I am now on my fifth teething baby. Each of my children has had their first tooth come in at different times. Julia didn’t get her first tooth until she was 9 months old. We thought she was teething for 4 months with not a tooth in sight. My brother nicknamed her “Droolia” because she would soak her shirts with all of her drool. She ended up having all 20 of her baby teeth by 18 months of age.
James and Joshua got their first teeth when they were 5 months old but were 2 years old before all of their teeth had come in. Joseph and Janna were somewhere in between. This goes to show that each child is different and develops at different rates. Teething is no exception.
The average age for babies to get their first tooth is about six months of age. However, anywhere from 3 months to 12 months is considered normal. The two bottom teeth in the middle are usually the first to arrive followed by the top middle four teeth coming next.
Symtoms of Teething
- Disrupted Sleep
- Swollen Gums
One thing you will find of teething babies is that they often want to put everything in their mouths. This can be attributed to teething but is also a completely normal part of their development. Babies learn about the world around them when they “mouth” objects. Just be sure that anything your baby is allowed to chew on is safe and not a choking hazard. If it will fit through a toilet paper tube, don’t allow your baby to chew on it.
A few symptoms of teething that are less common but can be associated with teething are low-grade fever, diaper rash, cough, rash on face, diarrhea, and/or loss of appetite. Several of the previous symptoms are directly related to drool/excess saliva.
While doctors will say that teething doesn’t cause illness, I do believe that babies are often more susceptible to illness due to putting everything in their mouths.
I would also like to note that just because a baby appears to be teething and has a fever, rash, or other similar symptom it doesn’t mean that you should always attribute it to teething. It may very well be that your child is actually sick or even has a food allergy.
Some babies make it through the teething phase with very little issue while others seem to really be bothered by the whole process. There are some things you can give your baby to ease any discomfort they might feel
- Teething Toys
- Frozen Wash Cloth (Wet a wash cloth, ring it out, and stick it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.)
- Your Clean Finger
- Frozen Banana
- Hyland’s Teething Tablets
I also can’t say enough about the value of breastfeeding, especially when a baby is fussy from teething. Breastmilk has a soothing effect on babies and I have found it to be an invaluable resource for a teething baby.
Once those first teeth are in be sure to keep them clean. A soft toothbrush and water should be enough to help keep your baby’s teeth clean. There are training toothpastes available that do not contain fluoride that are good for the toddler stage.
Remember that while baby teeth do fall out, they are placeholders for adult teeth and should be well taken care of.
What age did your baby get his first tooth? What did you do for your baby to help ease any teething discomfort?
Previous Baby Basics Topics:
- A Brand New Baby
- Cord Care
- Newborn Skin Conditions
- Tummy Time
- Clothing a Newborn
- When You Suspect a Problem
- Essential Gear
- Knowing Your Baby
- Trimming Nails & Suctioning Noses
- Baby Learning
- Attachment Parenting
- Sleeping Like a Baby
- Traveling with Baby
- Diapering Choices
- Starting Solid Foods
- Baby Learning Recap
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