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What are the signs of teething?

Some¬†babies¬†really¬†do¬†suffer¬†when¬†teething¬†and¬†so¬†do¬†their¬†parents¬†This¬†may¬†be¬†because¬†of¬†soreness¬†and¬†swelling¬†in¬†the¬†gums¬†before¬†a¬†tooth¬†comes¬†through.¬†These¬†symptoms¬†usually¬†begin¬†about¬†3¬†to¬†5¬†days¬†before¬†the¬†tooth¬†shows,¬†and¬†they¬†disappear¬†as¬†soon¬†as¬†the¬†tooth¬†breaks¬†the¬†skin.¬†Some¬†very¬†lucky¬†babies¬†(and¬†parents)¬†don’t¬†seem¬†to¬†be¬†affected¬†by¬†teething.¬†Both¬†experiences¬†are¬†very¬†normal¬†and¬†often¬†parents¬†find¬†that¬†certain¬†teeth¬†breaking¬†through¬†will¬†be¬†worse¬†than¬†others.

first signs of teething

These are common signs of teething:

‚ÄĘ Drooling
‚ÄĘ Swollen,¬†bulging¬†gums
‚ÄĘ A¬†tooth¬†visible¬†below¬†the¬†gum
‚ÄĘ Irritability
‚ÄĘ Trouble¬†sleeping
‚ÄĘ Trying¬†to¬†bite,¬†chew,¬†and¬†suck¬†on¬†everything
‚ÄĘ Rubbing¬†her¬†face
‚ÄĘ Rejecting¬†food
‚ÄĘ Grabbing¬†her¬†ears
‚ÄĘ Nappy¬†rash¬†and¬†sore¬†bottom

 

All three of my children’s experiences were very different; but generally, I noticed that the first few teeth that came through are the worst. Whether my babies just got used to the pain and symptoms after cutting their first teeth is actually unproven as they were too young to explain, but after the first few teeth had broken through, they seemed to suffer less.
Amanda¬†Waring¬†‚ÄstMum¬†of¬†three¬†and¬†founder¬†of¬†Mama¬†Jewels.

Recognised signs of teething & help.

Just when the days of non-stop feeding, colic and ceaseless crying seemed to be behind you; when your baby might be sleeping through the night; when he is starting settle into a regular routine, teething begins.

Even though teeth very rarely arrive before 3 months, teething symptoms can appear as much as two to three months before that first tiny tooth does. Symptoms and severity vary greatly from one baby to the next, but you may observe one or all of the following:

‚ÄĘ Drooling. You might find that your baby‚Äô stops are suddenly soggy. Fasten on a dribble bib to keep her more comfortable (and cleaner), and gently wipe her chin throughout the day to stave off chapping or a red rash (if that doesn‚Äôt work, ask your doctor about a mild moisturizer such as Sudocrem or even Lansinoh nipple cream). Pooling saliva may also cause a slight cough or even trigger the gag reflex. If she‚Äôs otherwise healthy, you can safely ignore both.

‚ÄĘ Gnawing.¬†She‚Äôs¬†not¬†trying¬†to¬†be¬†naughty.¬†Little¬†nips¬†at¬†your¬†fingers,¬†breast¬†(ouch!),¬†or¬†her¬†spoon¬†help¬†relieve¬†the¬†pressure¬†she¬†feels¬†from¬†under¬†her¬†gums.¬†Teethers¬†and¬†Teething¬†necklaces¬†may¬†then¬†start¬†to¬†come¬†into¬†their¬†own¬†although¬†at¬†three¬†months¬†they¬†will¬†not¬†be¬†able¬†to¬†hold¬†objects¬†in¬†their¬†mouth.

‚ÄĘ Crying.¬†Some¬†babies¬†breeze¬†through¬†teething¬†with¬†nary¬†a¬†whimper,¬†while¬†others¬†suffer¬†from¬†a¬†good¬†deal¬†of¬†pain¬†‚ÄĒ¬†which¬†they¬†feel¬†compelled¬†to¬†share¬†with¬†you¬†in¬†the¬†form¬†of¬†whining¬†or¬†crying.¬†I¬†have¬†three¬†boys¬†and¬†they¬†have¬†all¬†been¬†so¬†different.¬†The¬†eldest¬†suffered¬†quite¬†badly,¬†our¬†middle¬†son¬†didn‚Äôt¬†have¬†many¬†symptoms¬†and¬†our¬†youngest¬†had¬†many¬†sleepless¬†nights¬†and¬†trips¬†to¬†the¬†Pharmacist¬†and¬†doses¬†of¬†infant¬†Calpol¬†or¬†Ibuprofen.

