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Is Baby Teething? Signs You Can't Miss

Katlyn Joy |30, May 2012


Is Baby Teething? Signs You Can't Miss

Every parent watches for those first little nubs of pearly white to emerge. Is there anything as grin-worthy as a baby's first toothy smile? But it can be hard to decipher myth from reality when it comes to teething? Do babies really run a fever with teething pain? Is runny poo a sign your child is about to have a new tooth?

Behavior: One of the first clues is a change in disposition. If your easy-going sweetheart goes to a wailing grump over night, consider it a clue. Many babies feel awful while teething, and the mood swing occurs before any physical signs in some babies.

Eating: If your baby refuses to nurse or brushes away the bottle for more than the usual occasional feeding, consider teething a possibility. Sucking can exacerbate the pain of teething and some babies would rather have an empty tummy than feel that gum ache.

Drooling: Teething very often results in excessive drooling, to the point that clothing will be wet around the neck and rashes on the cheeks and chin may occur as a result.

Diarrhea: If baby swallows a lot of extra saliva, the end result may be a diaper bomb. However, some medical professionals doubt that teething can cause diarrhea. Experienced mothers may argue that point.

Fever: A low-grade fever may be seen with teething but any real fever should not occur due to mere teething pain. Your baby is sick if she has a temperature over 101 degrees, even if she is teething. (When to Call the Doctor)

Chewing: Your baby will find a way to gnaw on any solid object in her path, even any part of you that gets too close including fingers, cheeks or nose. Baby may also be seen grimacing or clenching his jaw as a reaction to the teething pain.

Sleeplessness: Sometimes the ache gets too much and baby will experience wakeful periods usually reserved for sleep. Or baby may have trouble settling down for the night.

Ways to Ease Baby's Teething Pain

Coolness brings relief, so put teething rings in the frig and offer baby a cool wet rag to suck and chew on. Liquid filled teethers may rupture so go for solid rubber ones instead and don't go all out and put teethers in the freezer. Baby can hurt herself on objects frozen solid.

Wash your hands and put your fingers to work. Rub gently along baby's gumline. This is only advisable before the first teeth erupt. Try it later and you risk some pain yourself.

Try to keep baby's chin and face dry by washing and carefully patting dry. Apply a gentle moisturizer to rash-prone regions.

Provide comfort during those tearful, wakeful times. A little pat, some rocking or a little extra nursing may be soothing.
Over the counter pain relievers such as infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used in moderation for those most painful times.

Offer baby cool drinks of water if rubbing the nipple against his gums eases the ache. You don't want to offer bottles of formula or juice as this can lead to tooth-decay. You might try chilling the nipple first before offering the bottle to baby.
Hard foods that you can chill and won't be a choking hazard may provide relief. Just watch closely and constantly.

What to Avoid

No nips of brandy or rubbing any alcohol on the gums. Yes, Grandma probably did do it and yes you are all fine, but it's not safe all the same.

Watch out of topical agents meant to ease teething pain. They can cause serious side effects. Benzocaine is specifically dangerous, according to the Mayo Clinic and may cause a rare yet serious condition that decreases the blood oxygen levels.

What to Expect and When

Look for those middle bottom teeth, the incisors, to erupt first, usually around six months of age.

Related Articles

Signs of Teething & How to Ease The Pain

16 Safe Teething Remedies For Your Baby

4 Signs Your Baby Is Having a Growth Spurt


Ease the Pain of Teething


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jill Mar 7, 2015 05:38:46 AM ET

I wouldn't say that teeth erupt around 6 to 12 months. I would say anywhere from anytime they are born until so on. Both my daughter's got there first teeth once a three months, and the second one at six months.

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