At around 6 months old your baby’s teeth will start to come through, some teeth won’t cause your baby discomfort but unfortunately others will.
When your little one starts teething you’ll notice that he/she will start chewing anything they can, including your finger. Their gums may be red and swollen and drooling may become more prominent, it could also affect their sleeping patterns so don’t be surprised if you encounter some sleepless/disturbed nights. You may also find they have looser stools and experience some nappy rash, this is due to the increase in your baby’s salvia. Your baby is drooling more and this passes into their nappy causing nappy rash and diarrhoea. There are several ways in which you can help make this whole process easier for your baby.
1) As your baby will be chewing a lot, make sure your give them lots of healthy fruits and vegetables. If they eat food filled with sugar it can encourage tooth decay even if they only have a few teeth. Top Tip! Breastfeeding does lower your child’s risk of developing tooth decay. Cool drinks will also help soothe their gums and may help with the excess dribbling that occurs when your little one starts teething!
2) Teething rings give your babies something to chew on to help relieve the pain and keep them distracted. Some teething rings like the mOmma Gino Teether can be placed in the fridge, which helps further soothe your baby’s gums. Top Tip! Never place them in the freezer as it could do damage to your little one’s gums and make sure you sterlise them before you give them to your baby.
3) Teething gels can be used on children over four months old. They often contain a local anaesthetic which helps numb your baby’s pain, teething gels specifically designed for children teething can be found at your local pharmacy.
4) Child painkillers are an option if your child is in a lot of pain and has a temperature. They are sugar free and only have a small amount of ibuprofen/paracetomol. Once again you can find them at your local pharmacy or speak to your Health Visitor.
Teething can carry on for a year or more but your baby should have all their teeth by the time they are two and a half. The first few teeth will probably be the worst for your baby and the ones after that should hopefully come through more easily. This can be a tough time for you and your baby but remember to be patient and help your baby through this natural development as much as you can.