Do you know that babies tooth buds develop before they’re born? As these buds “cut” through the gums, teeth usually appear in the following order:
- 6 to 12 months: the central incisors (the teeth right in the middle of the jaw on the top and bottom)
- 9 to 12 months: the lateral incisors (the teeth next to the central incisors)
- 16 to 22 months: canine (cuspids)
- 13 to 19 months: the first molars
- 25 to 33 months: the second molars
Most children have all of their primary teeth by age three.
The process of getting these teeth can be effortless or excruciating depending on your baby. Even with minor cases, most babies show some teething signs.
The tricky thing about teething is that symptoms can start 2 to 3 months before a tooth surfaces! This can be brutal for baby and family if there’s a lot of discomfort.
So how do you know if your baby is teething?
- Biting more than usual
Your baby will become a vampire! Bite, bite, bite on anything from plastic spoons, to toys to your breast! I find that Griffin likes hard plastic things to chew on the best. Of course, there’s a plethora of teething toys on the market which may also help.
- Excessive drool
When babies are still newborns, they drool a ton since they’re still learning how to swallow their saliva. Fast forward to teething, the drooling starts again (or never stops in some cases) because the body creates extra saliva to lubricate the tender and bulging gums.
- Fussier than usual, especially at night
Babies who once slept through the night may now wake up several times for comfort. In the quiet hours of night, a baby often feels the teething pain more because there’re fewer distractions.
- Disturbances in sleep patterns
Because of the teething discomfort, babies will usually nap less and wake up earlier in the morning. Fun times for all involved!
- Fever, rashes, cough, and diarrhea
Although some doctors disagree, many mamas detect a slight fever (under 100 degrees) in their babies when teeth are imminent. Additionally, the extra drool can cause facial rashes, chafing, and coughing since it pools at back of throat. Some babies even develop diaper rash and diarrhea.
- Decreased appetite
When babies are in pain, they generally don’t want to eat, especially since it triggers their sore spots. Keep trying to feed them as much as possible despite the resistance. Call your doctor if their caloric input decreases dramatically.
- Pulling of ears and rubbing of chin and cheeks
Babies can be quite resourceful and administer self massage. By pulling and rubbing around their jaw, they create counter pressure that eases some of the pain and throbbing.
So if your little baby is acting different lately, take heart there’s good reason… and soon enough, her little pearly whites will surface.
In the meantime, we don’t have to be victims! There are some great things we can do to comfort baby in the midst of the teething process. Stay tuned for our next post, when we’ll explore some effective teething remedies.
When and how did you know YOUR baby was teething?