As my children grow and develop through the teething stage, I feel overwhelming compassion for the pain that they don’t understand and can’t alleviate on their own. I am, however, concerned about over-medicating my children, so I researched and used a few ways to help them through this time.
1. Stages of Teething
The point at which your baby begins to teeth depends on your particular child, but the average age that teeth appear is six to seven months. If your baby is fussy and seems uncomfortable, run your finger along his or her bottom gums. The first teeth to appear are in the center along the bottom of the gumline. The next two include the two central top teeth. The rest of the teeth erupt around the center teeth, with first molars appearing around fourteen month.
2. Symptoms of Teething
The specific symptoms that your child experiences will vary, but few babies escape the pain that accompanies teething. Other symptoms include:
- Cold-like symptoms, including runny nose
- Increased drooling, which can lead to a chin rash
- Urge to bite and chew
- Low-grade fever
- Increased crying and overall crankiness
3. Soothing Tips
To sooth your baby when he or she is teething, start with keeping your baby’s mouth and face clean and dry to avoid skin rash. Give your baby something to bite on, like a teething toy or a cool washcloth – this helps break down the gum tissue and allow teeth to break through, which eases pain. Freeze wet washcloths or teething rings to give to your baby, since the cold will help numb the area and alleviate pain. If your baby will let you, use clean hands or a wash cloth to massage your baby’s gums. There are homeopathic remedies that can be massaged into the area, such a clove oil or basil leaves, but use them in small amounts. Also available are teething creams or gels that can be massaged carefully into your baby’s gumline.
4. If Problem Still Persists
If problems with your baby’s teeth or gums persist longer than typical, it’s important to take him or her to see the doctor or dentist.