|Teething And Upset Tummies|
If you remember the agony of cutting a wisdom tooth, you can probably sympathise with a baby who is cutting their first tooth. The process is painful, but thankfully there are many over-the-counter remedies as well as teething toys that reduce pain and help baby to cut teeth, a little less painfully.
There are some babies who seem to cut teeth almost effortlessly, with little or no pain, virtually no dribbling, no runny tummy and almost by magic, the first pristine white milk tooth appears. There are other little ones who appear to get it all when cutting teeth – an upset tummy, a high fever, crankiness and a total loss of appetite. Many moms are concerned about teething and upset tummies but the fact of the matter is that teething is not directly responsible for the upset tummy, it’s actually a side effect of teething.
Why baby’s tummy becomes upset during teething
A baby’s stomach is exceptionally sensitive and when they are teething, their gums become painful and inflamed and as a relief mechanism, the tooth-cutting tot quickly reaches for anything and everything to bite on or to suck on. These chewy teething relievers are at the best of times riddled with bacteria and since a baby’s tummy is known for being super sensitive, it does’nt take a lot of bacteria to cause an unsettled tummy. Moms are able to keep bacteria at bay by ensuring that all baby’s teething toys are kept perfectly sanitised and clean at all times. The toys can be soaked in a sterilising solution (as used for bottles and teats) or boiled - both these methods will effectively rid the chewy relievers of any bad bacteria.
Babies are pretty sneaky characters and when their gums become itchy and inflamed and begin to ache, they will grab anything in sight – ensure that all regular household objects are kept out of reach and make sure that teething rings are easily accessible. Certain foods can also be given to alleviate the itch and pain of the swollen gums, such as a hard rusk. Parents must never leave baby unattended, as the rusk can become soggy and the baby is at risk of choking.
To reduce the pain of teething, moms can make use of any of the available teething gels and powder rub-ons which are sold commercially. Using these products will also prevent baby from sucking on or chewing on a variety of contaminated household objects.
It has also been suggested that upset tummies occur during teething because extra saliva is swallowed. The extra saliva is not caused because the salivary glands become more active during the process of teething, but because baby is keeping the mouth open for longer periods of time and since they are putting a lot more objects into their mouths, a lot of the saliva is drooled out but more saliva is also swallowed. Childcare experts and paediatricians alike disagree with this notion but do confirm that the additional saliva swallowed by baby may cause stools to be loose, but will not cause an upset tummy.
The other symptoms of side-effects of teething!
Most babies start to cut teeth between the ages of four and seven months, however, early developers have been known to cut their first tooth at as young as three months, while other babies cut their first tooth after their first birthday. Interestingly and in very rare cases, a baby’s first tooth may already be seen at birth!
Teething and Old Wives Tales
Teething has not been untouched by myths and popular old wives tale relating to teething is that baby who cuts a tooth early is extra intelligent, and if a baby is born with teeth, they are deemed as being unlucky and selfish! Fortunately we know that none of these old wives tales are true and the age at which a baby cut its first tooth has no bearing on intelligence or lack of!