How To Know If Your Baby Is Teething?
By Charles Hopkins
Published 10/23/2007 | Parenting
Parents are very excited to see their babies reach milestones. Baby's
first tooth is also a milestone, usually occurring around their 7th
month. Unfortunately, baby's teething experience doesn't always bring
as much joy as the other "baby's firsts" such as rolling over, sitting
Teething can be a stressful experience for both mother and baby. It
brings about symptoms that makes baby uncomfortable. The discomforts of
teething can lead to a cranky, crying baby. When a baby is teething,
the tooth may take a while before it pushes through the gums. It may
take as long as one month before the tooth is visible. So how do you
know if baby is teething? Here are some common teething symptoms:
1. Baby has an urge to chew and bite on things. Don't be surprised
if baby reaches out for your fingers and starts chomping on it quite
aggressively. However, the more common sight would be to see baby's own
fingers in the mouth.
2. Excessive drooling.
3. There may be some gum swelling and redness.
4. Some parents have reported rashes appearing in places such as
baby's cheek, around the jaw, chin, mouth and even baby's neck. These
are also known as teething rash.
5. Low grade temperature.
6. Diarrhea or loose stools. Professionals may dispute this symptom
and say it is not connected to teething. However, many parents do
notice this change in their baby's bowel movement during the teething
period. A study on teething symptoms done by the Royal Children's
Hospital in Australia also noted that this was the most common symptom
cited by the parents in their study. However, we must not disregard the
fact that it may not be the teething process that attributes to the
loose stools. It could well be baby's increased behavior in putting his
un-sterile hands and objects in his mouth. No doubt there are plenty of
germs entering baby's body that way. The increased production in saliva
may be another cause of diarrhea.
7. Reduced appetite. I don't think you would be eating much too if you had an irritable gum.
8. Interrupted sleep at night.
9. Cold like symptoms like runny nose. As mentioned earlier,
teething is a stressful event, and we know that stress can lower a
person's immune system, even baby's. A lowered immune system makes
babies prone to infections. Practitioners will also tell you that the
immunity levels of children are lowest when they are between 6 months
to 2 years old.
Children will differ in the symptoms they have and how they react
to them. If you're lucky, you may have a baby that breezes through the
teething period. If not, what can you do to sooth a cranky, teething
1. As a general rule, chewing on anything cold will ease a baby's
discomfort. So if you are considering teething rings, get ones that can
be refrigerated. Chewing on an icy cloth helps too. Some mothers also
recommend chilled cucumbers and apple slices.
2. Use a clean finger to massage the sore gums.
3. Pharmacies have teething gels available. However, its
effectiveness is not guaranteed. Some parents say it helps, and some
say it doesn't. If you are at your wits end, you could give it a try.
4. To bring down the fever, give baby some fever and pain
medication like paracetamol or ibuprofen. Also, consult with your
doctor if the fever persists or gets too high.
Babies fuss for a varied number of reasons. Their inability to
communicate makes it difficult for us to figure out what's bothering
them. To know if the root of their crankiness is teething, look out for
the teething signs. Then try out the suggestions above to sooth the