Photo by Amy Jo JonesTeething hasn't been a big deal for my baby boy Rowan. He has almost all of his baby teeth now and he managed to get through getting new chompers without too much of a fuss.
So when he turned into a monster last week, gnashing his teeth, biting my chin, and whining excessively, I assumed he wasn't feeling well. I even suspected another ear infection.
It wasn't until he was lying down during a diaper change when I found the source of his misery: There was a brand-new canine tooth just under the surface of his very swollen gum and man, did it look like it hurt!
The symptoms of teething are what you might expect: Lots of drooling, irritability, biting behaviors, refusing to eat. Pretty standard stuff as far as babies go. From my own experience the best way to tell if your baby is teething is to get a good look at their gums -- you can usually see the outline of a tooth or even feel it just beneath the gum tissue. (Ouch!)
There are ways to help your baby deal with the pain and discomfort of a cutting tooth. The most common remedies are:
- Teething rings or a wet washcloths. Cold foods can help as well.
- Massaging of the gums, if your baby will tolerate it. (They might just want to bite you.)
- Children's acetaminophen can help ease the pain and inflammation. I used it with my babies, but given new recommendations on medication for infants, you may want to ask your doctor first.
- Topical gels. My babies never wanted anything to do with this, but the numbing sensation can provide temporary relief.
No matter which remedy you try, remember that your teething baby will find comfort with lots of cuddles and love from you!
What teething remedies work for you?