What is Teething?
With having babies, there comes great responsibility. Indeed, not only do you have to act as educator and protector, but you are also in charge of relieving them from any discomfort and stress they may encounter; as a parent, there's nothing worse than seeing your new baby suffer.
However, it's inevitable that there will be periods in your child's life, where, due to the growing process, they will experience some aches and pains. Teething or cutting teeth, for example, is one of the most difficult times your baby will have to face in its early years.
Basically referring to the process of a baby's first teeth appearing, teething generally begins at around six months of age and can last until they are about three years old. Usually developing in pairs, the two lower incisors are typically the first teeth to come in, followed by the two remaining lower incisors, the first molars and then the four canines. The last teeth to appear are the four two-year molars.
So, how do you know when your child has started teething and what can you do to minimise their discomfort?
There are several ways to tell if your baby is cutting its first teeth. Two of the most common symptoms are excessive dribbling and lack of sleep.
They may also appear increasingly clingy or irritable. Poor appetite is another indication of teething, but equally many children demand more breast or bottle feeding to relieve the soreness.
In order to alleviate your baby's distress, there are a variety of solutions to try. But, because all babies are different, what works for one will perhaps not work for another. Therefore, it may take you a little while to find the right answer, so don't fret if the first thing you try isn't effective.
A simple trick is to change your baby's scenery. In reality, many children become so agitated that they cannot sleep. Taking your child outside or going for a drive, however, can help to distract and relax them, which should then help them get off to sleep.
It is also possible to buy teething rings. These are great, since you can pop them in the fridge to cool down before giving them to your baby. The coolness will in turn help to numb their gums, and thus their pain.
Alternatively, you could try rubbing their gums with your finger or with a teething gel. Gels can provide fast and targeted relief, but make sure to look for the sugar free varieties and check the correct dosage instructions.
Cuddle therapy can also work a treat. Indeed, if your baby is in distress from teething, often hugging, cuddling or playing with them can go a long way to reassuring them they will be ok.
Unfortunately it is inevitable that just like you, your baby will have to experience the teething process. However, with a bit of TLC and a lot of patience, you will get through it!
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