How to Survive a Teething Baby

One of the most common challenges parents face during the first year of their baby's life is teething. Teething is a natural process where an infant's first set of teeth, commonly referred to as "baby teeth" or deciduous teeth, begin to emerge through the gums. This process can cause discomfort and irritability in babies, leading to a search for effective soothing methods. In this blog, we will delve into what infant teething is and explore science-based ways to provide relief to your teething baby.

Understanding Infant Teething

The process of teething typically begins around 6 months of age, though it can vary from baby to baby. The lower front teeth, known as incisors, are usually the first to make their appearance. This process continues throughout the first few years of life until all 20 primary teeth are in place. Teething can cause discomfort because the tooth's movement through the gum can irritate the sensitive nerve endings in the area.

Common signs that your baby might be teething include:

  1. Excessive Drooling: An increase in saliva production is a common indicator of teething. This can lead to a rash on the baby's chin, neck, or chest area if not kept dry.

  2. Irritability and Fussiness: Discomfort and pain from teething can lead to changes in your baby's behavior. They might become fussier than usual, have trouble sleeping, or become more clingy.

  3. Gum Sensitivity: Babies might rub their gums with their fingers, toys, or other objects in an attempt to relieve the discomfort.

  4. Changes in Eating Patterns: The pressure from emerging teeth can make babies reluctant to eat or nurse. They might also be more interested in chewing on solid objects.

Soothing a Teething Baby: Science-Based Approaches

  1. Chilled Teething Toys: Teething toys made from safe materials can be placed in the refrigerator (not the freezer) to provide a cooling effect that can help soothe inflamed gums. The pressure from chewing on these toys can also offer relief.

  2. Gentle Gum Massage: Using a clean finger, gently massage your baby's gums. This can help alleviate some of the discomfort and provide a comforting touch.

  3. Chilled Washcloth: Dampen a clean washcloth, place it in the refrigerator, and then let your baby chew on it. The texture and coolness can provide relief to sore gums.

  4. Teething Rings: Silicone or rubber teething rings can be chilled and given to the baby to gnaw on. Be sure to choose ones that are free from harmful chemicals.

  5. Distraction: Sometimes, a change of scenery or engaging in a new activity can temporarily divert your baby's attention from the discomfort.

  6. Pain Relief Gels: There are over-the-counter pain relief gels and creams designed specifically for teething babies. However, it's crucial to consult your pediatrician before using any medication.

  7. Healthy Chewing Options: If your baby has started on solids, you can offer cold, soft foods like applesauce or chilled fruit slices in a mesh feeder. The gentle pressure can be soothing.

  8. Cuddle and Comfort: Sometimes, all your baby needs is extra love and attention. Holding, cuddling, and rocking them can provide comfort during this challenging time.

September 25, 2023 — Tipo Support Team