As a new parent, the prospect of dealing with a teething baby can seem overwhelming. For some children, teething is a long and painful process. For others, it passes quickly. It’s hard to say what type of teething experience your baby will have until the time arrives.
Your child’s first tooth will typically appear during the seventh month, although it’s possible for teeth to appear at as early as three months. Of course, it’s also perfectly normal for your child to get his first tooth as late as twelve months of age. Children with parents who began teething earlier or later than the seven month mark follow those same patterns in many cases.
The following are some of the symptoms your baby may experience while teething:
- A teething baby is likely to be irritable at times. Your baby is too young to effectively communicate that he’s in pain, so it’s natural for him to be cranky.
- Teething babies often have problems sleeping because of the pain. Even if your son has been sleeping through the night for a few months, he may begin waking up several times a night while he’s teething. A gentle lullaby or some quiet rocking may help comfort him.
- Excessive drooling is a sign your baby may be getting his first teeth. Teething increases saliva production. If your baby is drooling non-stop, he may even develop a chin or face rash from the constant contact with saliva.
- Teething babies may gag or cough occasionally because of their increased saliva production. Try not to make a big deal out of this, since some babies will continue to cough if they think it will bring extra attention.
- Diarrhea, a low grade fever, ear pulling, and cheek rubbing can be signs of teething. However, they may also indicate another medical condition. If these symptoms persist, contact your healthcare provider.
Symptoms of teething can begin as much as three months before your child’s first tooth appears. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that not all children will have the same teething symptoms. Signs of teething in your neighbor’s daughter may not be the same signs to watch for in your son.
Offering your baby something to chew on or something cold to eat or drink may offer some relief. If this doesn’t seem to help, infant Tylenol or a topical numbing agent should relieve the pain.
One common home remedy for teething is rubbing brandy or another alcoholic beverage on your child’s gums. This may be how your parents comforted you as a child, but this practice is no longer recommended. Doctors now know that even small doses of alcohol can be harmful to an infant.