Like grown-ups, all babies deal with pain differently, and of course some will have an easier time of it than others. However, most babies with get a little grouchy and irritable!
The first signs of teething usually begin a few months before the first tooth appears so you will need to look for particular symptoms to ensure that this is actually the cause. This is important because all too often, teething gets blamed for a variety of complaints, such as fever, vomiting, runny noses, diarrhoea and rashes all of which could be signs of a different problem. In fact, most healthcare professionals agree that teething should not make your baby ill, so if you’re unsure of the cause of your baby’s discomfort or they are suffering from any of these conditions, you should always consult your doctor.
- restlessness, irritability and disturbed sleep patterns
- sore, red gums
- flushed cheeks
- loss of appetite
- a slight rise in temperature (but not above 39oC, which indicates a fever)
- dribbling (which may cause a rash or sore, chapped skin on the chin)
- a sudden desire to chew anything they can lay their hands on!
- an urge to bite. This should not be perceived as a sign of aggression or anger, more of a means to ease the pain.
- Sometimes you can actually see the tooth cutting through the gum, or you may be able to feel it emerging if you run a clean finger along your baby’s gum line. Another good indicator that your baby is teething is that they will want to chew… on anything. It could be toys, fingers or food! This is a completely natural reaction to the changes that are going on within the gum and it is thought that chewing on something hard feels quite soothing.
If your baby is in distress while teething there are lots of easy ways to ease the pain for both of you.