Do your baby’s cries keep you up in the middle of the night? Is he/she still crying even after you’ve just fed them, changed his diaper, and tried rocking him gently to sleep? Maybe he’s in distress. Maybe his tummy is aching
Or maybe… maybe your baby is teething.
Teething usually occurs somewhere between 2 and 12 months, or sometimes even later than that. The first few teeth might show with ease, but it could be a long, painful process. The pain is common because just like with an adult’s wisdom tooth, the teeth are pushing through the gums. That is the reason why there’s so much pain and swelling so be sure you know how to help ease the pain!
Signs and symptoms of teething include:
*reddish, swollen gums
*flushed cheeks or face
*gum-rubbing, biting or sucking
*rubbing his ear on the same side as an erupting tooth
*not eating as much as usual
*sleepless at night, but wakeful during the day
*increased temperature and diarrhea (might be caused by something else, consult a doctor to be sure)
Putting pressure on your baby’s teeth by chewing may relieve the pain. However, your baby’s gums might be sensitive at this time so there’s a tendency for him to turn away from your breast or his bottle during the teething phase.
There are several ways to soothe your baby’s painful gums before resorting to teething gels and other pain relief products. As much as possible, you would want to ease the pain naturally. Try some of these tried and tested practices:
*Rub a clean finger gently over your baby’s sore gums to temporarily numb the pain.
*Get your baby a teething ring. It’s better to buy the solid, silicone-based teething ring rather than the liquid-filled ones as the latter could leak. Before giving the teething ring, put it in the fridge for that cooling effect. Do not put it in the freezer as that could hurt your baby’s gums. Avoid teething necklaces as they are hazardous to babies.
*Offer cold drinks and cold food. For babies over six months, a bottle of icy cold water can be a relief for painful gums. You can also give ice-free water in a cup. For food, chilled yogurt, applesauce and blended peaches can be your options, as long as food has already been introduced to your baby.
*Never use rubbing alcohol on your baby’s gums. Parents should also avoid any herbal or homeopathic natural teething meds as those can contain ingredients that cause heart problems and drowsiness.
*Comfort – lots and lots of extra hugs, kisses and patience are required for our little ones throughout this painful process.
If you would opt to go for pain relief medicines or products, it is best to always consult your paediatrician first. Since you’re dealing with babies, it is not advisable to have them take medicines without prescription from a medical professional.