Teething Woes And Your Baby
We’ve all been there as babies, although we probably don’t remember it: teething. This stage in a baby’s life can be one of the most uncomfortable periods ever for both the baby and the parents. Because your baby can’t say how or why it hurts, it’s up to you as the parent to figure out how to ease your baby’s suffering. With a little information and know-how, you can effectively help your little one transition from this painful phase to happier days.
Teething, which usually occurs by the time your infant is six months of age, is particularly painful for your baby because the gums become raw and sore as the new teeth push their way to the surface. The first signs of teething you need to look for in your infant are the following: drooling (this can happen as far ahead as two months before the appearance of an actual tooth), swollen gums, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, irritability, crankiness, and the sudden fascination with chewing on solid objects.
Your main job during the teething stage is to try and make your baby as comfortable as possible. Many treatments and remedies deal with relieving sore gums. The main solution parents turn to are teething rings, which can be purchased at just about any store. Choose a teething ring that is made of firm rubber. While the liquid filled teething rings are ideal, be aware that they can burst if your baby chews on it hard enough, although many teething rings are made to resist such pressure. Avoid giving your baby a frozen teething ring, since the excessive cold can actually hurt them instead of help. In place of a teething ring, you can also use a regular baby bottle filled with cold water.
Drooling is a big part of the teething process so you’ll have to be diligent about drying up the drool and using extra sheets underneath your baby’s head when you put him/her down for a nap or for the night. To further soothe your infant’s raw gums, you can use a clean, cool washcloth or gauze pad to gently rub the gums. Cold solid foods such as yogurt or applesauce can also provide temporary relief to your infant. If the symptoms persist or get worse, you also have the option of getting an over-the-counter product formulated just to tackle teething issues. But be careful to avoid giving your baby anything that contains aspirin. Consult with your doctor before purchasing or using any over-the-counter medication. Some doctors suggest not using products that are rubbed directly on the gums since it can be washed away with the drool and too much of it in the baby’s system could cause problems, such as numbing of the throat, which can cause breathing problems.
During the entire teething stage, from the drooling to the presence of new teeth, it is important that you routinely run a clean and cool washcloth over your baby’s gums to keep bacteria away. When the new teeth appear, you can start using a soft toothbrush for infants. No toothpaste is needed at this time. The majority of teething cases can be treated right at home and have no need for assistance from your doctor.