‚ÄĘ Refusing¬†to¬†eat. Since¬†sucking¬†movements¬†can¬†worsen¬†teething¬†pressure¬†or¬†pain,¬†your¬†baby¬†may¬†refuse¬†to¬†nurse¬†or¬†eat,¬†or¬†may¬†nurse¬†briefly¬†and¬†then¬†turn¬†away.¬†Keep¬†at¬†it,¬†and¬†call¬†your¬†Doctor¬†if¬†the¬†strike¬†lasts¬†more¬†than¬†a¬†few¬†days.¬†Our¬†youngest¬†son¬†literally¬†threw¬†all¬†of¬†his¬†dinners¬†on¬†the¬†floor¬†and¬†would¬†only¬†eat¬†cold¬†yoghurt¬†for¬†a¬†while,¬†until¬†we¬†administered¬†Calpol¬†and¬†I¬†gave¬†him¬†milk¬†to¬†settle¬†him.

‚ÄĘ Waking.¬†Especially¬†when¬†she‚Äôs¬†working¬†on¬†cutting¬†that¬†very¬†first¬†tooth,¬†your¬†baby¬†may¬†fuss¬†during¬†the¬†night¬†as¬†well¬†as¬†during¬†the¬†day,¬†so¬†be¬†prepared¬†for¬†a¬†little¬†extra¬†cot¬†‚Äďside¬†duty¬†for¬†a¬†while¬†‚Ästnot¬†fun¬†when¬†you‚Äôve¬†been¬†getting¬†some¬†sleep¬†again!

‚ÄĘ Nappy¬†Rash¬†and¬†sore¬†Bottom.¬†Doctors¬†disagree¬†on¬†whether¬†diarrhoea¬†and¬†fever¬†may¬†also¬†be¬†signs¬†of¬†teething¬†(though¬†most¬†mums¬†who‚Äôve¬†been¬†through¬†it¬†will¬†tell¬†you¬†they¬†are).¬†Even¬†if¬†you¬†think¬†you¬†can¬†chalk¬†up¬†these¬†conditions¬†to¬†an¬†about-to-arrive¬†tooth,¬†mention¬†them¬†to¬†your¬†doctor¬†if¬†they¬†last¬†more¬†than¬†a¬†couple¬†of¬†days¬†and¬†try¬†to¬†keep¬†your¬†baby¬†hydrated¬†with¬†milk¬†and/or¬†water.

Pharmaceutical Remedies for Teething babies

Teething Gels
For babies over four months old, you can rub the sugar-free teething gel on their gums. You can get the teething gel from your local pharmacy.
Teething¬†gels¬†often¬†contain¬†a¬†mild¬†local¬†anaesthetic,¬†which¬†helps¬†to¬†numb¬†any¬†pain¬†or¬†discomfort¬†caused¬†by¬†teething.¬†The¬†gels¬†may¬†also¬†contain¬†antiseptic¬†ingredients,¬†which¬†help¬†to¬†prevent¬†infection¬†in¬†any¬†sore¬†or¬†broken¬†skin¬†in¬†your¬†baby’s¬†mouth.
Make¬†sure¬†you¬†use¬†a¬†teething¬†gel¬†that’s¬†specially¬†designed¬†for¬†young¬†children¬†and¬†not¬†a¬†general¬†oral¬†pain¬†relief¬†gel,¬†as¬†these¬†aren’t¬†suitable¬†for¬†children.
It’s¬†best¬†to¬†talk¬†to¬†your¬†pharmacist¬†or¬†GP¬†before¬†using¬†a¬†teething¬†gel¬†for¬†babies¬†under¬†four¬†months¬†old.

Teething Powders
Teething powders are a Traditional herbal medicinal product used for the teething pain relief & associated symptoms based on traditional use. They contain herbal tinctures and are administered orally by making your baby actually swallow the powder. They claim to help alleviate the symptoms and we did use with our three children with some effect.

