Do you have an irritable baby? Is she fussing for apparently nothing? Have checked all the usual suspects and have no idea why your baby is still so miserable? Well, don’t worry – you are not alone. You have probably entered the teething phase of your baby’s life. While some babies cut their teeth quite quickly and rather easily, others can really struggle with fevers, runny noses, and all sort of other symptoms.
All babies are different, so you will have to keep an eye out for anything that could mean your baby is teething. Teething can start anytime from 3 months up to almost 12 months with the bottom front teeth usually coming through first. For some parents, teething can mean soft, smelly stools, while for others it can mean full cold symptoms. There is no way to tell how your baby will react and also no way to know from one tooth to the next what to expect.
The best advice you can get, is to expect anything when your baby is teething and understand how to best help them and sooth them when they are cutting teeth. Here are some of the symptoms that you can experience, and things to look out for with your baby:
- Loose stools that are different to normal
- Rash (especially on the side of the jaw where the tooth is coming through)
- Rubbing the ears
- Not eating, or only wanting to eat smooth, cool foods that are soothing to the gums
- Excessive drooling
- Chewing on anything and everything
These are just the most common symptoms to look out for. You will also find that your baby doesn’t want to sleep properly and they might even wake up a few times in the night out of routine. They will become clingy, to mommy especially, and will become miserable and cry a lot more than normal. Don’t worry – this is not you being a bad parent, although it is very frustrating when you feel helpless, but your baby is just a bit sore.
The best way that you can help is to get some teething powder or teething gel. These contain a mild anesthetic along with a pain medication such as paracetamol to provide your baby with relief. You can apply these teething powders quite regularly, as you see your baby becoming distressed again.
Teething biscuits and teething rings also provide relief and can help to soften the gum and help the tooth to push through. The teething rings that have a cooling gel in them that you put in the fridge are excellent because the cold numbs the gums and provides some relief.
Homeopathic remedies are also very good for teething and are safe for your baby at any age. These work to reduce the irritability, pain and inflammation from teething and the most commonly used are Marticaria Chamomilla 6CH to 30CH as well as the Arnica Montana 6CH to 30CH. Tissue salts administered every 30 minutes will also give your baby much needed relief and all you need to do is crush a quarter of a tablet and run this on your baby’s gums. The Calc Flour and Calc Phos are good for the development of healthy teeth, while Odon and Sedaped provide relief from teething pains and symptoms of teething.
When your baby is teething it is common for them to not eat properly. This does not mean that they are not hungry or have lost their appetite, but it might just be that chewing is too sore for them. You should supplement the feed with cold milk if they do not want to eat. Usually they will still drink their milk, and making it cold (if they are past the colicky phase) will also soothe the gums.
Now that you know what to expect, you can get your baby through their teething periods like a pro. Comforting and soothing them, along with using the above mentioned remedies to help is all you can really do, but pretty soon, your baby will have a new set of whites that they can flash to the world!
– Gina Gold