Many parents ask the question when does teething begin?
A baby’s first tooth can appear anytime between three and 12 months, they all develop at different stages. Surprisingly though, teething symptoms can appear as much as two to three months before that first tiny tooth does. Signs & symptoms of teething can vary greatly from one baby to the next. My sons both teethed at different stages of their development; one of them started at around 5 months and slowly cut his teeth with lots of gnawing and drooling! The other one didn’t get his first tooth until he was around 11 months old and they just seemed to spring up without any problems.
So all babies are different, but you may observe one or all of the following:
- Drooling. You might find that your baby’s vests and tops are suddenly soggy. Fastening on a bib to keep baby more comfortable (and cleaner), and gently wipe baby’s chin throughout the day to stave off chapping. You can pop on a little barrier cream to help prevent their chin from getting sore.
- Gnawing. You may find baby always puts their fists into their mouths and gnaws away. They may even give you little nips at your fingers or breast (ouch!); you can help relieve the pressure baby feels by giving them teething aids that will help soothe their gums.
- Crying. Some babies breeze through teething with hardly a whimper, while others seem to suffer from a good deal of pain — which they feel compelled to share with you in the form of whining or crying. Talking to your health visitor or doctor about administering pain relievers such as infant ibuprofen can help; also some parents find homeopathic treatments relieve teething symptoms and also some teething gels offer comfort and relief.
- Fasting. Since sucking movements can add to the teething pressure or pain, at times your baby may refuse to nurse or eat, or may nurse briefly and then turn away. Keep at it, and don’t worry it quite often only lasts for a few days.
- Waking. Especially when baby’s 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 disturbance it wont last long.
Doctors tend to disagree on whether diarrhea and fever may also be signs of teething (though most mums who’ve been through it will tell you they are).
Regardless of the symptoms your baby exhibits, you’ll be desperate to give baby some teething relief. Counter pressure often feels good on the gums, so offer her something to chew on — if it’s icy & cold it can provide a numbing sensation. Try a frozen washcloth; a teething bangle or toy; Some teething aids I have come across on the high street tend to be quite hard, so shop around to find the most suitable for your baby.
If baby is a little older they may find a biscuit may help (always supervise baby) or offer cold drinks or food. You can also try rubbing baby’s gums firmly with your (clean) finger — they might not appreciate this at first, but will after the pressure begins to ease baby’s throbbing, sore gums.