Teething is an exciting and important stage of your baby’s life. It can also sometimes be hard to figure out when it is occurring. A teething baby often needs extra care to get through this commonly stressful time, so it is very important for you to spot the signs. This way, your little one gets the soothing attention he or she needs, when they need it.
Here are eight of them for you to watch out for.
1. Swollen Gums
As you can imagine, tooth eruptions can be very disrupting to your infant’s tender, new gums. As a result, the gums typically become swollen during teething. If you notice that your baby’s gums look irritated and sore, you most likely have a new little teething baby.
ONE WARNING. Be sure to look out for blue or red gums, because this could be a sign of a serious medical problem that requires professional care.
2. Visible Tooth Below Gum
If it looks like a white bulge is forming below baby’s gum, but it has not erupted yet, it is most likely a tooth. Sometimes, teeth do not erupt until 18 months of age, but the discomforts of teething can begin before the eruption. Consider any visible tooth to be a sign that the baby might need teething toys or other remedies to ease discomfort.
3. Mood Changes
If your baby has been fussier or more irritable lately — and no obvious cause has been found — teething could be to blame. Trouble sleeping is another less obvious sign of a baby with teeth coming in, as is rejecting food. Check with your pediatrician or dentist if you are unsure why your little one is acting differently.
4. Biting, Sucking, and Chewing
A baby is biting everything in sight is a very typical sign of teething. Constant sucking and chewing are two more dead giveaways, at least in most situations. An appropriate chewing toy or teething ring will help your baby feel better and save random objects from being destroyed. If all else fails, opt for a wet rag refrigerated inside a plastic bag as a makeshift teething ring.
If your little son or daughter is drooling more excessively than normal, then teething has most likely begun. A child who has a consistent rash on his or her face or chin may also be steadily drooling from erupting teeth. Check with your pediatrician to rule out any other causes of rash or drool.
6. Slight Fever
If your baby has a low-grade fever of no more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, there probably is no need to panic — your child is most likely beginning the teething stage. If the baby’s fever climbs higher or is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or other similar symptoms of illness, promptly contact his or her doctor, as a more serious medical issue could be occurring.
7. Ear Grabbing
Teething can cause pain in the jaw because of the extreme changes in the gums. This pain can in turn radiate to the ear and cause an earache or some other discomfort. The baby may grab or rub at his or her ears in response. Check with a pediatrician so you can rule out an ear infection, and consult with him or her about pain relief options if your baby is very distressed.
8. Face Rubbing
Face rubbing is a similar symptom to ear-grabbing. Most infants do not know of any way besides rubbing to deal with and communicate their pain, so a child that keeps touching his or her face excessively may be teething. Look into options for teething relief to help baby keep his or her face from being irritated.
Tooth eruption can be a stressful and emotional time for both baby and parent. Knowing the signs that baby is teething can help you be prepared for remedies that you can try to soothe your little loved one — and will also help you understand what symptoms are not normal for a teething baby to exhibit. If you ever have questions along the way during this transformative time in your child’s life, make sure to contact your pediatrician or dentist.