How to Recognise Baby Teething & How to Help

Your little superhero pootles along quite happily for months.  Newborn sleeping and feeding patterns become a bit more predictable and you get into a rhythm, then suddenly a new drooling, crying stage arrives.  It's teething time!  And even superheroes need help sometimes.

The symptoms of teething vary from child to child, and will also depend on when your child is cutting their first tooth. Most babies will cut their first tooth at around 6 months, although some may be much earlier than this at around 3 months, and some much later.  Even as late as one year of age is not uncommon.  All babies are different and they all develop at their own pace, it's all perfectly normal.

How to Recognise Teething

Just like the age at which teething begins, the symptoms of teething vary greatly from child to child.  Some may get very fractious, others may show little visible sign at all and just present you with a glimpse of that first pearly white.  But as a guide symptoms of teething may include:

  • dribbling and drooling
  • bright red, flushed cheeks
  • gnawing on any hard toy
  • chewing your fingers more
  • sore, red and even swollen gums
  • biting more when breastfeeding
  • discomfort when feeding
  • restless sleep
  • general grumpiness
  • pulling their ears
  • runny poo
  • nappy rash

Quite a list!  When you spot one or more of these symptoms, gently run your finger over baby's gums and you may feel the first telltale ridge of a tiny tooth under the skin.

How You Can Help

There are lots of ways you can help baby, not least by being as patient as possible, even when you get nipped during feeding!  Offer lots of comfort, with plenty of cuddles, playtime to distract and lots of rocking.

We swore by the brilliant Nelsons® Teetha® granules.  Suitable from 3 months on, this homeopathic product offers symptomatic relief for teething pain and all the symptoms associated with it.  They contain a 6c homeopathic potency of natural Chamomilla and are the UK’s #1 homeopathic teething relief brand.

You can also offer cooled gel teething toys, cold foods* such as sticks of cucumber and watermelon straight from the fridge, and breast-milk lollies which can help soothe and numb sore gums.  Even offering your finger to chomp on will help, although commercial products such as mama teething jewellery and the famous Sophie le Girafe will all help.  Dribble bibs (either bought or home-made) and lots of muslins will be essential too.

* Babies should only try food from 6 months on.

Related post: The Trials of Teething and Natural Ways You Can Help Baby

How Long Does it Last

The first teeth are usually at the bottom in the centre, and often the lower central incisors.  These are usually followed by the upper middle teeth at around 6-8 months.

Just before their first birthday your baby is likely to cut their next bottom teeth, either side of the front pair.  Although these lower lateral incisors may not arrive until around 16 months.

These are followed by the upper teeth right next to the middle teeth, the upper lateral incisors.  Between 12 and 16 months the molars will begin to appear, often in pairs.  We found these were the most painful for our girls.

By the time your little one is 30 months they are likely to have their full set of 20 pearly whites.  The teeth at the very back, the second molars, are usually the last to appear, emerging from the bottom gum around 26 months, followed by the top ones.

These milk teeth will need to be looked after well until the adult teeth begin to replace them at around 6-7 years of age.

Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules are available from Boots, Holland and Barrett, selected grocers, Lloyd’s pharmacies and all good independent health food and pharmacy stores, priced £5.85. Always read the label.

For more advice and support, join the Teetha community on Facebook

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