Seeing your baby smile with their first tooth is possibly the cutest thing ever, but it can come at a price if teething results in a restless and crotchety baby which means sleep deprivation for parents!
A baby’s first teeth (known as milk or deciduous teeth) usually develop while the child is growing in the womb. While some babies are born with their first teeth, teething can start anytime between four to 12 months – all babies are different.
Stages of teething:
- Bottom front teeth (incisors) – are usually the first to come through, at around five to seven months
- Top front teeth (incisors) – come through at around six to eight months
- Top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth) – come through at around nine to 11 months
- Bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth) – come through at around 10-12 months
- Molars (back teeth) – come through at around 12-16 months
- Canines (towards the back of the mouth) – come through at around 16-20 months
- Second molars – come through at around 20-30 months
Most Toddlers will have all of their milk teeth by the time they are two and a half years old.
Some teeth grow with no pain or discomfort at all but with others parents may notice that their baby’s gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through, or that one cheek is flushed. Some babies dribble, gnaw and chew a lot, or can just be fretful.
There are several ways parents can help make teething easier for baby. Every child is different, so you may have to try several different things until you find one that works for your baby.
- One of the signs that your baby is teething is that they start to chew on their fingers, toys or other objects they get hold of. Give your baby healthy things to chew on, such as raw fruit and vegetables or chilled foods. For example, pieces of frozen banana and plums, yogurt and blended peaches are often ideal. You could also try giving your baby a crust of bread or a breadstick. Always stay close to avoid choking.
- Cool drinks will help to soothe babies’ gums and may help if they are dribbling excessively. The best option is to give them cool water, ensuring it is not too cold.
- Comforting or playing with your baby can sometimes distract them from the pain in their gums. Your baby may be feeling too irritable or restless to play, but at other times, it may be a good way of getting them to concentrate on something other than their teething pain.
Advice courtesy of CaldeBaby Teething Gel from ClonMedica.
CaldeBaby Teething Gel cools and soothes baby’s gums and provides gentle care for teething babies. Massage into your baby’s gums two to three times a day. Sugar free, CaldeBaby Teething Gel contains camomile and has a pleasant honey flavour. Available in all good pharmacies, RRP €3.99.