Babies grow up so fast in such a short amount of time, hitting milestone after milestone. Recently my son just had his first bottom tooth come through, and the teething journey has been just that. A journey. As new parents, we had no idea what to expect other than he would be cranky leading up to his first teeth and I wanted to share some tell-tale signs as well as some tips to help you during your babies teething.
The first sign that your baby is beginning the teething process is drooling. Lots, and lots of drooling. My fiance and I noticed our son drooling quite a while before his tooth finally decided to come through so it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be popping out quickly. The constant stream of drool can be difficult to deal with, so I’ve included some tips below that will hopefully help. Oh, and don’t be surprised when picking up toys or your baby and instantly wondering why they are wet. It’s just one of the wonderful perks that come along with it I’m afraid.
- Make sure that your babies face, neck, hands, and body are dry. Keep a soft cloth handy at all times.
- Use bibs, even if they aren’t eating solids yet. It keeps their skin and clothes dry.
- Try and keep on top of the drool to prevent drool rash. Their skin becomes very red and irritated when it sits on the skin for too long.
- Pat instead of wiping the drool from the face and neck. It’s gentler and doesn’t irritate the skin.
- Use coconut oil to treat any problem spots. It can also be used for diaper rash and cradle cap as well!
Biting, Sucking and Ear Pulling
Our little man bites and sucks on his fingers, or anything within his immediate reach, quite often when his gums are hurting. The chewing helps the tooth to make its ascent to the surface while simultaneously soothing your baby. My dental hygienist suggested a cloth toothbrush that you stick on your finger and let baby chew on it softly – he loved it! Also, giving the baby a little gum massage with your finger can help alleviate some of the pain, and you will be able to feel a roughness where the tooth is coming in closer to its arrival.
- Nurse/feed your baby.
- Use chilled teething toys to help sore gums.
- Try teething necklaces or bracelets.
- Regular gum massages with a cold cloth toothbrush or washcloth.
- Use a mesh feeder if you’ve already introduced solids. Stick a chilled fruit in them so they can bite away at it.
Restfulness and Irritability
Just when you get some sense of a routine with your baby, teething may throw you for a turn. With the pain comes irritability, and also restfulness. The pain may wake your baby up in the middle of the night or keep them from sleeping, and as hard as it may be, take the time to get in some extra cuddles with your little one. It’s not easy to see them in pain, in fact, it breaks our hearts every time tears stream down his face (which they still do as he is still in the teething process) so distracting your baby from the pain by singing or walking them around the room really helped us. When all else fails, and you feel so inclined, you can try any medicines or natural remedies that you discussed with your doctor. These will help take the edge off so your baby can sleep peacefully.
I really hope this was helpful to someone who’s baby is currently teething. While our son’s first bottom tooth came in, we are anticipating a next one to arrive shortly. While the crying, drooling and irritability can be a lot to handle, don’t be upset with yourself if it becomes too much. Just take a moment to breathe, and just know that you are not alone and that you’re doing just fine. You’re a rock star!