After the excitement of pregnancy and the hard work of labor new parents are rewarded with a bundle of precious joy that both consumes and entirely dominates their lives, and will continue to do so for some time to come. Babies grow and change at a tremendous pace, and it can easily feel like just moments have passed from them being helpless newborns to wriggly beings that can’t wait to get moving independently.
However, amongst the cute photographs and happy achievements like that first precious smile come to the more challenging milestones, and the first of these to be faced has got to be teething.
Many parents, especially those experiencing this for the first time, can get caught out by the signs that the teething process has begun for their baby, and this can lead to plenty of upset, worry and sleepless nights as they struggle to deal with an obviously uncomfortable and often extremely distressed youngster.
Sign of teething you need to know about
Learning about the key signs and behavior changes that a baby who is teething displays – that can often start showing a while before any teeth actually appear at all, can help parents both prepare for and cope with the entire teething journey, which usually starts somewhere between the fourth and sixth month of their life.
Knowledge is power – so being prepared for teething can help parents feel more able to manage their baby’s discomfort.
Sign 1 – Gum changes
If your baby is used to you gently feeling their gums you have given yourself a decent advantage, as quite often the first stage of teething involves gums that are no longer smooth but instead have the edges of baby teeth sitting just under the skin.
Sign 2 – Drooling increases
You won’t be able to miss the sudden increase in drooling, especially when this happens at times when it is totally unexpected. Drooling can be messy and a bit of a nuisance but it is important for babies as it helps keep their mouth healthy and germ-free, especially considering most infants will chew on anything they pick up to get relief from the uncomfortable feeling of pressure teething brings. (You can avoid some of the issue droolings brings by using a soft bib which can be changed as often as necessary, and using a non-perfumed wet wipe to remove dribble from their face and neck.)
Sign 3 – Your baby becomes clingier and more easily upset
A more naturally independent baby can become super needy when teething starts, making it easier to spot than in a baby that always wants to be held anyhow. These symptoms of teething can be the most difficult for parents to deal with, as they are left helpless and unable to truly pacify their precious child. One good way to try though is to provide some stimulation and distraction by taking the baby out to have new things to see, smell, hear and touch, or having some quiet time with an activity that soothes them, whether that’s breastfeeding, reading, or giving them a bath.
This is a good time to introduce a special teething device or toy like a teething ring that baby can chew on to find relief. Buy the type that is designed to be used from the fridge as the coolness helps with pain relief.
Sign 4 – Disturbed sleep
Heck, we all know how hard it is to be able to settle down and sleep when you have pain, and babies cannot express their discomfort and anxiety in any other way than crying. A late-night feed can help comfort babies struggling with teething pain this way.
Sign 5 – An unusual cough
If you notice your baby is coughing but has no other signs of being ill it is likely that teething is to blame. Unlike a cough related to sickness, this is triggered by the baby having excess saliva to deal with; as when it builds up they tend to cough it out.
Sign 6 – Being more likely to chew on anything they can get into their mouth
Parents really do need to have eyes in the back of their heads when this teething symptom kicks, in as baby is in such need for relief from chewing or gnawing on hard enough objects they really aren’t fussy about what they use to get it. As they are driven to do this one way or the other it’s wisest to be prepared with a range of differently shaped and sized teething aids, (for safety reasons not made from plastic or filled with liquid), that will help them get some relief but can also be disinfected regularly.
Sign 7 – Obvious pain
Rubbing their mouth or refusing food are obvious symptoms of severe oral discomfort, but not all babes get bad pain when teething, in many cases the worst experiences are triggered by either the very first tooth to be cut, or when several decide to come through at the same kind of time.
Sign 8 – Being unusually
Every baby has its own unique personality, but parents are usually quick to spot when their child is acting grumpier and more short-tempered than is usual. If so they should consider this is probably one of the many possible signs of teething.
Sign 9 –A loss of appetite
Eating with sore gums is not much fun, so it’s no surprise that teething often shows itself through the loss of a baby’s appetite. Offering more cold products like ice cream may be useful to help stimulate appetite if this happens to your child,
Sign 10 – Gums that look red and sore
Any parent who suspects teething may have begun needs to take a gentle look inside the baby’s mouth. A sure sign it has is gummed which are red and look sore or tender. There are plenty of over the counter medicines parents can talk to their pharmacist about for advice if this is the case.