Little babies with rice grain teeth look adorable, don’t they? But what looks cute to us might be painful for them.
Teething refers to the process by which babies acquire their milk teeth. The development of their teeth starts in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy- they develop teeth roots in the womb. Generally speaking, a baby’s first tooth appears at 4 to 6 months of age. And by the time they’re 3 years old, they have approximately 20 teeth. The first pair of teeth to show up is the central incisors in the bottom followed by the upper lateral and central incisors. The molars are the last and they make an entrance by and around the baby’s first birthday.
This period is a tough time for the baby- the process of the tooth growing from within and then breaking out of the gum can cause your baby to react and behave a certain way. If you have a teething baby, or know one who’s going through this, these are a few symptoms one should expect-
1. Swollen Gums
Tooth sized lumps and swollen gums are natural, and nothing to worry about.
2. Urges to Chew, Bite and Suck
Since the gums are swollen and irritated, your baby might want to put everything within their reach in their mouth. Other than the obvious hygiene issue, this is quite normal.
There is not much scientific evidence as to why babies drool so much during teething but so far, it is fairly normal and every other baby experiences this. However, gagging and choking on this excessive spit is a possibility and caution is advised.
4. Mouth Rash
Rashes around their mouths, cheeks, chin and neck due to the drooling is a possibility and it is harmless for the most part.
5. Rubbing their Gums, Ears and Cheeks
Babies tend to fidget and rub their cheeks and ears to relieve the pressure and ease the throbbing, dull pain in their gums- especially when the molars are about to come up. However, prolonged yanking of the ears could be a sign of an ear infection too.
6. Irritable Behavior
Maybe it’s due to the pain and the discomfort of teething, babies tend to get more irritable and fussier in such times. Crankiness is also expected. Nap times might prove to be difficult. But have heart- it will get easier and your baby will be at peace again.
7. Slight Fevers
Since their gums are in a very sensitive state, catching a wrong bug is possible and may cause the little one to run a slight temperature. This is normal, and taking care of them along with the correct medication should be it.
For new parents, teething is a foreign territory. All babies have different personalities and behaviors which means their responses to this can be varied. This is a tough spot to be in, no doubt- the little one is in pain and you can’t do much to help them. But it’s just a phase, and eventually your baby will have a sparkling set of adorable teeth which will chomp down on solid foods and unsuspecting people soon enough!