As a new mom or even an experienced mom, it can be tough to navigate through all of the different reasons your baby might be crying today. Is he hungry? Tired? Or maybe its the dreaded teething. Understanding the basics of teething can help you decide how to best support your baby with their pain and discomfort.
Babies typically start teething around six months, but some babies start as early as just a few months old or as late as ten months old.
Signs of teething can include:
- Excessive drooling
- Swollen gums
- Rubbing face
- Chapped skin around the mouth
Some babies show many signs of teething while others may show none! However, it's can be a fairly unpleasant experience for both baby and family. Babies typically start showing signs of teething before you are ever able to see the tooth through the gum line because of the pressure that is put on the gums.
Teeth typically erupt (break through the gum line) in this pattern, but some baby's teeth will erupt in a different order. This is typically fine as long as all of the teeth eventually come through. We recommend talking with your doctor if you are concerned.
There are several different ways you can help your baby soothe his achy gums, including:
- Giving baby a gum massage
- Teething necklaces [link to teething necklaces blog post]
- Cold or frozen washcloth
- Teething toys (our DIY teething rattle is a great choice)
Teething toys and necklaces can be a game-changer for teething babies because they come in all different shapes, sizes, materials, and textures to suit each baby's needs and preferences. Check out our tutorials here to learn how to make your own!
Care for baby's teeth should start before then even appear. Care can start as early as birth by practicing to gentle wipe you baby's gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth. This habit should continue once teeth begin to appear. At this time, you can also switch to using a soft toothbrush, twice a day, to thoroughly clean baby's teeth and gums. Talk to your child's doctor to seek a recommendation on when to start using toothpaste and what type of toothpaste to use. As your child grows, they can start learning to brush their own teeth. However, until you are confident your child is brushing their teeth thoroughly, it is recommended that you continue to assist them.