Teething is the emergence of the first teeth through a baby’s gums. It can begin as early as 3 months and continue until a child’s third birthday.
You may first notice that your baby has started to drool and is starting to put things into his mouth. Teething will probably not start for a few weeks after this.
For the majority of babies, the first tooth emerges between 4 and 7 months old. Sometimes you can actually see the tooth cutting through the gum, or you may be able to feel it emerging if you run a clean finger along your baby’s gum line.
The first teeth are usually the two bottom front teeth, followed by the four front upper teeth.
For one baby cutting a tooth might happen overnight without pain, while another child might have to go through a long, drawn out and painful experience.
Signs of teething
- A teething baby will want to chew on anything
- Drooling, which may begin about two months before the first tooth appears
- Irritability or crankiness
- Swollen gums
To help sooth your teething baby
- Give your baby something to chew on. Teething rings are also good, you can put them in the fridge first and the coolness can help relieve the gums
- A wet washcloth placed in the freezer for 30 minutes makes a handy teething aid
- Massage your child’s sore gums with a sugar free teething aid
- Use mild (sugar free) pain relief if your child wakes at night and is irritable
- Wipe your baby’s face often with a cloth to remove the drool and prevent rashes from developing.
- Gently massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger can help relieve the pain.
Dry the drool – excessive drooling is part of the teething process. Some children develop a rash on their chin from constant dribbling. The skin can get quite red and sore, try using a gentle barrier cream on the area to prevent the skin from becoming raw and uncomfortable.