Teething in Babies
Your baby’s first tooth is a big event! That sweet little gummy smile that you’ve come to love is about to change into an adorable toothy grin.
While some babies don’t seem to notice teeth coming in, other babies are bothered quite a bit with each erupting tooth.
As a parent, you may be questioning if various symptoms are related to your baby cutting teeth.
Below read about the various signs and symptoms that your baby may experience while their teeth come in. You’ll also learn about my favorite natural and non-toxic remedies to help ease the signs and symptoms of teething.
What is teething?
Teething is the process in which a baby’s first teeth, known as the deciduous or milk teeth, come up through the infant’s gums.
When do babies start teething?
On average, most infants get their first two teeth around 6 to 8 months of age. However, some babies get their first teeth earlier, while others may get their first teeth later.
My youngest quickly got her first four teeth when she was a mere 4 months old and had another 4 teeth by 6 months. Whereas, my oldest got his first two teeth when he was 8 months old and didn’t get his first top two teeth until just before his first birthday.
What order do babies teeth come in?
The deciduous teeth typically come in pairs in a specific sequence. Though not all infants follow this pattern, the most common order that milk teeth come in is as follows: the bottom two middle teeth known as the bottom central incisors, followed by the top two middle teeth (top central incisors). Next the bottom two lateral incisors (the two teeth on the sides of the middle two teeth), followed by the top two lateral incisors.
How long does teething last?
It takes approximately two years for your little one to get all 20 of their milk teeth. However, the pain and irritation of teething only lasts for a short time when each tooth erupts through the gum line. This short time can last for 1-2 days or as long as a week.
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What are the signs and symptoms of teething in babies?
There are a variety of symptoms that babies can experience when they are teething.
Some of the symptoms are directly related to pain and irritation that they may be experiencing. These symptoms include:
Irritability or fussiness
Babies may be irritable or fussy when teething. This can be due to discomfort from the teething itself or related to some of the symptoms that can be experienced with teething.
Refusing to sleep or frequent night waking
Due to discomfort, your baby may have trouble falling asleep for naps or wake frequently at night.
Food aversions or refusing to eat
Your baby may refuse to eat, this can be related to pain in their gums or discomfort in their belly from swallowing excess saliva.
Due to pain and irritation, your baby may begin biting. When your baby bites down they feel counter pressure on their painful gum. This counter-pressure provides some relief from the pain.
Excess saliva or drool
Excess drool can cause a drool rash on your baby’s face.
You can learn about my top tips for preventing and treating drool rash, here.
When your baby swallows the extra drool they may experience loose stools, which is often confused with diarrhea.
The loose stools can cause irritation to your baby’s bottom. It is important to keep the diaper area clean and dry.
This is my favorite natural diaper balm to help if your little one gets an irritated bottom.
Increased Body Temperature
Your baby can also experience inflammation, which at times may cause a slight elevation in body temperature. This is the body’s normal response to the swelling.
If your baby spikes a true fever, it is likely unrelated to teething. You can read here about the causes and best treatments for fever.
Signs teeth are about to erupt
Aside from the symptoms listed above, there are a few signs that your baby may experience shortly before their teeth erupt.
Some babies will get eruption cysts before a tooth emerges. Eruption cysts can look like purple blisters on the front of the gum. These cysts can also look red or white.
Gums may become swollen in the days or weeks leading up to a new tooth erupting.
The best natural remedies for teething
My favorite natural remedies for teething help to provide comfort to your baby
Natural Rubber Teething toys
Teething toys provide a safe place for your baby to bite. When your baby bites down on a rubber teether they experience counter pressure on their gums. This counter-pressure provides some relief from the swollen gums.
My favorite natural rubber teething toys are Mia the Lamb and Sola the Goat. They are made from all-natural rubber and do not have any holes in which water can enter; which greatly reduces the risk of mold forming inside the teether. Additionally, they are certified to be free from BPA, PVC, phthalates, and nitrosamines. They also use food-grade based paints.
My littlest one loves these teethers.
A clean dry baby washcloth can be soaked in water and frozen for 20 to 30 minutes. Once frozen, you can rub the washcloth along the baby’s gum, or allow the baby to hold the washcloth and chew on it themself.
The cold helps to provide comfort from the pain and inflammation caused by teething.
These are my favorite washcloths. They are made from soft organic cotton.
Frozen breastmilk or frozen fruit
Frozen breastmilk or frozen fruit can be placed in mesh or silicone feeder for your baby to gnaw on.
The frozen liquid provides comfort from pain for your baby.
Camilia by Boiron
Camilia is a homeopathic that provides relief from the most common teething symptoms. It contains the homeopathic ingredients of Chamomilia (to relieve teething pain and irritability), Phytolacca decandra (to relieve painful gums), and Rheum (to relieve minor digestive disorders related to teething). It does not contain benzocaine, alcohol, flavors, dyes, lactose, sugar, or artificial sweeteners.
Camilia comes in pre-packaged sterile individual single-use packages, to provide for easy dosing.
Camilia can be purchased here.
Baltic Amber necklace
Baltic amber necklaces are not to be chewed, but to be worn directly on the skin. When the beads are warmed up by the skin they produce succinic acid, which is then absorbed by the skin. Succinic acid helps to decrease inflammation and pain.
You can learn more about Baltic amber and safe jewelry wear here.
It is very important to purchase only genuine Baltic amber. Since you will be using the jewelry on a child it is equally important to purchase from a brand that uses both double knotting between each bead and quick-release clasps. Double knotting will prevent beads from becoming loose should the necklace break; whereas quick-release clasps are made to break apart when tension is applied. Both of these safety measures can help to prevent choking, related to the necklace.
Teething in Babies
Teething can be an exciting time as a parent. However, it can also feel tiring and frustrating if your little one is in pain and unhappy.
By understanding the signs and symptoms of teething you can use the above natural remedies to help to keep your baby more comfortable.
Did I miss your favorite natural teething remedy?
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