When Does Teething Starts and Symptoms
Mostly the teething can start between the months of four to eight but there are no hard and fast rule for baby time lines. It can be early or late for some infants. The most noticeable things will be red and swollen gums where teeth is breaking through and because this emerging of teeth can be painful, the baby will be irritable and have difficulty in sleeping. You can check their gums when they start drooling a lot and start putting their hands and other things in their mouth.
They would also like to pull and bite the things and if you are breast feeding, you might face these things during feeding. The other symptoms may or may not include flushed cheek of one side. They might also have increased temperature but no fever. They might also rub their ear but there will be no infection. The first two to four teeth emerging have the most difficult time and might be easy for rest of them but for some infants it might cause problem with other teeth as well.
How to Soothe the Baby with Teething Pain
Here are few easy and safe things you can try with your baby to soothe their teething pain.
1. Soothe with Cold
You can give clean washcloth soaked in cold water to baby so he can chew on it to numb the pain. You can rub the cloth yourself on his gum but make sure he is feeling good and not being more irritant.
You can also find teething rings in store which are filled with water. Just put them in refrigerator to chill (not freeze) and give them to baby so he can chew on it. You can also give the chilled spoon or other safe things to him to chew on before the teeth is emerged. Just remember nothing should be freezing cold or it can create frostbite on the baby gums.
If your baby is 6 month old or is older then you can also give him a cold food to chew on. Just be sure to have close eye so that baby don't have any swallowing issue. You can offer cold finger foods including banana, strawberry, steamed carrots or any other similar food suitable for your baby's age. You can also try cut up cold bagel pieces. Just make sure not to dip things in sugary substances.
2. Soothe with Spice
Clove oil is very beneficial for tooth and gum pains but for baby it is not suitable to apply directly on their gums. You can mix 3 to 4 drops of clove oil in 1 tablespoon of vegetable, olive or almond oil. Try this mixture on your own gums to check if it is not too strong. You can add more oil to dilute the mixture. Apply this mixture lightly on the gums of baby to numb the pain.
You can also apply chamomile oil on wet cotton swab and apply on the gums twice a day for soothing the painful gums.
3. Soothe with Bonding
Whenever baby is fussy, he needs comfort and would want to be cuddled and picked up. During the time of teething, he will need extra affection. They can be distracted from their pain for some time by moving them around the house or changing the environment.
You can also massage his gums with clean fingers. The skin connection and affection will give him more comfort and soothe his gums. You can also try baby massage around face and jaws. If you are breast feeding your baby, giving him extra time or feeding while he is too fussy to comfort him. He also might need more feedings due to lot of drooling and losing fluids.
4. Using Pharmaceutical Pain Relievers
If your baby is in too much pain, you can also use baby gels available in medical stores to ease the teething pain. These gels acts quickly and numb the pain but make sure to use them very carefully and not apply too much or frequently. It is also better to get suggestion from your pediatrician. Instead of gels there is one more option available in form of cotton swabs. Get what you think is more easy to handle.
Myths Related to Teething
It is common belief that while teething baby will have fever, diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite. However it is not true and is not related to teething. As the baby will want to put everything in his mouth while teething, those things might be dirty or contain bacteria which can cause any of the above disease. If your baby is crawling, make sure to keep the place clean and pick up things which are dirty or harmful for your baby. It is better to consult doctor if your child get these symptoms as it can be due to any other health issues.