Teething Basics: Common Symptoms and Remedies for Babies

An exciting period in your baby’s life is when they get their first teeth. It’s a big milestone and it’s important to celebrate it as this is their first step towards eating solid foods. Over the next few months they will continue to have teeth emerge until their mouth has a full set of twenty teeth. In order to prepare you for this milestone we discuss some teething basics as well as common symptoms your baby may show, and what remedies you can use to help bring them comfort.

Feeding Baby

When Do Babies Start Teething

You may be surprised, but a baby’s teeth actually start to develop in the womb. It’s not until they are around 4 to 6 months old that their first teeth begin to emerge. The first teeth that come in are the bottom two front teeth followed by the top two front teeth. Over the next two years the rest of the teeth will fill in until the molars emerge which typically happens around 23 to 33 months or two to two and a half years. In some rare cases babies will have emerged teeth when born or may not get their first teeth until after their first year.

10 Common Teething Symptoms

Symptoms typically start 4 days before tooth emergence and last until 3 days after for an average period of 8 days. Common symptoms to occur are:

  • Drooling
  • Swollen Gums
  • Biting
  • Crying
  • Fussiness
  • Irritability
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Wakefulness
  • Ear and Cheek Rubbing

Best Remedies for Teething

There are some remedies you can use to help alleviate any pain or discomfort your baby may be experiencing. They are as follows:

  • Chewing – Give your baby something to chew on such as a pacifier or teething ring.
  • Cold Items – Used to help relieve swelling or pain, babies often like to suck on cold items such as ice or a cold washcloth.
  • Pain Relief – Sometimes recommended by doctors to relieve pain is infant acetaminophen. It’s important to ask your doctor for the correct dosage or their recommendation in this case.
  • Tummy Calm – Many of the 9 remedies in Tummy Calm help soothe the tummy upset that can come with the increased saliva production and swallowing during teething. Chamomile is probably the best known homeopathic remedy for sore gums, as teeth push through. The combination of all of these remedies has worked well in the treatment of teething.
  • Comfort – It sounds simple, but holding your baby can oftentimes bring them much needed comfort.
  • Teething Tablets – Its best to ask your doctor before giving any teething tablets or gels. Homeopathic brands are best as they are all natural. Some teething gels contain benzocaine which has side effects.
  • Baby Massage or Back Rub – Everyone loves a back rub or massage and so will your baby. It helps to relax them and reduce irritability.
  • Distraction – Sometimes simply distracting your baby is enough to take their mind off of any pain they may be experiencing.

Over the next few years your baby will continue to grow and their teeth will continue to fill in. Remember to take time to capture these precious moments and know that any discomfort they experience will pass.

References

  1. Symptoms Associated With Infant Teething: A Prospective Study, Michael L. Macknin, Marion Piedmonte, Jonathan Jacobs, Christine Skibinski, Pediatrics Apr 2000, 105 (4) 747-752; Publication