that baby teething can be a challenging time for both parents and kiddos. Teething is the process of baby teeth emerging through the gums, which can be uncomfortable for little ones. It’s an unavoidable part of normal development, but on the bright side, there are some things you can do to make the process easier for both yourself and your sweet babe!
In this article, we’ll cover what the teething process is all about, the signs and symptoms of teething, and how to best care for your little’s oral health during #teethingtime.
When Does a Baby Start Teething?
Once your babe hits around two or three months, you can expect to see baby teething symptoms. Most babies will typically see their first tooth appear at around six months, but the symptoms can last from the two-month mark to around seven or eight months. The front teethare typically the first to emerge, and the molars are usually the last. By the time your child hits the 30-month mark, they should have all of their “baby teeth.”
The length of the teething process can definitely seem intimidating, but don’t worry! Usually the spurts of discomfort and pain that your little will experience only last a few minutes or so. (Phew!) Tooth pain only occurs when the tooth is about to erupt through the gum, so once it’s emerged, your baby shouldn’t be experiencing any more discomfort! Keep in mind that not all teeth are going to be painful when they erupt. Some say that the first few teeth are the most sensitive, while others say that molars (which are the largest teeth) cause the most discomfort. Either way, this is a process, and you and your baby will get through it together with a little help from teething tools (and some extra snuggles).
Baby Teething Symptoms & Signs
Signs of baby teething include:
- Excessive drooling
- Mild rash around the mouth
- Fussiness due to teething pain
- Loss of appetite due to sore gums
- Increased biting and sucking to relieve pain
- Ear pulling, which helps alleviate sore gums
When those first little teeth start to poke through baby’s gumline, your baby may begin to drool more than usual. No stress: this is perfectly normal, and should stop once your baby stops teething. Pro tip: your baby may also experience diarrhea as a result of the increased saliva production, so be sure to keep them hydrated. To be safe, get in touch with your pediatrician if your baby starts showing signs of diarrhea, just to rule out any other causes.
Mild Rash Around the Mouth
A mild rash around your little’s mouth during the teething process is due to the increased drooling. This is nothing to worry about, as this symptom should subside once your babe stops or reduces drooling. You can help prevent the rash from worsening by wiping away any drool from your child’s mouth.
As normal as it is, the teething process isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. Your baby may become fussier and more irritable than usual due to the discomfort. Giving him or her a teething toy or your wearing a teething necklace for them to nibble on can really help to soothe the discomfort. Once the tooth breaks through the gumline, baby should experience significantly less discomfort and become more docile — happy baby, happy mama.
Loss of Appetite
Although your sweet babe may be hungry, it may be harder for them to eat because of the teething pain. You might notice that your little doesn’t have their regular appetite. You can alleviate this teething symptom by introducing more solid foods (like cold fruit and veggies) to baby’s diet. Not only will this help ensure that your baby is getting proper nutrition, but the hard surface of these foods can provide some pain relief. Be sure to supervise your little when introducing these new foods, as they may not be used to the solid shapes and textures yet!
Something that we’re all familiar with: the sleepless nights. Your babe’s teething pain can cause them discomfort that disrupts their normal sleep cycle. Luckily, there’s a way to relieve this so that both you and baby can get a good night’s rest. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about using infant Tylenol or ibuprofen to reduce the teething pain so they can sleep through the night. Avoid using the old wives’ tale of rubbing whiskey or some other type of alcohol on the gum line as this can be dangerous for your little one.
Increased Biting and Sucking
In an effort to relieve discomfort, babies will often start biting and sucking on things more frequently (think thumbs, hands, your favorite necklace). Giving your child a teether to chew on can both keep them occupied and give them something else to (safely) chew on. Look for food-grade silicone teethers that are free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, and other toxins.
This may seem like a weird one, but infants oftentimes pull on their ears to alleviate gum pain and discomfort. (Whatever works for you, babe.) If you notice your child doing this, try giving them a teether or inserting a clean finger into their mouth to rub the sore gums.
Your Child’s Oral Health
Taking care of baby’s oral health is crucial during the teething phase (and, let’s be real, for the rest of childhood!). If you want to keep baby’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape, there are several things to keep in mind. First, make sure that you have plenty of teething toys on hand for your child to play with during #teethingtime. It’s typical for babies to explore the world with their mouths, and giving baby special toys designed for teething will allow them to do this as safely as possible! If your babe can’t quite yet hold a teether (ones who start teething early may experience this), a teething mitt is a great option, too.
Next, it’s essential that you keep up with your little one’s pediatrician and dental check-ups to make sure their teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible. You should take them to the dentist once baby’s first tooth makes an appearance. It’s also smart to take your child to the dentist before their first birthday so you can stay on top of your baby’s oral hygiene and learn proper habits such as brushing. As soon as your baby’s teeth start to come through, you’ll want to begin brushing regularly to prevent tooth decay with a kids toothpaste. Brushing can be a big change for baby, so to get them used to the sensations of brushing, check out this silicone teether that doubles as a training toothbrush.
As a parent, it can be heartbreaking to witness your babe experience teething pain. But don’t worry—there are plenty of pain relief solutions for soreness of gums! Again, talk to your pediatrician about which pain relievers, such as an infant dose of Tylenol or ibuprofen, is right for your baby. During the day, giving your child proper teethers to chew on can help reduce discomfort your infant experiences. We’re all in this together, so if you need someone to talk to, we also suggest reaching out to a trusted friend, group chat or our Insiders Group on Facebook to get support from those who have been there!
Preparing for This Stage
The teething process is a major step in your baby’s life. While it can be tough at times, you can make it more manageable for both you and your little one by knowing the signs of teething and taking some of the steps outlined above to prepare for your teething baby. By using BPA-free, silicone teethers and keeping up with your child’s oral hygiene and pediatric visits, you’ll be well on your way to helping your little one get through this process – and come out with a smile! Browse all of our teething products to make sure you’re stocked up on safe, proper toys for your little one.