The answer to this question is different for each child. But one thing’s certain – parents and babies alike wish they never had to go through this phase.
Teething isn’t really fun for babies and it’s not a picnic for parents either!
Common Teething Age
Most babies are born with their primary teeth already under the gums just waiting to come out. This emergence occurs when babies are about 4 – 6 months old. But some babies can start as early as 3 months, while others begin teething when they’re already a year old.
These are all still within the normal range so don’t panic. Besides, by the time they’re 3 years old, all their primary teeth should already be out.
Teething is Actually A Good Thing
All the trouble you and your baby will endure is worth it really. With the teeth in place, your baby can now eat a more varied diet.
It’s not really a good idea to keep feeding them baby food forever. When they have teeth to bite into food, tear into meat, and chew veggies, they can gain healthy weight, boost their immunity, and ensure proper brain and bone development.
Your baby’s language skills will also improve with teething. By chewing, they’re exercising all the body parts needed for speech development. Also, the teeth are used to make certain sounds so babies can pronounce words properly.
Signs of Teething: What are the Symptoms?
Some babies (and parents) are lucky enough that they’re not at all affected by teething. But most do experience some symptoms. Usually they become fussier than normal because the gums may swell or become sore about 3 to 5 days before the tooth emerges.
The discomfort may be enough that they may even refuse to drink or eat anything. Your baby may drool, which can cause a rash on the face or chin. The gum may become more sensitive as well.
As a result, your little one may become irritable.
They’ll bite at anything they can grab on and sleep problems are also possible.
Teething Pain in Infants: What Should Parents Do?
You can help your baby by providing a toy or wet and cold washcloth to chew on. If you’re using a washcloth, it should be chilled but not frozen. Just keep a few of these washcloths in a plastic food-storage bag so they’ll be nearby when the baby needs it.
If you’re using a toy, it should be non-toxic, BPA-free, and age-appropriate. Cold food or rubbing the gums with a clean finger can also help relieve their pain and discomfort.
You may also want to see your child’s pediatrician, especially if the gums are blue, very inflamed, or have bumps and lesions. Babies can also get sick and feverish when they’re teething.
Don’t give them aspirin, as that’s associated with a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome. Don’t use topical teething gels, either, as the FDA has issued a warning that these substances can be dangerous for the baby.
Even teething rings carry risks, as the baby can puncture the teething ring and swallow the substance inside.
Thankfully, all 20 primary teeth should emerge by the time your baby turns 3 and by then you’ll have new problems to worry about!