For many mothers, one of the most trying moments is when a baby is teething. When the little one is producing their first milk teeth, they experience different body reactions. During this process, you may find that they are crying quite a bit because of their discomfort as their teeth come in.
However, crying can mean many things with babies. How do you know that your baby is teething? The baby cannot tell you how she or he is feeling, and therefore, you have to recognize the problem on your own.
As a new parent, you must be keen enough to notice these signs. Some of them may indicate other health conditions. But not to worry, below are some of the signs that are prevalent in teething babies.
Gnawing on anything and everything
The first and most popular sign that you can observe in a teething baby is the tendency to chew on everything that they place their hands on. You are likely to see them reaching for your hands, their clothes and other items that they then draw towards their tiny mouth. They do this to ease the discomfort that comes with teething. This habit can cause them harm since most items are harder than their growing gums. Or they may end up collecting germs and end up sick. However, using baby teething toys can solve this problem. Alternatively, you can invest in amber teething necklaces. These are not eaten but are used to ease the pain for a teething baby.
If your child is dribbling excessively, it may be that they are preparing to pop their first teeth. Dribbling is a common thing with babies and toddlers. While it is a sign of teething, it is also a part of child development. They do it as they learn their mouth before they learn how to swallow. Hence, you need to consider other signs your child shows to make a decision that they are teething instead of relying completely on this one. This habit can be annoying especially when you are feeding them since they tend to throw out most of the food. All the same, it can tell you volumes about your baby.
Reddened cheeks and gums
This is another sign that your child is teething. They are likely to have red cheeks along with swollen gums. Even before you see the swollen gums and the hot cheeks, your baby may have started crying uncontrollably. They also use any object to calm the problem. This sign is characteristic of teething children. Hence, if you notice it, you can be sure that your baby is teething.
If your baby cannot sleep at night, they might be teething. Owing to the discomforts, which are caused by the body’s process, the baby may take a long time to fall asleep. Sometimes it can be so bad that they stay up the entire night. She or he can be disturbing at this time since apart from not sleeping, they keep crying too. This can be very frustrating and exhausting for the parents, but it won’t last forever, and when the first teeth show up, your baby should return to normal until the next teeth start to come in. For some babies, all of these symptoms can occur with every tooth that comes in.
Diaper rash and loose stool
During teething, the baby passes a lot of saliva into their bowels, which can lead to loose bowels and eventually loose stool. In conjunction with this, diaper rash is often associated with the excess saliva, which raises the pH of their stool, hence, affecting their tender skin. Dribbling is also another cause of diaper rash since it concentrates the urine. If you see any of these signs from your baby, do not rush into any other conclusion, they are probably just teething. Just seek the relevant teething remedies.
Owing to the inner body’s reactions that occur during teething, the baby can have a temperature. A fever can cause discomfort to the baby, and sometimes it may require medical assistance if the fever gets too high. However, fever is not a characteristic sign of baby teething, especially a high fever. Sometimes it can mean something else. Make sure that other signs discussed above are present too before labeling it a sign of teething. All the same, it is important to consult your doctor lest it become serious. A touch on the baby will tell you when your child is feverish. Traditionally, by placing the inside of your wrist on the baby’s forehead, a parent is able to know whether their child’s temperature is normal or not.
With their gums swollen, babies do not like putting anything into their mouth. Therefore, you might have a problem feeding them. It is the first time they are experiencing such pain and dealing with it is difficult. Hence, they will refuse eating or become fussy eaters. Surprisingly, they will try to chew on anything that comes their way, but they may not be interested in actually swallowing anything. Of course you should continue trying to feed your baby even if they are fighting it.
Most babies are likely to be highly irritable when they are teething. They cry and are angered at the slightest provocation. This can be exhausting for the parents since it seems there is nothing that will calm them down. Some babies tend to fight any effort to feed them. They will pour food or drinks, and when you are trying to nurse them, they will literally hurt your breast. It is important you understand that the irritability will not be there for long, and therefore, handle your child with love and patience. Just remember, they’re not trying to make your life miserable, they’re in pain and need extra comfort and understanding.
Whether you are a new mother or you are planning to have another baby, understanding the above signs will help you take care of your little bundle of joy with care. The beauty with signs is that you do not need to conduct any test to know them. They are easy to view. Your teething baby will display most of the signs discussed above. So pay attention and treat the signs as required. If you still feel nervous or have questions, it’s good to have a doctor or nurse you can call to chat with about the symptoms. Sometimes just having a professional reassure you over the phone that everything is normal can help you get through a difficult time without too much worry.