Babies will usually start teething around six months. Teething can occur early, starting around three months, and it can start as late as ten months. Around six months, parents will be able to see little bumps in the front of the gums; this is the most prominent sign of teething. Other signs of teething include runny noses, fussiness, and trouble sleeping. While parents often do see early signs of teething around this time, it might be many months before the teeth even push through the gums.
When Do Babies Start Teething, and How Do You Know?
Teething: An Introductory Overview
Parents love to watch for signs that their children is growing up. Starting from the beginning, they mark off baby milestones with pride, sweat, and tears. When it comes to teething, parents are especially observant for a number of reasons. Teething, even in its preliminary stages, can affect a child in terms of diet, temperament, attitude, and health.
With teeth, children are able to chew more foods, affecting a baby’s diet and feeding routines. A breast-feeding mother might face more challenges when it comes to feeding her baby due to the oncoming arrival of teeth. The pain of teething can also lead to a desire to gum and chew onto different objects in addition to new foods.
Teething pains will also affect the child’s temperament. The dulling ache of teething, constant during the day and possibly giving the baby trouble while he or she eats, can cause the child to avoid eating or sleeping. As any parent will be able to tell you, this can lead to other problems. More fussiness, discomfort, and crying can result from this pain. If a baby has siblings, it can also lead to tension between the parties.
Finally, teething can also have an impact on a baby’s health. While colds are standard in the growing up experience, teething can lead to more runny noses because of the movement of the teeth. It is important to make sure to practice good teeth hygiene while babies are teething; the good news with this is that practicing healthy teeth habits now will get the baby used to them. In the future, it will encourage the child to undertake his or her own teeth care.
When Do Babies Start Teething, and How Do You Know?
Signs of Teething
When do baby get teeth? When do babies start teething, and how do you know? The results can vary according to the child, but it all starts with the signs.
Teething is a process, one that happens over the course of several months. The first signs of teething are the most prominent; there are hardened edges in the baby’s gums, right at the front, usually on the bottom gums, although the top front incisors can also be among the first to show. While teeth usually start to show around the six month mark, teeth can appear earlier—to the point where some babies are born with teeth—as well as later. Some children do not have teeth until closer to their first birthdays.
It is important to keep in mind that every child, even if this is your second or third or sixth, is different, and they will experience teething differently. But standards and milestones are still helpful, as is knowing your own family characteristics. In having my own kids, I have noticed that some of our families’ heritages seemed to have influenced this: I did not get teeth until closer to my first birthday, and my husband did not get his until around nine months. If you are concerned about your child’s teething progress, or lack thereof, check with your own family history. Knowing how your families have experienced progress with baby milestones can give you an idea of what to expect—as well as a standard for what is unexpected or troubling—for your baby.
While little bumps under the gums are among the first signs of teething, the teeth themselves will not come above the gums for some time. The gums can look swollen as the teeth come in. That’s why some of the other first signs of teething include drooling, irritability, runny noses, and sometimes light fevers and diarrhea. It can seem like the child gets sick more often, but this is largely due to the likeliness of getting more germs in the nasal cavity. In cases like this, it is best to wait for a day or two to see if the symptoms subside on their own.
Other signs include feeding disruptions. I know a lot of my mommy friends have had issues with breastfeeding while the child is teething. Some children will not experience any difference in their feeding habits one their teeth begin to come in, but others will. Moms who struggle with breastfeeding during this time might want to try a nipple shield and invest in some quality nipple cream. Having a child bite you while you are feeding can disrupt a mother’s concentration and make it hard for her to continue.
After my son was born, and I was a new mother, I struggled with breastfeeding. When his teeth started to come in, I began to switch to formula more because it was uncomfortable. I had better luck with my daughter, and I made the choice to use the nipple shield when she began to teeth. It made it much better and I was able to breastfeed longer.
It is possible that a baby will not want to feed as much because of the pain in her mouth. She might rub her face or her chin because of teething pain while she does eat, to help combat the pain. This is where it might be best to try a little medicine, about an hour before feedings. That way, the medicine will kick in before she eats, and the pain will lessen enough where she can get a good amount of milk.
