drooling baby boy held by his dad with a yellow muslin burp cloth

A New Parent’s Practical Guide to Teething Babies

Introduction:

Having a baby is a wonderful experience, but it's not always easy. One of the most challenging parts of parenthood is dealing with the teething process. Teething can last a long time, and it could be months before you see a tooth. Unfortunately, it’s a painful process for babies and we feel every bit of discomfort you feel as parents. 


It's tough to watch your little one in pain, but there are ways you can help soothe your teething baby. So don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on below to read an essential guide on what to do when babies start teething, teething symptoms, home remedies for teething babies, and many more.

What Is Baby Teething?

You may have noticed that your baby has suddenly been chewing on everything in sight—from toys to your fingers and drooling constantly. This is because they're teething!


Teething is a natural process that typically starts around 4 months old, but some could start as late as after 12 months. The bottom incisors (bottom front teeth) are usually the first to set forth, at around 5 to 7 months. The top incisors (top front teeth) tend to come through at about 6 to 8 months.


Teething can last a long time and can be frustrating for both you and your baby: they'll be uncomfortable and fussy, and you'll have to deal with a lot of drool. They may also have trouble sleeping or eating well during this time, so try to make sure they get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.


Don't worry though—there are ways to make it easier for both of you!

What Are Baby Teething Symptoms?

You may notice a few signs that your baby is teething:

  • Your baby may be cranky, cry more, or be more irritable than usual.

Teething is a process that happens when a baby's tiny teeth push through its gums. It's usually painful for them, and it can cause them to cry or be cranky, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. They're just letting you know it's time to get them off their feet and give them something to chew on. They may also have trouble sleeping or eating, which can make for a long day for both of you.


  • Your baby may drool more than normal and chew on their fists.

To help soothe their gums and help relieve any discomfort, babies will often drool more when they're teething. When this happens your baby may be more fussy and irritable. The discomfort of teething can keep babies from being able to sleep well at night, so try rocking them gently while they fall asleep or help them find a position that feels good on their sore gums.


You may notice, too, that your little one is less interested in playing with toys and seems to prefer being held. This is because babies are very sensitive to pain, so when they're teething it can cause them to become irritable and uncomfortable. 

Tips For Helping Your Teething Baby

Teething doesn’t have to always be a tough time for babies and parents alike. The best way to help them through this difficult time is by providing them with several different options so they can choose what works best for them. 


This includes both physical and emotional comfort measures like holding them close at any given moment during the day.


Here are some of our favorite tips for helping you and your baby through this difficult phase:

1. Use a cold washcloth to soothe the baby's gums - using a cold washcloth on their gums can help numb the area and make them feel better. Make sure you don't put ice directly on their gums—it could cause damage!
2. Keep them hydrated - when your babies' gums are sensitive, it could prevent them from getting a full feeding because of the pressure on the gums as they are drinking. Watch to make sure they're not dehydrated. Make sure they get plenty of fluids throughout the day (like breastmilk or formula)
3. Give them gum massages - this will help stimulate the nerves in their mouth, which may help with pain relief from teething pains! You can also try massaging their feet or hands; these areas have similar nerve endings as their gums so it should help calm them down as well.
4. Let them chew on something - one of the best ways to offer relief is to give the baby something to bite on, such as a milky ice popsicle, chilled fruit, chilled teether, frozen washcloth, refrigerated small spoon, or baby-safe teething rings  (you can find them online or at some local stores).
If your baby isn't used to chewing on things yet, try giving them a small toy that they can safely bite on. It should be big enough that it can slip into their mouth, but not so big that it's a choking hazard or difficult for them to grab onto with their gums.
5. Offer options for pain relief  - ask your baby’s doctor what over-the-counter medications to use like the use of numbing gels or creams. As a mama, I preferred natural medicine so ask your pediatrician what they recommend.
6. Consider using an amber teething necklace   -  amber teething necklaces work by releasing succinic acid when they come into contact with saliva (from chewing). Succinic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain in the gums during teething—and it’s also purported to help reduce fever, diarrhea, and other symptoms associated with teething
Many anecdotal and historical records already confirm that wearing such an amber teething necklace around the wrist, neck, or anywhere that touches the skin will create a sort of natural chemical reaction that signals the pain receptors on the baby’s body to not overreact.
I personally can vouch for its effectiveness. I used amber teething necklaces for all of my three babies, and to my surprise, I noticed a huge difference in drooling when the baby wore the amber. Before the necklace, I had to use bibs but after a day of wearing the necklace, my babies wouldn’t drool. This is my favorite and most effective tip from my own experience.
Some parents might be reluctant to try them because they worry that the beads might break and pose a choking hazard. If that is you, just make sure the amber necklace is made in a way that the beads won’t fall off. There are safety precautions that makers take to make them as safe as possible. If you are still worried, try having your baby wear it while they are directly being watched and take it off for naps
7. Take your baby to the dentist within 6 months of their 1st tooth - some days might be harder than others because of the pain and the baby might need extra relief. This is the best time to go to talk with your doctor and offer the least intrusive medication options.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you take your child to the dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting.
This means that if you're not sure when your baby's first tooth came in, it's time to go! It's also important to take them regularly after this initial checkup so that they can get accustomed to going. The more comfortable they are with the process, the less likely they will be to resist when they're older!
8. Wipe away the drool - when your baby is teething, they're likely going to drool quite a bit, which means a slobbery mess during the teething stage. Invest in a few good bibs that have an absorbent top layer, and a waterproof bottom layer. It is much easier to swap out a baby bib instead of having to do a whole outfit change if the baby gets drool on it.
It’s also ideal to have a few receiving blankets on hand to put under the baby to catch the drool. Don’t worry. We make really cute absorbent muslin blankets that you can find on our site. 

Final Takeaway

It's hard to see your baby in pain, but we hope this guide has helped you understand what teething is and how to help your baby while they grow their teeth. If you have any questions or concerns, just reach out!


We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Remember, if your baby is showing signs of teething pain and all the organic, home remedies we stated above need more support, it’s best to contact a pediatrician or dentist for advice.

FAQs 

What helps a teething baby at night?


Help your baby get into a deep sleep so nothing startles them awake. The best way to do this is to try swaddling them while keeping the room dark and turning on a white noise sound machine so nothing can wake them accidentally. Sometimes the only thing that helps is your love and comfort. If you can, try taking turns with your partner to hold and comfort your baby through the night. 

When do you start brushing babies' teeth?

You should start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as they start cutting. This is usually around 6 months of age, but it can vary depending on the child and how fast they grow.


Once your baby has teeth, it's important that you clean them gently and regularly. You will form healthy habits with your baby by adding this to their nighttime routine.

When do babies get teeth? 


First of all, don't worry if your baby doesn't start teething right on schedule. Teething isn't something that happens at the same time for every child. Some babies get their first tooth at seven months, while others won't get theirs until they're two years old. If your child still doesn’t show teething symptoms at 12 months, it may be the time to bring them to the dentist.

Do babies get fevers when teething?

Babies can have a variety of symptoms when they're teething, including fever, diarrhea, and even a decreased appetite. If your baby is teething and has a mild fever, it's not a concern. However a fever above 102°F can be dangerous for a baby under 6 months old, so it's essential to take action quickly.

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