Teething! Argh! I wish babies could just skip the teething phase.
For many mommies, first-time mommies especially, the start of this stage is nerve-wracking. It’s like diving into the unknown.
When your baby starts showing signs of teething.
The drooling starts to get worse. Your baby starts chewing on EVERYTHING within reach and aww he just won’t stop rubbing his gums!
I know that feeling, where you just feel helpless. Watching your baby suffer and just wish the teething would just be done with already!!
You might, or might not have heard the ‘terrifying’ stories about your friends, friends baby’s terrible time with teething. But before I go any further, let me say this to you.
Every baby is different. Do not compare your baby to anyone else’s. And if this is your second baby, never compare them to their sibling because they will not be the same. Trust me.
With my two, my daughter started teething when she was two months old. ALL the teething signs were there, constantly. But her teeth never actually cut through until she was 9 months!
My son on the other hand, well he started teething at 6 months and his tooth cut pretty much the same week he started showing any signs of teething. So, yes, ALL babies are different.
Having said that, here are a few things that you must do generally, as soon as you see your baby start showing any signs of teething. These will prepare both you and baby for when the teeth actually start cutting through.
By the way, teething is not something that babies just go through once and that’s it.
It’s the difficult, painful process that begins from an early age in babies all through to adulthood in some people (depending on when they get their wisdom teeth).
You will probably find that your baby will have teething symptoms with his two front upper teeth, then the symptoms will subside, then reappear when the top teeth start coming through, then subside and reappear for the other – and so on and so forth.
So these tips will help you not only the first time but ALL the times your baby goes through the teething process.
OK, your baby’s behaviour lately leads you to believe that your baby is teething. Now what?
HERE ARE THE THINGS TO DO AS SOON AS YOUR BABY STARTS TEETHING
BUY SOME TEETHING RINGS, IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE SO!
Because your baby’s gums will be so irritable and itchy, your baby will want to bite on something to get that ‘relief.’ giving him a Teething Ring will help with that soothing.
Even better if you can chill the teething ring as the cold will not only help relieve the gums but will help them if they are swollen too. DON’T FREEZE the teething ring as this might cause damage to your baby’s gums as they bite into it.
BUY TEETHING GELS
Teething Gels, I found worked really well with my son, but my daughter was not so fond of them. Nonetheless, I liked to have a tube around for those really bad nights.
They provide a temporary relief to your baby’s gums especially when it’s approaching feeding time – which I will talk about later.
So it’s always good to have a tube around and administer when appropriate. Always read and follow the instructions!
GET INFANT PAINKILLERS AND THERMOMETER
You will NEED these!
Either paracetamol or Ibuprofen. Monitor your baby’s temperature regularly. Seek medical advice if your baby develops a fever (temp of over 38).
It’s always important to have some painkillers and a thermometer around the house. Even when your baby is not teething.
The best ones are the Rectal and Temporal Artery (Forehead) Thermometers as they give a more accurate reading – especially in Newborns like the iProven Rectal Thermometer and the iProven Ear Thermometer with Forehead Function.
Both are very inexpensive and easy to use!
STOCK UP ON BIBS, MUSLIN CLOTHS AND COTTON PADS!
Your baby will be drooling a whole lot more when teething. You will want to have plenty of bibs handy to catch all the drool and reduce the risk of the baby getting a rash.
You will also want to limit the use of Wipes at this stage as I found that drool mixed with wipes resulted in a rash. Especially around the mouth and neck.
If you really must use wipes, then stick to Water Wipes
HAVE SOME NAPPY RASH OINTMENT AT HAND.
Teething causes diarrhoea and some babies. And you will want to be prepared for regular nappy changes.
I also noticed that my babies were prone to developing nappy rash whenever they had teething diarrhoea.
I’m not sure if there’s a direct correlation between the two, but it ALWAYS happened. I learned to have a tube of Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment around for those moments. And this stuff works miracles!
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR LONG, SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
I’m sorry, I do not sugar coat things!
Teething babies will almost always have their sleep pattern disturbed. And they always seem to get worse at night, the body temperature goes up, they don’t sleep very well and yes, they cry. A Lot!
So just be prepared to have long late nights. Also, be prepared to co-sleep if you weren’t before.
Your baby will need constant comfort and a lot of cuddles. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. And trust me, when you hear that helpless cry, you will want to hold him all night!
And with the late nights…
BE PREPARED TO TAKE SOME TIME OFF WORK ADN SOCIAL LIFE
Avoid making plans if you can. With some babies, teething can get so bad that they aren’t able to attend nursery.
And if you’re a working mamma, that means you have to stay home to care for your baby. It’s not what most mothers want to hear, but it is the reality of it.
I’m not promoting taking days off work BUT after a long night with a teething baby, trust me, you won’t want to get out of bed.
That’s why it’s a good idea to stock up on things that you need for your baby, for you and your family. If you have to stay home, don’t feel guilty. Your baby NEEDS you.
REGISTER YOUR BABY WITH A DENTIST
If you haven’t registered your baby with a dentist, now is the time to do it.
You will want to learn about how to care for your baby’s teeth properly once they cut through.
Many people overlook the importance of oral care in infants as they feel that the ‘baby teeth will fall out’ so what the point.
Well, the point is that you are not practising oral care for JUST the teeth. It’s for the entire mouth.
Your baby will start to chew on foods that WILL get stuck in those two teeth and start creating bacteria. That will lead to cavities, leading to poor oral health in ADULTHOOD! So, better start now than regret it later.
Speaking of Food…
NOW MIGHT BE A GOOD TIME TO START WEANING YOUR BABY
Whether you’re considering Baby Led Weaning (BLW) or Spoon Led Weaning (SLW), now is not a bad time to introduce solids to your baby.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t if your baby is 6 months old and can hold up their head independently.
You can also take this opportunity to keep them busy and happy with teething biscuits!
Although, Be careful what though as there are some foods you cant feed an infant.
Last but not least…
INCREASE YOUR BABY’S FLUID INTAKE
As soon as you see your baby showing signs of teething, whether they’re breastfed or formula fed, start to increase their intake of milk.
You might want to supplement with a tiny bit of water if they’re formula fed.
This is simply to reduce the risk of dehydration in your baby. Teething babies tend to go off eating solids. And this is not surprising as the teething process is very painful and irritating. Think of how you’re like with a toothache!
Your baby will most probably lose appetite and will want to drink less. But just make sure you keep an eye on their fluid intake and output. And look for any symptoms of dehydration in your baby.
It’s always best to be prepared when it comes to baby teething. You want to make sure you have all you need to help you and your baby survive through the teething process.
Above all, just give your baby love and comfort. Because it’s not going to be easy for either of you – and this is completely understandable.
If you do not remember a single thing from this post, remember these two things; Look out for fever in your baby and look out for symptoms of dehydration.
All the best mommy, You’ve got this!
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