Teething is a phase that frequently brings discomfort, sleepless nights, and fussy behavior for both kids and the parents.
The arrival of your baby’s first tooth marks a significant milestone in their development, often leading parents to share joyous photographs with family and friends. However, the journey to that inaugural tooth can be a trying one, both for you as a parent and for your baby.
There are typically telltale signs that herald the approach of a tooth. These indications may include heightened salivation or drooling, an increased tendency for your baby to gnaw on toys or even people, flushed cheeks, swollen gums, and a general sense of unease manifesting through decreased appetite, disrupted sleep patterns, and irritability.
Although some parents may associate teething with other issues like stomach upsets or colds, most medical experts maintain that there’s no direct correlation between these conditions and teething. Babies and young children are often susceptible to various illnesses, so any apparent connection to teething is likely coincidental.
Teething typically begins around the age of six months, although individual experiences can widely differ. Some babies might be born with one or more teeth, while others might not witness their first tooth’s emergence until their first birthday or later.
By the age of three, most children will have a full set of milk teeth, which will eventually give way to adult teeth around six years of age.
Teething can be relatively straightforward for some infants but a true ordeal for others. Unfortunately, parents cannot expedite the process, but they can explore methods to alleviate discomfort.
A traditional remedy for teething discomfort is a rubber biting ring, designed to harness a baby’s natural inclination to chew on objects. A soft rubber ring offers a safe outlet for this urge, and storing it in the refrigerator when not in use can provide a soothing, cooling effect.
Teething gel represents another option, which can be applied directly to the gums for comfort. It can also be applied to a pacifier or dummy if direct gum application poses challenges.
Teething powders are also available, comprising crystals that can be poured into your baby’s mouth, and some parents find them more effective than gels.
In severe cases, you may consider using pain relief medication. Ensure you use medicine specifically formulated for babies of your child’s age and adhere to the recommended dosage.
Some medications that induce drowsiness, such as certain anti-fever preparations, can be particularly useful, especially at bedtime.
While teething can be a challenging phase for both parents and babies, it’s essential to remember that it is a temporary one. Keep counting the teeth as they emerge, and soon your baby will sport a healthy, toothy grin, leaving the challenges of teething behind.