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When Will Baby Start Teething?
When a baby feeds well, sleeps well, and plays happily without any problems during the day, teething is unlikely to be the cause of disturbed nighttime sleep. If babies are used to waking up at night, teething discomfort can keep them from falling back to sleep, but it’s usually not the cause of nighttime waking.
Your baby undergoes a developmental change around three to four months of age. He starts drooling, puts his fingers in his mouth or even tries to stick his whole fist in there. While drooling moistens the mouth ready for teething, it is not necessarily a sign that teething is imminent. Babies who dribble large amounts of saliva often cut their teeth easily and with less associated pain.
It’s not uncommon for baby teeth to start appearing at four months of age, but most often they appear between seven and nine months. Sometimes teeth do not appear until after twelve months and, although rare, some babies are born with a tooth. In some babies, the first sign of a tooth is when they bite a finger while playing or a nipple while nursing. Others suffer from ear infections and are usually miserable for a few days before a tooth erupts.
Baby teeth usually grow in pairs, one appearing a few days after the other. There is a sequence in which baby teeth should appear, but it is not uncommon for teeth to appear in a different order. The first teeth that should appear are the two lower central incisors (cutting teeth) followed by the two upper central incisors. Then come the four incisors on each side. If babies have followed this sequence, they will proudly display eight pearly white pegs by the age of twelve months. The back four molars (chewing teeth) are the next to appear and can cause a little more pain and discomfort than the front teeth. The four canines (pointed teeth) are then followed by the other four posterior molars, often referred to as two-year-old molars. That’s a mouthful of twenty teeth at the age of two.
Baby teeth eventually get pushed back by adult teeth growing behind them, so don’t worry if your baby’s baby teeth look a little messy and misaligned. It is possible that the second teeth are decayed if the baby teeth are not cared for. Start cleaning their teeth at night before bed to prevent sugars (found in milk and juice) from building up around their teeth.
The following signs and symptoms suggest teeth are on the way. The baby is a bit more grizzly and clingy with a clear runny nose and darker pink puffy gums. Some babies suffer from ear infections while others have a mild fever when teeth come out. Drooling, as mentioned earlier, is associated with a developmental phase that occurs while baby is teething. Red, dry cheeks may be present but not necessarily a symptom of teething. Smelly poop-filled diapers are more common when teething, as is an angry red rash. Babies often do not have solid food, but there is no need to worry because the pleasure of eating will return. Many parents are stressed by this lack of food, but relax – the worst thing you can do is force baby to eat. Babies may experience all, some, or none of these teething signs and symptoms.
When babies are teething, you can help them feel more comfortable by giving them cold foods and drinks – use a feeding net if they are too young to handle solid foods. Reduce the risk of biting you and their playmates by giving them something to nibble on such as a cold large chicken bone, lamb bone, cold sturdy teether, wooden toy, or puck slightly moistened that has been chilled in the freezer. There are natural remedies such as amber necklaces, topical gels, oils, powders, and blends that work systemically to reduce fever, pain, and induce calm. Be sure to get professional instructions on how and where to use these products. If your baby is having a particularly bad day and won’t be comforted by these suggested measures, try giving her an anti-inflammatory or painkiller recommended by your local pharmacist.
Give your baby a healthy diet and a balanced and calm day. This will help reduce the bad behavior that teething is often responsible for.
All babies have different needs, so stay positive as you try to find a remedy that works best.
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