Signs of Teething & How to Ease The Painby Danielle Haines | June 16, 2008
Many parents maintain that their teething babies are feeling discomfort (though some babies might not show any discomfort at all). The symptoms most likely trouble a teething baby includes:
What are the Signs of Teething?
- Drooling(which can lead to a facial rash)
- Gum swelling and sensitivity
- Irrability and fussiness
- Biting behavior or chewing/sucking on hands and fingers
- Refusing food
- Sleep problems
Though many parents report their babies have loose stools, a slight fever, or a runny nose just before the tooth arrives, most experts do not think teething is to blame for these symptoms. One who does is William Sears, pediatrician and author of The Baby Book. Sears believes that teething can cause diarrhea and a mild diaper rash due to the excessive saliva that is swallowed. Inflammation in the gums, he thinks, may cause a low fever.
Teeth break through one at a time over a period of months, and often but not always in this order: First the bottom two middle teeth, then the top two middle ones, then the ones along the sides and back.
How Can I Help my Baby's Discomfort of Teething?
Give your baby something to chew on, such as a teething ring or a cold washcloth (put it in the freezer to make it extra cold). If your baby is old enough for solids try cold applesauce or yogurt. Give your baby a hard, unsweetened teething cracker, such as zwieback to gnaw on. Simply rubbing a clean finger gently but firmly over your baby's sore gums can ease the pain temporarily, too.
If these methods are not working, a small dose of children's pain reliever, such as infants acetaminophen. Please check with your baby's pediatrician before giving your baby any medication.
Rubbing the gums with pain relief gel may also ease your baby's discomfort, but you may want to ask your baby's pediatrician before trying it. If you use too much, it can numb the back of the baby's throat and weaken his gag reflux. The gels are generally safe to use, but in rare cases can cause an allergic reaction.
If drool causes a rash on your baby's face, wipe, but don't rub, the drool away with a soft cotton cloth. You can also smooth petroleum jelly on his chin before a nap or bedtime to protect the skin from further irritation.
Teething and Breastfeeding: Will He Bite Me?
Your baby has a tooth; do you have to give up breastfeeding? Answer: No!!
By the time your baby is getting teeth, you will have watched him nurse enough to sense when his attention changes from eating to something else. Then...he might bite. Teething is probably the main reason for nipple biting. Your baby is looking for something to comfort and soothe its gums. You can help them transition during this sensitive time by gently and firmly telling them no. Then, remove the breast from them briefly and reinsert the nipple. This can help to stop the biting as your baby realizes that you will remove their food when they do.
If you think your baby is teething, be alert and end the feed without that lingering finish up time. This way, you can continue breastfeeding beyond this tender time.Danielle Haines is a freelance writer for Baby Corner. She is currently married and has 2 girls, a 3 year old and a 1 year old, who is currently going through this teething stage.
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