Tips for a Teething Baby: How To Prepare

From the first time you see your baby smiling, chances are you can’t get enough of it. These sweet little smiles, like so many aspects of your growing baby, change quickly. Unfortunately, this stage of a baby’s development often comes with its fair share of challenges and discomfort for your little one.

Teething problems are one part of parenting many of us dread. The very idea of new teeth inching their way up and out of the gums can cause even the stoutest parent to quiver. Teething may be unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to help your baby through it. We have answers to some of your common teething questions and a few tips to help manage your baby’s teething experience.

Baby Teething 101 

Baby eating in high chair

It’s a fact of life; babies get baby teeth. They do not, however, do so on a precise schedule. In general, your baby’s first teeth will pop up when they’re between 4 and 7 months old. If your baby gets their first teeth earlier than that or later, don’t worry. It’s all perfectly normal. 

The good news about teething is that it doesn’t happen all at once. That’s also the bad news. Teething most likely will continue until your baby is a toddler. From your baby’s first tooth to your toddler’s last one, teething can be hard on the whole family. From fussiness and drooling to coughing and gnawing, there are ways your baby tells you their baby teeth are on the way. Once you know the signs of teething, you begin to provide some comfort to your baby. There are safe and helpful teething products that may help soothe your baby’s discomfort. 

 Did you know? Your baby is born with all 20 baby teeth? Yep, they’re hidden below the gum line at birth.

Teething Stages To Know About

  • 4+ Months - Symptoms of your baby’s first tooth may be subtle. The first teeth to appear are usually the lower and upper incisors. These are the front middle teeth in the top and bottom jaws.  
  • 10+ Months - Right as your baby becomes a toddler, their next set of teeth may come in. The primary molars are often associated with toddler teething more than baby teething. Your baby’s molars that come in are on the top and bottom. 
  • 16+ Months - The third group of teeth to come in are the canines on the top and bottom. These teeth are next to the incisors.
  • 25+ Months - This final stage of teething is often the most difficult for babies. The last teeth to come in are also the largest. The molars often present the babies with the most pain and will likely require different soothing techniques than previous teething stages. 

Baby's First Teething Symptoms 

Babies are as unique as their parents. When your baby’s first teeth begin to come in, you may notice changes in their behavior. For some babies, their first few teeth appear with little to no warning. For others, each stage of teething comes with a host of side effects.  

Regardless of how your baby goes through teething, it can be helpful to know what to look for so you can provide some assistance and comfort as necessary.  

  • Crying and fussiness - Unusual fussiness or excessive crying can be a sign your baby is teething, especially when combined with other symptoms of teething.  
  • Excessive chewing and gnawing - Is your baby gnawing or chewing on everything from their toys to their hands and feet? They may be teething. Be sure you only give your baby items to chew on that are safe. Some things to avoid include plastic and liquid-filled teething rings, bracelets, necklaces, or anklets.  
  • Drooling, pulling at their ear or rubbing their cheek - Any one of these symptoms can indicate new teeth are on the way. Check your baby’s gums for redness or swelling. You may even see a tiny tooth poking through the gum line.   
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits - Your baby may lose interest in sleeping and eating during teething. If you don’t notice other common teething symptoms, consider other milestones of your baby’s development.   
According to WebMD, “In a 2011 study, Brazilian researchers had dentists check on 47 babies every day for 8 months. They found that the children had slight increases in temperature on the day a tooth erupted and the day before. But they didn’t have what doctors would call a fever, which in a child is 100.4 F or above.”  

 

Also, if your baby shows signs of a teething cold or fever but not any other teething symptoms, you may want to consult your pediatrician.  

4 Tips to Help Your Teething Baby

Once you know the signs of teething, it’s easier to help soothe your baby’s discomfort. Keep in mind that as they get older and their new teeth get bigger, their symptoms may change. What works to ease their pain one time may not work the next time.  

  1. Ease into feeding time - If your baby is getting new teeth, they may not have their usual appetite. Consider giving them a cool, wet rag to chew on to help ease their discomfort before trying to feed them. This can be especially helpful if you’re breastfeeding. Make feeding time as easy as possible with the right gear. We have a large selection of feeding products for every age and stage.
  2. Don’t ignore the drool - If your baby’s drool is excessive, it can cause a rash to develop, which only adds to their discomfort. Keep a bib on them and wipe up drool to protect their delicate skin. You can also use items like drool and teething pads. These helpful teething accessories help your baby soothe themselves without leaving behind a pool of drool.  
  3. Inspect teethers - If your baby is an active chewer during teething, be sure to inspect their teethers for tears or rough edges. 
  4. Cold not frozen - A cold teether can help soothe your baby’s sore gums and give them some relief. On the other hand, a frozen teether can hurt your baby’s gums. 

Final Words

Your baby can’t avoid teething, but you can help make the experience a little better for them by being prepared. Consider preparing for teething before it even begins. Having safe, effective teething toys for your baby to chew on can make a world of difference. Like most aspects of parenting, the more you know ahead of time, the better off you and your child will be along the way. The parenthood journey is full of twists and turns. We have answers to your common questions about sleep, feeding, gear, and more. And remember, teething does not last forever - thank goodness!

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