Calpol AND Nurofen
If your baby is in pain or has a mildly raised temperature (less than 38C), you may want to give them a sugar-free painkilling medicine that is specifically for babies and young children. These contain a small dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Children¬†under¬†16¬†years¬†old¬†shouldn’t¬†have¬†aspirin.
Always¬†follow¬†the¬†instructions¬†that¬†come¬†with¬†the¬†medicine.¬†If¬†you’re¬†not¬†sure,¬†speak¬†to¬†your¬†GP¬†or¬†pharmacist.

 

¬†Natural Teething remedies from parents who’ve been there

Thankfully, there are lots of alternatives to shop-bought medicinal treatments, so here is our round-up of some of the best.

Comforting a teething baby
Comforting or playing with your baby can distract them from any pain in their gums. Rubbing their gums may also help relieve the pressure of the teeth trying to breakthrough.

Ice¬†Cubes¬†and/or¬†‚ÄėLollies‚Äô

Using either a simple ice cube tray or a proper lolly mould if you have one, freeze either water or breast milk into small portions.  If the baby has a good grip, you can let them hold a frozen morsel themselves to gum away at, or if it’s easier, wrap it up in muslin, slightly crush if you like and offer that way.  Either way, the coldness with help soothe painful gums and many babies find comfort in the solid shape to chew at.
A similar idea is frozen fruit or vegetables ‚Äď bananas, carrot sticks, cucumber, celery ‚Äď anything you can cut into a baby-friendly ‚Äėfinger‚Äô, offered straight from the freezer.¬†¬†Obviously, to avoid a choking hazard, baby should not be left unsupervised with these frozen treats.

Wooden or Silicone teething necklaces
Made¬†from¬†non-toxic¬†materials¬†such¬†as¬†silicone,¬†BPA¬†free¬†plastics¬†and¬†natural¬†unfinished¬†wood¬†and¬†hung¬†around¬†the¬†mummy‚Äôs¬†neck,¬†a¬†teething¬†necklace¬†is¬†a¬†perfectly¬†natural¬†way¬†to¬†give¬†your¬†little¬†one¬†something¬†to¬†teethe¬†on¬†and¬†play¬†with.¬†They¬†are¬†often¬†available¬†in¬†a¬†wide¬†variety¬†of¬†colours¬†and¬†are¬†designed¬†to¬†look¬†like¬†natural¬†wood¬†necklaces¬†but¬†are¬†also¬†engineered¬†not¬†to¬†break¬†when¬†the¬†baby¬†pulls¬†and¬†chews¬†them.¬†They¬†also¬†provide¬†a¬†great¬†distraction¬†when¬†baby¬†is¬†feeding¬†and¬†a¬†focal¬†point¬†for¬†playing¬†when¬†sitting¬†on¬†their¬†Mummy’s¬†lap.

Frozen Flannels
Parents have been doing this for years, so it’s an old one, but a good one!  Essentially, take a clean flannel, soak it under the tap, and pop it in the freezer for a few hours.  The coldness and chewable texture both relieve and soothe.

Camomile Tea
Camomile tea has long been used for its soothing and calming properties, and it’s also perfectly safe for babies.  You can either use the tea to make ice cubes as described above, or to soak a flannel in before freezing, or indeed, apply the cold tea direct to baby’s gums.

Amber necklaces
Naturopaths¬†claim¬†that¬†the¬†succinic¬†acid¬†contained¬†within¬†natural¬†Baltic¬†amber¬†provides¬†relief¬†for¬†babies¬†teething.¬†While¬†there‚Äôs¬†no¬†solid¬†‚Äėproof‚Äô¬†about¬†the¬†calming¬†natural¬†pain¬†relief¬†contained¬†in¬†the¬†semi-precious¬†stone,¬†thousands¬†of¬†parents¬†still¬†swear¬†by¬†this¬†method.¬†¬†The¬†necklaces¬†are¬†inexpensive¬†and¬†look¬†lovely¬†on¬†boys¬†as¬†well¬†as¬†girls,¬†but¬†recently¬†there¬†has¬†been¬†considerable¬†concern¬†about¬†the¬†safety¬†of¬†children¬†wearing¬†necklaces,¬†particularly¬†whilst¬†sleeping.

