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Easing the Teething Process

 


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Some babies go through the teething process with no problem at all while for others it can be a painful process. Doctors disagree somewhat on the symptoms of teething. However, many parents report that their baby experiences fussiness, diarrhea, runny nose and fever when teething. Regardless, most parents and doctors can agree that babies do experience discomfort when teething.

Signs That Your Baby is Teething

  • While all babies drool you may see an increase from three to four months of age. Teething stimulates drooling, which is often worse with some babies than others.

  • Baby's gums may become more swollen and sensitive during the teething process. You may also see small bumps on the gums where the teeth will soon emerge.

  • As the teeth rise closer to the surface, your baby's gums may become increasingly more sore and painful, leading to your baby being very fussy. The pain and discomfort is most often worse during the first teeth coming in and later when the molars come in because of their bigger size.

  • To relieve the discomfort of teething, you baby may gnaw and gum down on anything she or he can get their mouth around. The counter pressure from biting on something helps relieve the pressure from under the gums.

  • Many babies have a decrease in appetite when teething. When their gums hurt they just don't want to put anything in their mouth. Their appetite should return to normal as the teething process subsides.

  • And just when you've gotten them to sleep through the night, your baby may wake up more often at night with the discomfort of teething.

    What Can You Do to Ease the Pain?

    The best way to ease teething pain is to give your child something to chew on. Some safe ideas are a firm rubber teething ring, or a cold washcloth. Never give your baby any item to chew that they can choke on such as a carrot or piece of apple. These might seem like good ideas but a piece can break off and become lodged in their throat. However, if your baby is old enough to eat solids, they may get some relief from cold foods such as applesauce or yogurt. Another idea is to massage their gums by rubbing a clean finger gently but firmly over your baby's sore gums.

    If none of this seems to help consult your baby's pediatrician. Some doctors recommend giving a teething baby a small dose of children's pain reliever such as infants’ acetaminophen or rubbing the gums with topical pain relief gel. But always check with a doctor on proper usage and dosage before giving any medication to your baby.
    Sometimes the increased drooling can cause a rash on your baby's face. If so, gently wipe the drool away with a soft cotton cloth. You can also smooth petroleum jelly on their chin before a nap or bedtime to protect the skin from further irritation.

    The good news is that teething is a temporary process. Most children usually have all of their teeth between the ages of two and three.

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