What is teething?
Teething is when your baby’s teeth start moving underneath their gums and coming through. Some people also refer to it as ‘cutting teeth’.
Teething often causes babies discomfort, making them restless and irritable. As the roots of their teeth grow, they push the edges of the teeth through the gums. Babies usually suffer most with their first teeth as the sensation is new, and with their molars because of their size.
Signs and symptoms of teething:
Look out for two or three of these symptoms1:
- They have become more fussy and clingy and are crying more at night.
- They are dribbling a lot.
- They have an urge to bite to try to ease the pain, so they’ve started chewing on their fingers and anything else they can get hold of!
- Their cheeks are flushed.
- Their temperature is slightly raised (but not above 39°C, which indicates a fever).
- Their gums are swollen and red.
- They’re demanding the breast or bottle more.
- They’re rejecting the breast or bottle because their gums hurt.
- Their appetite is poor.
- They aren’t sleeping well.
How to help your teething baby
There’s lots you can do to soothe your baby and help relieve the pain. Try some of these suggestions:
- Give them plenty of water to replace fluids lost through dribble.
- Gently rub a teething gel or teething granules into their gums.
- Give them a teething ring to chew on (the ones you can cool in the fridge are good).
- Your doctor may recommend infant pain relievers like paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- Apply a barrier cream to their chin, neck and chest to stop them getting sore from dribbling.
- Distract them with lots of hugs or something to play with.