7 undeniable signs of teething in your baby
From the most obvious to the less known - browse through this gallery now to learn about the signs of teething in babies.
Your sweet-natured little angel of around six months has now suddenly turned into a drooling, gnawing Miss Crankypants. What’s going on, you wonder? The answer could very well be teething!
How do you know for sure that your little one is pushing out those tiny pearly whites? Go through this gallery now for some sure-fire signs.
1. Little drool monster
Does your little one suddenly have buckets of sticky, slimy drool dripping out of his mouth?
Drooling profusely is a rather obvious sign of teething that many babies display.
While you might be so over washing those bucketloads of spit-drenched bibs and onesies, all that saliva your little one produces during teething actually has a purpose.
According to US based paediatrician Ken Haller, the saliva helps cool and soothe your teething baby’s tender and swollen gums. It is also thought that the antibodies in your baby’s saliva help protect him from infections picked up via germs on items he might put in his mouth.
Parents, do keep in mind that not all drooling may be related to teething. Here are some exceptions:
- Oversized tonsils:Little ones with bigger-than-average tonsils might have issues swallowing, resulting in excess drool.
- Infections: According to MedlinePlus, infections of the throat area such as strep throat and tonsillitis, can make your baby drool excessively. Infections may also make your little one’s adenoids swell up, again causing lots of drooling.
If you think your baby's drooling is not related to teething, please see a doctor without delay.
2. Gnawing, gumming and biting
You may say "Ouch!" more than once as your baby bites down on you as he breastfeeds. Of course, some little ones do this because they love seeing (and hearing) your reaction.
But if it’s happening quite frequently and at the same time you notice him chewing, gnawing and gumming on other objects (toys, books, utensils, other parts of your body…), then it could very well be that he is teething.
Babies chew on things while their teeth are pushing through as a way of pain relief. How it works: tooth is pushing up and out of their gums, so they push (aka bite) down on something to relieve the pain via counter-pressure.
Tips: Now more than ever, you need to stock up on teethers. Look for ones that you can pop into the fridge first – munching on a cold teether is an even better way of relieving the discomfort of teething. Do not freeze teething rings as the extreme cold can damage your little one’s sensitive and tender gums.
If your baby has started solids and is capable of munching quite well, offer firm foods like a carrot stick or a baby rusk/ biscuit to keep those gums busy (and pain-free).
3. The obvious: A tooth or a bumpy gum!
If you suspect your little one might be teething, take a look at his gums or feel them with a clean finger. If you feel a little hard ridge or see a pointy white bump on his gums, he’s teething.
Even if you don’t see anything but notice that his gums are red and swollen, then a tiny tooth is probably on its way out.
Remember: Despite what the older generation may tell you, do NOT rub honey on your baby’s gums to relieve the pain of teething especially if he is under the age of one. Honey in young babies may cause a dangerous condition known as botulism.
4. Ear grabbing (his, not yours)
Some babies, while teething, tend to pull on their ears. According to Dr. Sears, this could be because of the pain that radiates from the budding tooth to the ears. The pain occurs because the nerves under the gum that those little teeth are pushing against, travel all the way to behind the ears.
Keep in mind: An earache caused by an infection will often be accompanied by fever and also the pain is heightened when your little one is lying down. You might also notice that your little one’s ear canal is red and looks inflamed. But to be on the safe side, it’s always best to check with a doctor as an ear infection needs to be treated without delay.
5. Hello there little miss/mister Cranky Pants!
Teething usually causes little ones to be super grumpy and cranky and they can only be excused from this behaviour because it’s really not fun to have sharp little teeth cutting through your gums!
Give your little one plenty of cuddles and love (and teething rings!) during this period and crank up your patience meter at the same time. The crankiness will pass once the tooth cuts through.
6. No food, I said!
Don’t be surprised if your little one who has loved trying out new foods (if over 6 months old) up to now, suddenly losing his appetite.
Teething causes those little gums to become sore and tender and eating only causes your little one more pain and discomfort.
Don’t worry, mums: Your little one will regain his appetite once the tooth emerges. Offer cold, soft foods that are not harsh on the gums. Do remember to keep him well hydrated even if he rejects solids.
7. Good-bye sleep
Just as you were starting to catch up on months of lost sleep due to your little one finally sleeping through the night, your dreams suddenly shatter.
If you find that your baby is suddenly quite unsettled in the night, it could be that he is extra-sensitive to the teething pain and just can’t drift off. There’s nothing much else you can do than comfort your little one and offer a paediatrician-approved pain medication if necessary.
Keep in mind: Now’s not the time to wean your baby off breastfeeding if you were thinking of doing so. He needs all the comfort he can get so do persist with nursing if you know it soothes your little one.
Mums and dads, we hope you found this article useful. Do share you own tips for soothing a teething baby in the comment box below.
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