TOOTHY GRIN

HOW TO TACKLE THE TEETHING CHALLENGE.

Teething usually starts at around six months, but for some babies it can begin earlier and others don’t show any sign of sprouting a tooth until they are at least a year old.

You might already have a cranky and restless teething baby. It’s no wonder all is not happy in their world when they have to deal with irritability, difficulty sleeping, drooling and a desire to chew on everything within reach.

Signs of teething in a baby's mouth can include swollen, tender gums where a new tooth is coming through. Teething can also raise your baby's temperature or cause diarrhea. These symptoms can begin well before a tooth pushes through and can continue after it makes its first appearance.

Things you can do to help your baby through the teething phase more comfortably:

  • Try simple distractions, such as cuddling, rocking or walking around with your baby.
  • Use your fingers to massage irritated or swollen gums.
  • Allow your child to gnaw on a chilled (but not frozen) teething ring or wet washcloth. But don't use soft “teethers” after your baby has grown their first tooth, because they can puncture them.
  • If your child is already eating solids, offer them chilled baby foods such as applesauce or pureed fruit. Do not use popsicles, frozen bananas, carrots or any other non-pureed food, because these pose a choking hazard.
  • If your baby has excess saliva, avoid dehydration by replacing lost fluids with diluted juice or water.
  • You will also want to keep your baby's face and clothes dry to prevent rashes or irritation. A specially formulated baby moisturizer will soothe the skin around their mouth and a bib will help protect their chest and clothing from wetness.

If the above methods don't seem to work, consult a healthcare professional and ask about using medicated ointments and syrups.

As with so many aspects of parenting, teething can be a difficult stage for you and your baby to endure. But remember, this phase too shall pass, and before you know it your little one will have a beautiful, toothy grin.

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