Oh teething. RIGHT as we are finally getting the hang of things, get into a schedule that’s working, here comes teething to ruin everything!
Teething can be pretty frustrating because our sweet little babies are just MISERABLE and it can make you feel helpless at times.
There’s no getting out of teething, but there are ways to make it less painful!
Here is my complete guide to teething, from timelines to symptoms, remedies, things to avoid, and tips on caring for new teeth!
This chart will help you understand the general timeline for each tooth.
Please remember that every child is different and grows at their own pace!
Symptoms can vary from child to child, but these are some of the most common signs that your little one is teething.
Be sure to remember that teeth grow in spurts, just like bones do. If you think that your little one is teething, but no teeth pop out, that doesn’t mean they weren’t teething. It just means that their teeth are growing in spurts and haven’t made it fully to the surface just yet.
- Sore/tender gums
- Chewing / biting on anything and everything
- Fussy / irritable
- Changes in the appearance of gums (red, “bumpy” looking)
- Fever (low grade)
These are some of the TOP TEETHING TIPS I have found that ACTUALLY work. As usual, all kids react differently to everything, so I tried to include as many helpful tips as possible to cover a wide range of options! Trial and error is the best way to find what works best.
- Rubbing their gums. Using a clean finger or moist gauze, putting light pressure and rubbing their sore gums can be really helpful
- Hard foods. Harder foods (that are age-appropriate) can be really soothing for them to chomp on. We love using apples or Graham Crackers! They make teething crackers specifically for this, which work wonders. Also, Cheerios, Puffs, etc. are all equally satisfying.
- Cool it down. For painful, inflamed, and irritated gums something COLD can ease pain and discomfort. Try using a cold spoon or washcloth for them to chew on. I love using a baby washcloth and spreading applesauce down the middle, rolling it up like a burrito and lightly freezing it. Babies love to chomp on this, and get especially excited when they get a sweet treat in the middle!
- MILK! Another cool-it-down method is making breastmilk popsicles! Freeze some breastmilk in a popsicle mold, or even using an ice cube tray! Having a nutritious, soothing, and familiar taste can work wonders!
- Teething toys. There is a wide range of teething toys that are made especially for teething. These toys have different textures that are designed to ease teething pain.
- Medication. When all else fails and your baby is in a lot of pain, try Infants Tylenol or Ibuprofen (if approved by your doctor.) This will help with the pain, fever, and overall discomfort. I always try to avoid medication when at all possible, unless it is necessary. We never want to see our babies in excruciating pain, so if all else fails, I try Tylenol. In these cases, I see almost an instant improvement in their symptoms.
Be sure to avoid these common mistakes and misunderstandings that can cause harm to your child. If you’re ever in doubt that something might be harmful to your baby, please consult with your pediatrician first!!!
- Be sure to avoid anything that contains BENZOCAINE or LIDOCAINE (they can be very harmful to your baby)
- If your baby has a fever over 100F and/or diarrhea, it is most likely not from teething. Contact your doctor for advice.
- Avoid using frozen items that may stick to their tongue or gums.
- Use caution with hard food items that may break off and become a choking hazard.
Caring for new teeth
Once those teeth finally breakthrough, you need to take good care of them!
Some people think “they’re just baby teeth, they will fall out. Who cares?!” This is a dangerous way of thinking because not caring for their baby teeth can cause a ton of problems for their incoming permanent teeth!
- Use fluoride toothpaste: the size of a grain of rice until age 2, then the size of a pea
- They may not be able to spit until around the age of 3. Be cautious with the amount of fluoride they consume.
- See a pediatric dentist ideally after their first tooth comes in, but at least by their first birthday.
- Avoid putting them to sleep with milk. This will harm their teeth. Be sure to brush their teeth AFTER they have milk.
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