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Common Signs of Teething
Teething is a normal and painful part of every child's development. A baby's teeth are small and sharp allowing them to cut through the gums as they come in. The teething process starts at about six months old and continues through the age of three, at which time they will have about 20 teeth. If you have a child that falls within that age range, watch for these common signs of teething:
Drooling: Excessive drooling is a common symptom of teething. This excess drooling often causes a rash to appear around the mouth and on the cheeks, commonly referred to as a teething rash. This rash can be treated with cream or Vaseline and usually clears up as soon as the drooling subsides.
Swollen or Irritated Gums: As the teeth work to cut their way through the gums, the gums can become swollen, red, and irritated. As the tooth pushes against the surface, they may even appear to bulge. Look carefully at the gums for a tooth visible just below the surface.
Fussiness or Irritability: If your child seems crankier than usual, it could be because they are experiencing teething pain. This irritability may be the worst in the morning or at night when the baby is both tired and hurting. Fussiness tends to be the worst for the very first teeth and for the more difficult teeth to break through, such as with the molars. It may even wake them up in the middle of the night.
Gnawing on Fingers and Toys: A baby is naturally going to attempt to soothe their sore gums. You may notice that they start gnawing or sucking on their hands, fingers, and toys. They do this because it provides some relief for their gums.
Ways To Soothe A Teething Baby
Teething can be a painful process. The symptoms of teething can be a few days or a few weeks if multiple teeth are trying to emerge. Fortunately, there are many products available on the market to help soothe a teething baby. Soft toys with various textures are great to have on hand.
Teethers: Make sure to select ones specifically designed for teething. It will give them something to suck, chew, and drool on as those teeth break through the gums. For even better results, try keeping your child's favorite teethers stored in the freezer between uses. The cooler sensation on their gums can help numb the pain and provide a refreshing feeling for your baby.
Comfort Toys: If your child is crying and upset during the teething process, try keeping their favorite comfort items close at hand. Cuddling with a lovie, playing with a favorite plush toy, or flipping through their favorite board book may help to distract them from the pain they are experiencing.
Cold Foods and Beverages: If your child seems to enjoy the cool sensation of a frozen teether, try serving them cold foods as well. Frozen fruits, cold yogurts, and ice-cold drinks are all ways to help relieve their gums. If you are worried about choking, check out the mesh teething bags available that you can load up with frozen fruits and allow your child to bite and gnaw on. These mesh bags help prevent choking on strawberries, bananas, and other small food items.
The teething process can be a trying time for both baby and parent. If you are noticing signs of teething, start carrying teething toys along with you so you'll be prepared. If you are on the go, put a teething toy in an insulated lunch cooler along with an ice pack to keep it nice and cold.