When teeth do begin to pop up from below the surface of your baby’s gums, it is a good idea to start brushing teeth. For infants, babies under a year old, there are small, finger-sized toothbrushes a parent can wear over his or her finger. Massaging the gums back and forth, these finger brushes can help clean the gums while helping some of the pain of teething to go away. In addition to this, it helps you set a time where your child can get used to brushing his teeth. This is a habit that science has shown has many benefits, and it will affect the health of your child later on as he grows up, too. This prepares a good habit for him to grow into.
Resources to Help Teething Babies
When your baby exhibits the telltale signs of teething, there are several resources that can help you as a parent, both in understanding teething and handling with the results of teething. Many resources are available through a doctor or medical establishment, while others are available at the store or online.
Often, a pediatrician will be able to provide you with a teething chart, one that will give insight on the process of teething. A doctor can also make recommendations for medications or offer information on how to comfort your child. I had to use some medication when it was especially bad at night, in order to help my son get to sleep.
Other moms will swear by the homeopathic route. When my kids were teething, one of the best things I bought was at the store on my own—the homeopathic teething tablets. I have had friends suggest essential oils and others recommend different types of chewing sticks. One family member suggested that I buy amber necklaces for kids. The amber releases a radiation into the child’s skin and allows the teething pain to dull as a result.
Medicinal and homeopathic traditions do offer a wide range of options in caring for your child when he or she is teething. In addition to this, there are plenty of options when it comes to practical approaches. Several parents will get teething rings, both of a rubbery material and the kind that you can put in the freezer, so when it is cool enough you can give it to your baby to chew on. There are even mommy necklaces now that you can wear while holding or feeding your child that will give them something to chew and hold.
When it comes to cleaning the baby’s teeth, finger brushes are great. You might have an instance where the baby can bit your finger, but getting the safe baby toothpaste and the baby toothbrush will prepare your baby for taking care of himself or herself later on. I know as my son grew older, we were able to get kid toothbrushes. We are still using the training toothpaste, as my daughter is starting to brush her teeth regularly as well. For this one, I have often thought of the old adage: “Begin as you mean to go on.” It helps center me and direct my focus when I am training my kids on how to be responsible for themselves.
Ultimately, the best things you can do as a parent is to try to come at it with a positive attitude. Teething can be rough, but it will not last forever. Babies are very sensitive to their surroundings, and that includes when someone is feeling stressed. Mothers, especially those who struggle with post-partum or breastfeeding, can experience a lot of stress. The best thing to do is relax as much as you can, and acknowledge the loving sacrifices you have made as a parent so far. I know of several parents who have had major life adjustments when their babies came along. It is not as easy a change as it seems in books or films.
When Do Babies Start Teething, and How Do You Know?
Exceptions to Standard Teething Expectations
There are a couple of expectations which do occur with babies and teething from time to time. There is the occasion where babies are born with teeth, and there are some babies who do not teeth until they are over one year of age. In both these cases, asking your doctor or pediatrician will aid you in handling the situation when it does come.
When babies have teeth early, it will more likely upset the feeding process. Moms with tender nipples may experience more discomfort and struggle to be able to work with a child who is prone to biting. For this, it is often recommended that the mother use a pump in order to help build up her own milk reserves and have a supple on hand if she needs to use a bottle rather than breastfeed. In the event that the mother’s nipples become too sore or cracked, formula is also able to be implemented here.
Babies who teeth late, while it is not considered ideal, do have a distinct advantage over those who experience early teething. It has been seen that the longer it takes for the teeth to come in, the higher the chance that the child will have healthy teeth. In an age where sugar is often in a large variety of foods, even baby foods, babies with early teething need to make sure they are getting their teeth brushed and cleaned with safe toothbrushes and toothpaste.
All babies will get their teeth to come in. It is coming, so the best parents know that being prepared and reacting appropriately is key. If your baby does not have all his teeth by the time he is six months old, it is okay to check in with your doctor. If your baby’s teeth come earlier, maybe around three months instead of six, be on the lookout for the signs and side effects that it can have, and adjust as needed. Being a parent means being prepared, so it is not just a matter of principle, it is a matter of love.
When Did your baby started teething? and how did you deal and helped your baby? We will love to know! Share your thoughts with moms just like you in the comments below.