Teething

No author selected
No published date selected

The experience of teething is different for every baby and every family. A good way to get through teething together is to try to normalise the process as a part of day to day life until the last tooth appears, which is why it pays to be prepared.
The experience of teething is different for every baby and every family. A good way to get through teething together is to try to normalise the process as a part of day to day life until the last tooth appears, which is why it pays to be prepared.

What is teething?

Teething occurs when your baby’s teeth start to push through the gums. Babies are born with all 20 primary teeth hidden beneath their gums and have to go through the uncomfortable experience of teething as they transition to solids. Although it’s never nice for a parent to watch their baby in discomfort, teething is a necessary and natural stage in their development.

When does teething start?

Your baby's first teeth usually start to break through around 6 months. Keep in mind that teeth can appear as late as 12 months, as early as 3 months and sometimes even at birth.

The symptoms of teething, however, can appear up to 3 months before the first teeth show.

What are the symptoms of teething?

Biting

Your baby will want to return the pressure on their gums by biting and chewing whatever they can get their little hands on. This includes your own hands, toys, table corners and, unfortunately for breastfeeding mothers, nipples.

Drooling

The process of teething stimulates the production of excess saliva (even more than usual).

Teething rash

All that excess drool and constant action around the mouth can cause a red rash around the lips and chin. This isn’t cause to be alarmed – just a result of excess moisture.

Food refusal

This isn’t as dramatic as it sounds. Your baby might be in too much pain to want to drink or eat food, but usually the fasting is only temporary.

Crying

Without really knowing why they are in pain, it is understandable for a baby to want to let you know that they are.

Disrupted sleep

The ongoing pain can cause disruptions to their sleep patterns (which, of course, means disruptions to yours).

Ear tugging/cheek rubbing

It may seem odd when you see this, but these areas share nerve pathways meaning pain, and relief, can be found when rubbing one or the other.

How can I help my teething baby?

For biting

Buy some teethers to help keep your baby occupied and relieve some of the pressure on their teeth. At least if they’re chewing a teether, you know where it’s been!

For drooling

Tie a drool catcher around your baby’s neck and have a few spare at hand. Try and gently wipe their mouth as much as you can. If you need to do it often, try and dab it dry rather than wiping so as to avoid irritating your baby's skin.

For teething rash

Prevention is always better than cure, but if teething rash shows on your baby you can soothe the pain and the angry red colour by applying anti-irritant moisturisers or creams.

For pain

If symptoms seem abnormal, if your baby’s sleep or diet is adversely affected or if teeth haven’t appeared by 12 months, seek the advice of your doctor or paediatrician. While your baby is teething, try to keep a good sense of humour so that they don’t sense your stress. Remember, this is just one uncomfortable experience in a lifetime full of them – but that’s all a part of growing up!
X
Cookies help us improve your website experience. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.
Confirm