During the first few months of your baby’s life, they are going to go through a lot of changes. Both mentally and physically. Teething is one of them. This can be a tough stage for both baby and parents. As your baby becomes more restless there are likely going to be a lot more meltdowns and sleepless nights. In order to try and help relieve some pain and discomfort here are some facts and helpful tips.
What is Teething?
Teething happens when your baby’s teeth start to move under the gums and push their way through to the surface. Some babies are born with some of their teeth so teething might not bother them as much.
When does teething happen?
Your baby will usually start their teething process at around the six-month stage and can last until they are around three years old. Some babies can, however, start as early as three months and others can start as late as one year old. Girls usually start to get their teeth earlier than boys but if your baby has not started to go through the teething process by their first birthday, it is advised to speak to a health advisor. It’s likely your baby just has late growing teeth but it’s always best to make sure.
Signs your baby is teething
While your baby is teething, they will start to experience gum and jaw discomfort. This is caused by your baby’s tooth pushing its way up through the gum tissue, ready to erupt to the surface. As the tooth is making its way to the surface, you may notice that the gum becomes red and swollen. There can be a slight collection of fluid below the surface of the gums, similar to a blister.
Some teeth can cause more discomfort than others, this is due to their size and shape. The larger teeth, such as molars, which have more surface area can’t cut through the gum tissue as easily as other smaller teeth. This causes the process to be more painful.
During the teething stages, you will notice some behavioral changes. Your baby is going to struggle to sleep due to the pain caused by the teeth coming through. You will also notice an increase in your baby’s drooling, this can lead to a rash around their mouth as the drool may irritate their skin.
What order do baby teeth appear in?
Having knowledge of when certain teeth may come in can help you know when to expect periods where your baby will be more sensitive and restless.
The first wave of teeth to come through are at the front, as these teeth are the smallest to come, they usually cause the least pain. The first teeth you will notice appearing are usually the bottom incisors (bottom front teeth), they usually start to appear at five months. These are usually followed by the top incisors (top front teeth) which usually come around one month later. After these have come through, you may be lucky and catch a few months break until the next set starts to make an appearance. At around ten months, you’re going to get the top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth) and the bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth).
Once the front teeth are through, things can get a little more painful with the next set of teeth. Around their first birthday, the first set of molars (back teeth) should be coming through. Due to their shape and size, they don’t cut through the gum tissue as easily as the front teeth. At around the eighteen-month mark, you’re going to notice the canines (towards the back of the mouth) pushing their way through as well. Just after these at around twenty months, you hit the last set of teeth to come through. These are the second set of molars. This might cause some discomfort, but you can rejoice as this is the end of the “suffering”.
How to relieve teething pain
Luckily, you can ease your baby’s pain during the teething stage. Which should help with the increased amount of tears and lack of sleep. There are a lot of solutions out there to reduce the pain caused by teething. Here are a few of our favorite DIY remedies.
Freezing a damp washcloth provides something cool and soft for your baby to chew on. The coldness of the cloth can give a slight numbing sensation. To give some variety, why not tie one end into a knot before you freeze it, or try soaking the cloth in chamomile tea to give a more soothing taste.
Chewing on a Toothbrush
This can have two benefits, not only does it promote good dental hygiene, as your baby gets used to having a toothbrush in their mouth. The bristles also provide a massaging sensation for the gums helping to reduce the pain.
DIY frozen popsicles
If you want to keep things natural or have older children, this can be a fun task to get them involved with. Using organic fruit juices, freeze them into popsicle molds. Chewing on the cold popsicle can temporarily numb the gum, relieving the pain.
A very popular and easy remedy is to chill a metal spoon in the fridge for a few hours (don’t freeze it, as it can get too cold and cause more pain). Once the spoon feels chilled, you can allow your baby to chew on it.
DIY Rice Pouches
Using a washcloth, place a tablespoon of rice into the middle, wrap it up and seal it off with a rubber band. Once done, place into the freezer until the rice feels cold. Then wet the pouch a little before giving it to your baby, the coldness will ease the pain and the texture of the rice in the washcloth when chewed on massages the gums.
Make your own teething cream
For this, you’re going to need coconut oil, cocoa butter, and clove oil. Simply melt together all three ingredients and let it cool in the fridge. Once it’s a nice creamy texture, you can rub this onto your baby’s gums.
A few times a day, take some time to lightly massage your baby’s cheek and jaw area. Not only can this provide relief from the pain, but it also gives you some essential bonding time. The teething stage can be a tiring time for both you and your baby but remember, it’s only temporary.
We hope this article gave you some much-needed insight into your baby’s teething process. If you have any other helpful teething pain remedies, feel free to drop us a comment!