Handling the teething process will be one of the toughest times during your infants first years. Around 4-6 months of age your generally happy baby can become irritable and fussy while drooling more often. This is a sign that your infant is cutting a tooth and in pain. There are many ways to understand how to treat and help your uncomfortable little one.
What is it?
When your infant gets their first tooth, sometimes more than one, that cuts through their gums is teething. These first teeth are called their primary teeth. This will begin between 4-6 months in age and they will have a total set of these teeth(20) usually by the age of 3.
Signs and Symptoms
There are many symptoms that can accompany teeth as they are coming in. Most often drooling more than normal, irritability, and fussiness are the first signs they are cutting a tooth. Some other signals are lose in appetite and sleeplessness.
Their gums might be swollen and show signs of soreness. Most often in 3-5 days the tooth will break through and these symptoms will go away. At times a low grade fever and mild diarrhea might be noticed.
When babies start teething they will want to chew on everything, and sometimes might get a rash on their face or chin due to the amount of drooling.
Most of these signs will all go away and are considered normal but if your baby’s symptoms seem severe, get worse or they last a prolonged amount of time it would be a good idea to call the pediatrician to discuss your concerns.
Pain Management Tips
There are many choices that can aid in helping your little one with their pain or discomfort from teething. The following are all great tips that can provide this.
1. Give them a clean and safe frozen object, such as a wash cloth, teething ring, or bagel. Be sure the object is sanitized or germ-free. Providing a large and firm object that can yield when pressure is applied is a good choice.
2. Rub a very cold object on the baby’s gums for a few minutes at a time. A frozen wash cloth, ice cube, or popsicle is a great choice.
1. Tylenol or acetaminophen is a choice that can be used as a mild pain reliever for the discomfort. Ibuprofen is another choice, depending on their age. Before giving any kind of pain medications to your child it is important to contact your family doctor to check on which are safe for use and how much and often that you can administer the medication.
2. Topical applications, usually found over-the-counter, are another form of pain reliever. They can come in the form of a gel, liquid or paste. They can provide temporarily relief to the gums by numbing them.
Both of these options are available but cautioned due to being linked to some rare forms of diseases or medical conditions, such as Reye's syndrome and Methemoglobinemia.
Dealing with the discomforts that can accompany getting new teeth in our children can be a trying and difficult time. When a baby feels this discomfort, their only form of communicating is through fussiness and crying. As a parent you know them best, and when the above symptoms are present, there are many available forms to help treat it. We encourage the all-natural and healthy options listed above to encourage and support the choice to living a healthier lifestyle.
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