In most babies, the first teeth start appearing when they are 6 months old. Sometimes the teeth can come through without any problems, while some other times, this period can be painful for your baby.
It will also demand a lot of patience from your end as the baby tends to get cranky due to the discomfort and pain and sometimes refuses to eat. Here is what you need to do when your baby starts teething.
Giving the baby something to chew helps provide a counter-pressure which can relieve the pressure of the teeth pushing through. You can give him a chew toy, or a teething ring or a clean washcloth. You can increase the effectiveness of the chew toy or the washcloth or teething ring but refrigerating it for some time. Cold objects can numb the pain. However, don’t give him stuff that is frozen, as it can hurt his sensitive gums.
You can let him nibble on you pinky (make sure your finger is clean) or gently rub his gums with your finger or a piece of gauze. This pressure will relieve the baby’s discomfort. Plus, he is sure to love it as well.
You can also give the baby some cold water or refrigerated food such as yogurt, apple sauce or blended peaches if you have already introduced these into his diet. You can also freeze food like bananas and plums and give it to him in a baby feeder mesh bag, so he doesn’t choke on large chunks of food. It’s also not a great idea to give your baby a bottle of coke, you know?
Babies drool a lot during teething. Excessive drool can irritate the skin on the chin. Always keep a clean cloth handy and wipe away the drool to prevent irritation of the skin.
While the baby can be somewhat easily distracted during the daytime with all the activities, they get crankier during the night. You can try Tylenol or any other topical medication as prescribed by the doctor.
Medication like Tylenol or Ibuprofen can be helpful. However, do ensure that you consult a doctor first before you do give any medication to your kid.
Medications like Benzocaine that contain pain relievers or Aspirin are a strict no. The FDA also warns against homeopathic medication whether it’s in the form of gels or tablets, as these can pose huge health risks to the baby.
You should also avoid rubbing alcohol – even tiny amounts can be poisonous. Despite his urge to chew, try to keep him away from anything hard as they will only increase the discomfort.
Some crankiness and low-grade fever is alright, but if it continues to persist, you should see a doctor. After the appearance of the first tooth you should start cleaning with a gentle wash cloth twice a day.