How Teething Affects Babies: Know the Signs, Symptoms and Remedies

How Teething Affects Babies: Know the Signs, Symptoms and Remedies
May 18, 2017 Jeremie

Although it is a well-renowned fact that a child’s teething process can be quite difficult for most parents, getting informed on the signs, symptoms, and remedies for teething is bound to make the process easier on both baby and you.

Typically, babies start to show teething symptoms when they are about 6 months of age. However, there are some early developers who actually show teething symptoms at 3 months whereas, in some late developers, their first cute pearly white may begin to appear after they have celebrated their first birthday. For this reason, it is important that all parents remember that each baby is unique and develops at his/her own pace. Whatever your case may be, by the time your baby turns into a three-year-old toddler, he/she will have developed their whole set of 20 primary (milk) teeth.

Your Baby’s Teething Timeline

  • Lower central incisors/ bottom front teeth (4 to 6 months)
  • Upper central incisors/ upper front teeth (approx. 8 months)
  • Upper and lower lateral incisors/ teeth located on either side of your baby’s top front teeth (approx. 9-12 months)
  • Baby’s first molars (14 months)
  • Canines (18 months)
  • Baby’s second molars (24 months)

What to Expect: Signs Your Baby is Teething

The teething process tends to be accompanied by various degrees of discomfort for your baby. As a direct result, your baby will show the following symptoms:

  • Fussiness or being overly irritable
  • Drooling (which can sometimes cause your baby to have a facial rash)
  • Gums that look bulging and swollen (are normally sensitive to touch)
  • Your baby may begin to suck, chew or gnaw on almost everything he/she can hold to ease the discomfort in their gums
  • Face and chin rubbing accompanied by ear tugging (Cheeks, gums, and ears share nerve pathways. This means that a “gum-ache” can present itself as an ear, cheek or chin ache)
  • Lack of appetite/ Refusing to eat
  • Inability to fall, and stay, asleep
  • Tooth visible below your baby’s gum

NB: In some cases, a teething baby may have a slight fever and experience diarrhea. Although there is no scientific evidence that links these two symptoms to teething, the pediatric community agrees that most times, the diarrhea is caused by the fact that a teething baby tends to pick up objects that may not be sanitized and gnaw on them in order to ease the discomfort they are feeling in their gums. In effect, they ingest bacteria that may cause irritation in their gastrointestinal system and result in diarrhea.

How to Make the Process Easier on Baby and You: What to Avoid and When to Call Your Doctor

If your child is waking up in the middle of the night due to teething discomforts, avoid returning to night-time feeding. Soothe your baby by singing a lullaby or by rocking him/her. The reason behind this advice is that once you return to night-time feeds and the teething discomfort stops, your baby will continue to wake you up expecting a feeding session.

If your child actually yanks vigorously at their ears, you should probably consult your family doctor to ascertain that your child is not suffering from a painful ear infection.

If you notice that your baby’s teething/drooling rash is persistent, you should consult your family pediatrician to establish that it is not a sign of an unrelated illness

Regardless of whether or not your child is teething, it is vital that you consult your pediatrician if your child is lethargic (tired all the time), has a fever, is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, and has lost his/her appetite. There have been cases where a parent has attributed these symptoms to teething and unwittingly caused their babies to suffer from the symptoms of an unrelated and easily treated illness or infection. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Keep all easy-to-reach objects such as baby toys sanitized in order to avoid “teething diarrhea”

Never use numbing agents such as rubbing alcohol to relieve your baby’s discomfort. Also, avoid homeopathic and herbal teething gels as they have been discovered to cause unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, seizures, and heart and breathing problems in the worst-case scenarios.

Avoid the over-the-counter anesthetic known as Benzocaine (typically sold under the product names Hurricane, Anbesol, Orajel, Orabase, and Baby Orajel) as it has been linked to the development of the sometimes fatal condition known as methemoglobinemia. This is a life-threatening disorder that limits the amount of oxygen carried by the blood.

Top 3 Easy Teething Remedies that will Lessen Your Baby’s Discomfort

Hazelwood and Baltic Amber

Natural, Drug-Free Pain Relief Baltic amber is a tree resin that is fossilized and comes in a wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes. Although it is not made for eating, Baltic amber warms against a baby’s warm skin and the succinic acid in the tree resin is absorbed to provide pain relief. On the other hand, Hazelwood contains compounds which contain both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Both these properties are great pain relievers. Considering this information, it may be a good idea to invest in a Baltic Amber and Hazelwood (HazelAmber) baby necklace in order to obtain the entirety of the benefits that both drug-free, natural remedies offer. At Healing Hazel, we offer an ample selection of certified Balticamber, Hazelwood, Hazelamber, Gemstones and Aromatherapy Amber jewelry.

Teething Toys

The main reason why teething toys such as rubber teething rings and rattles are useful during the process is because when your baby gnaws and chews on these objects, the ache below the gum caused by the sprouting teeth is relieved. To make the toys more effective, it is best to cool (not freeze) them in the fridge. Cold objects numb the gum and ease the pain/discomfort faster whilst frozen objects hurt sensitive gums.

Cold foods, drinks, and a chilled wet cloth

If your baby is old enough or has been weaned, giving him/her chilled foods such as refrigerated yogurt, applesauce, and blended peaches. These foods are noted to be more appetizing than room temperature or warm foods. A sip or two of chilly water can also provide your baby with loads of relief for their achy gums. Providing your baby with a chilled washcloth to chew on also does a great job at lessening your baby’s discomfort.