Teething rings and Toys

Teething¬†rings¬†and¬†toys¬†give¬†your¬†baby¬†something¬†to¬†chew¬†safely.¬†This¬†may¬†ease¬†their¬†discomfort¬†and¬†distract¬†them¬†from¬†any¬†pain.¬†Some¬†teething¬†rings¬†can¬†be¬†cooled¬†first¬†in¬†the¬†fridge,¬†which¬†may¬†help¬†to¬†soothe¬†your¬†baby’s¬†gums.¬†It¬†is¬†not¬†advisable¬†to¬†put¬†teethers¬†in¬†the¬†freezer¬†as¬†the¬†extreme¬†cold¬†could¬†damage¬†your¬†baby’s¬†gums.

At Mama Jewels we sell a teething pendant made from Amber
and silver which is designed to be worn by the parent and the
baby can teethe on it to get hold of that precious succinic acid.
There is no risk of strangulation or choking as baby isn’t
wearing the necklace Mama is!

Caring for your baby’s new teeth

It is recommended that you register your baby with a dentist when their teeth start coming through.

From an early age let your children watch
and see you brushing your teeth.
Model the action and make it fun!

A tooth brushing song is a great idea to help make bedtime and mornings more fun and less stressful.
The¬†NHS¬†recommends¬†that¬†you¬†start¬†brushing¬†your¬†baby’s¬†teeth¬†with¬†fluoride¬†toothpaste¬†as¬†soon¬†as¬†their¬†first¬†milk¬†tooth¬†breaks¬†through.

All babies are unique, their symptoms and preferred relief will be different and you are doing a great parenting  job

When to contact your Doctor about your teething baby

Home treatment usually helps relieve minor teething symptoms such as discomfort, drooling, and irritability. But talk to your doctor if your child has other symptoms that become severe or last longer than a couple of days.
If¬†your¬†baby¬†has¬†diarrhoea,¬†a¬†temperature¬†or¬†runny¬†nose,¬†don’t¬†dismiss¬†it¬†as¬†a¬†sign¬†of¬†teething,¬†especially¬†if¬†the¬†symptoms¬†last¬†longer¬†than¬†24¬†hours.

Do¬†not¬†be¬†surprised¬†if¬†your¬†Doctor¬†fobs¬†you¬†off¬†with¬†instructions¬†to¬†administer¬†paracetamol¬†and¬†diagnoses¬†classic¬†teething¬†symptoms.¬†As¬†a¬†parent,¬†particularly¬†if¬†it¬†is¬†your¬†first¬†child,¬†these¬†symptoms¬†are¬†extremely¬†alarming¬†if¬†you¬†haven’t¬†seen¬†them¬†before¬†and¬†your¬†child¬†will¬†be¬†very¬†distressed.¬†However,¬†doctors¬†do¬†see¬†this¬†every¬†day¬†and¬†will¬†know¬†if¬†something¬†is¬†untoward.

When our eldest son was six months old
he had a nappy rash that was so bad you
couldn’t even apply cream to it because it
was so raw and weeping.
This was caused by the acidic poo as a
symptom of teething, but I had no idea this
was the case. In distress I took him to the
doctor thinking he might get an infection
and he’d need medication, but in fact the
doctor advised we allow him to spend as much time as possible without a nappy on.
It worked and the raw skin dried enough for us to be able to apply a barrier cream.
It¬†was¬†a¬†scary¬†time!¬†¬†Amanda¬†Waring¬†‚ÄstMother¬†of¬†three¬†and¬†Founder¬†of¬†Mama¬†Jewels.

Also, talk to your doctor about any other teething concerns, such as if your child:
‚ÄĘ Is age 18 months and has not had any teeth come in.
‚ÄĘ Has visible signs of tooth decay.
‚ÄĘ Has permanent teeth coming in before the primary teeth are lost, resulting in a double row of teeth.
‚ÄĘ Has any facial injury that has damaged a tooth or gums.
Your doctor may refer your child to a dentist who specialises in children’s teething problems, if this seems to be needed.

 

Amanda Waring

Mama Jewels and Mum of 3.