It’s usually not very difficult to tell if your baby has started teething. Around 4-7 months you’ll notice frequent crying, red cheeks, more drooling, problems sleeping, and general fussiness. You might even notice your little one is refusing food or is trying to nibble anything he or she can get their hands on! It’s important to remain patient but it’s natural to feel a little helpless.
Some signs of teething may include:
- Irritability both Day + Night
- Rosy cheeks / Face rash
- Mild-High temperature
- Gums are swollen and red
- Pushing breast, bottle or spoon away
If they are unsettled at night and perfectly fine during the day, this may not be related to teething. So it is a good idea to look at how they are being put down for sleep and how you are resettling should night waking occur as a result.
A lot of parents will put their little one’s change in (or lack of) sleep down to teething. It is important to understand that this isn’t always the case and teething will generally cause disturbance for only a few days at a time.
Soothing your teething baby
Each child is different and sometimes you have to use a little trial and error to get results. The first thing to remember when you have a teething tot is that distracting them from the pain will help, and there are a variety of ways you can do this:
Affection and attention
- Give them plenty of cuddles and extra attentionSome light pressure with something cold can also help relieve sore gums.
- Gently rubbing or massaging the gums with a clean finger or a cold spoon.
- There is a range of teething rings available to gnaw on. Chilled (not frozen) teething rings offer temporary pain relief through the pressure and cold and act as a distraction.
- Using dummies/pacifiers is OK as long as you don’t put anything sweet on them like honey or jam. Children who are eating solids can also use remedies such as hardened sugar-free rusks, peeled cucumber or chilled carrots large enough that they cannot be swallowed.
- Don’t add medicines to your child’s food or bottle.
- Avoid the use of Amber necklaces and bracelets as they pose a choking risk.
If these measures fail to provide relief for teething, ask your dentist or pharmacist for advice before using any pain medication or oral teething gels that contain a local anaesthetic. Always ensure that signs of illness shown by your child are not due to alternate causes. Should your child appear ill, do not automatically link this to teething, consider consulting a doctor as well.
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