Babies using crying to communicate and it can be difficult to always know what the cry is for. When babies start teething, which usually happens from around 4 to 6 months but is not completely unusual to start even sooner, they tend to be a lot more niggly and cry due to the pain of the teeth pushing through the gums. Here are a few clues to whether or not your baby is teething so that you can help relieve some of the irritation and pain associated with it:
Excessive Drooling: When babies start teething, drooling is often one of the signs that this process has begun. The drooling may be related to baby’s weaker swallowing reflex and increased saliva production over the same time period. Other possible reasons for drooling, when teething could be a saliva build up when babies move their tongues around in their mouths exploring the painful areas of the gums and the new teeth as they push through. Babies also tend to chew and suck on things to try and reduce the irritation during this time, which could also result in the increased saliva production.
A cough, diarrhea, fever, and rashes: While it is always better to get worse or symptoms such as these checked out by your personal pediatrician, these symptoms are common when babies are teething. Temperatures slightly higher than normal are sometimes experienced (but if temperatures rise over 100, seek medical attention). The overproduction of saliva often leads to rashes on babies face as well as coughing, especially when lying down, due to excess saliva in the throat. It is not unknown to experience diarrhea and rashes on baby’s buttocks during teething as well.
Chewing and sucking: Due to the irritation on the gums from the new teeth pushing through, babies tend to try and chew (or gum) everything they can get in their mouths. Be careful what you have within reach of your teething baby to avoid it being sucked or chewed on. Breastfeeding moms also need to be wary of teething babies using nipples to gum or even bite as the new teeth start to poke through.
Irritation and crying: While teething, babies can become very irritable and cry often due to the pain of the teeth pushing through the gums. Finding ways of soothing the painful gums and reducing the irritation can go a long way to helping baby get through the teething process with less stress on you as well.
Appetite Loss: Due to the pain of teething, many babies don't want to eat as much while teething. Try and give baby foods he can easily eat during this time to avoid extra pain and suffering. If baby's appetite is diminished to the extent that he starts losing weight, consult your physician to assist with ways to improve calorie intake.
Pulling ears: When the molars start to grow in, your baby may tug at his ears or even rub on his cheeks. When the molars start pushing through, the nerves in the back of the jaw are interconnected with the ears and cheeks, so for the baby it will be hard to distinguish where the pain is originating from. This would cause the baby to pull on ears or rub cheeks trying to get rid of the irritation.
Poor sleeping habits: While the baby is teething he may often wake at night due to the pain and irritation. If possible, try not to feed your baby at this point as you may instill a habit of waking during the night which might be difficult to stop later. Rather provide baby with soothing items or medication if recommended and try and get baby back to sleep naturally.
Teething is tough for you and for baby to go through, but this time will pass as well and things will go back to normal once most of the teeth have pushed through. Seek medical help or assistance from others if you are battling to cope during this period of time. The best part is that baby will soon be able to eat food that is less mushy and able to be chewed, leading the way to him enjoying family meals and eating the same or similar food.
- Tags: Teething Topics