Teething affects babies and toddlers in many different ways. When my children were teething they dribbled constantly, soaking through clothes and bibs, my son always had bright red cheeks and my daughter had a runny nose.
So how do you know if your baby is teething, and how do you comfort your child when they are teething? These are two very common questions, especially if teething is the cause of fussy feeding or loss of sleep.
Child and Youth Health South Australia explains that teething is natural, and that research has shown that babies are not more irritable or unwell when teeth come through. Saying this, many doctors and parents believe teething can cause pain and the snuffles making them irritable and causing sleep problems. So how do we know if teething is actually causing these problems?
Child and Youth Health advises that when a new tooth is moving up through the jaw into the mouth, the gums might look red and swollen, but it may not necessarily be causing your baby pain. Because your baby can’t communicate, and your child is distressed with any of the teething symptoms CYC recommends trying the following:
- Give your baby something firm to bite on, such as a teething ring or a dummy.
- Depending on the age of your baby, soft mushy food can be better because it needs less chewing. Some babies like something hard to knaw on when they get new teeth, rusks can be good for this.
- If your baby is experiencing a lot of pain, some doctors or dentists may suggest using paracetamol or teething gels. NB Only use as per guidelines for your baby’s age and weight.
If your baby is in discomfort and unwell you should always see a doctor.