Each baby is different but one thing for sure is that all babies like to put things in their mouths! This may be even more noticeable when they are teething.
Baby teeth can first appear any time during their first year. Some babies may even be born with teeth but generally the first tooth will emerge somewhere between 4-7months.
Some lucky tots feel no pain or discomfort at all, whilst others may experience more discomfort.
If your baby is uncharacteristically grumpy, it may be worth checking their gums to see if there is a little white bud trying to poke its way through.
Here are some of the common teething symptoms to look out for:
- sore, red gum where the tooth is coming through
- flushed cheeks
- more dribbling or drool than normal
- chewing on hands or toys (more so than usual!)
- irritability for no apparent reason
- more clingy and wanting extra cuddles
Hopefully the baby’s tooth will come through quickly and remember whilst it can be really hard to see them in pain, they will have a lovely, shiny new tooth soon and the discomfort usually stops once the tooth has come through.
How to treat teething symptoms?
Cuddles, cuddles and more cuddles! Both my children were more clingy and didn’t want to be put down in the couple of days before a new tooth was coming through. Enjoy those precious moments but I found investing in a good supportive baby carrier was amazing for the days when I needed to get out and do jobs. They will feel close to you but you can have both hands free!
If your baby has started solids, you could offer chilled fruit or hard vegetables such as a large piece of carrot or a teething biscuit. However, these tend to get a bit soft, mushy and messy after a while! Make sure you keep a watch over baby the whole time in case of choking.
There are many available on the market but make sure you choose something that is safe for baby and can be kept clean (bacteria will make the inflammation in your baby’s gums worse). Silicone is ideal because it is heat-resistant, doesn’t support the growth of bacteria and is washable.
Teething babies also love to feel pressure on their gums because it distracts their brain from the sensation of teething pain so a fun and engaging teether is ideal.
The Halia Rose Elephant Teethers are an ideal way of soothing sore gums which can also be chilled in the fridge to give even more relief by numbing the pain and reducing gum inflammation. Made of a single piece of soft, chewy silicone, their teethershave been specially designed to provide instant relief for teething tots. There are no catches or clasps to prevent bacterial growth and they are the perfect size for little hands to grab onto. The specially designed ridges are lovely for baby to chew on and add pressure to those sore gums. You can also pop it in warm soapy water or the dishwasher to make sure it’s nice and clean for every use. Made of BPA free, 100% non-toxic food-grade silicone you can be sure there are no nasties plus there is no liquid inside so you can be certain of no leaks as well.
Medicines and topical teething treatments
It is a personal preference as to whether you give your baby any medicine or teething gels to help ease the pain but there are several on the market which claim to help.
Numbing gels or creams that you rub directly on to your baby's gums to relieve teething pain are available from pharmacies. Howver it’s worth noting that even if you rub it directly on your baby's gums, it’s unlikely to stay where you put it due to saliva plus they might swallow some of it . This can inadvertently numb their throat and interfere with the gag reflex, making it harder for them not to choke.
Paracetamol-based medicines can be used for babies over 2 months; and for teething babies who are at least 6 months old, ibuprofen is another option for reducing inflammation in your baby's gums but remember that it may cause irritation to their tummy, which may cause further issues if your baby is already refusing to eat (which some teething babies do when a tooth is coming through).
Another option if you enjoy wearing jewellery is to pop on a Halia Rose necklace – made of BPA free 100% non-toxic silicone, babies love to chew on them but means you can wear stylish jewellery that is perfectly practical! You can also clean them in the dishwasher so are as good as new every time you wear them – perfect for you and safe for baby!
For more information on teething, visit the NHS website.