For some babies, teething is a simple affair, with few noticeable side effects. For others, it takes months of pain and anguish to get those first teeth to pop in. Here is some information to help you get through the teething stage, without spending too much time biting your nails.
When will it happen?
Well, that largely depends on when it happened for you and your husband. The timing of the appearance of that first tooth is largely hereditary. The average age is about seven months, though the first tooth can appear as early as three months, or as late as after the first birthday. However, teething symptoms can begin two or three months before the appearance of the tooth, so your child can seem to be teething for months on end. For many children, the painful symptoms are much more pronounced in the first two or three teeth, but then subside somewhat on subsequent teeth.
How do I alleviate the pain?
There are many remedies to help with teething, without resulting to over the counter pain medicines. Homeopathic teething tablets, which dissolve on the child’s tongue, were a godsend when my children were teething. I also took those little baby washcloths, wet them down, twisted them into a sort of stick shape and froze them. They are easy to chew on this way, and are colder than a traditional teething ring put in the refrigerator, though these work great for some babies. When things get extreme, a little acetaminophen or ibuprofen before bedtime can help your child sleep better.
Are there other symptoms?
In some babies, there can be other symptoms that accompany the pain of teething. The most common is a stomach ache and diarrhea. This is thought to be caused by the extra saliva that a baby produces during teething. Many babies also run a low grade fever. Another, less common symptom is what we referred to as “teething poop”. Whenever my daughter was going through a bout of teething, her bowel movements would burn the skin on her bottom, as though it was very acidic. So, in addition to being in pain from the teething, she had a sore bottom, too. We alleviated this pain with oatmeal baths, and with being more diligent about changing her diaper immediately after a bowel movement.
Teething is a normal part of babyhood, and, even if it is painful, it is temporary. Keep on top of the symptoms, and soon you’ll be seeing a big toothy grin on your baby!