For first-time moms, witnessing your baby's first teething is really exciting. But this phase can be stressful for your baby.
How do you know if your baby is already teething? What are the signs you should watch out for?
According to Healthy Children, teething starts around 6 to 12 months. But it is not the same for every kid, and there are children who may show signs of teething earlier or later. Usually, the front teeth or incisors grow first.
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Signs to watch out for
- Constantly rubbing or touching gums
- Swelling gums
- Likes to bite or suck
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Changes in mood
Teething can take several weeks. During this time, you will notice the difference in the baby's behavior. Most babies experience difficulty in sleeping, that's why this phase is also challenging for parents.
Ways to relieve teething discomfort
1. Cold pacifierBecause the growing tooth can be painful, giving baby a cold pacifier or teether can help. Make sure to sanitize the pacifier or teether first, then you can put it in the freezer. It will ease the pain of teething.
2. Let your baby bite
During this time, the teething baby will bite even their hands just to relieve the pressure on their gums. Make sure that anything he puts in his mouth is thoroughly clean.
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3. Massage baby's gums
You can also massage the baby's gums to alleviate the pain he or she feels. Wash your hands thoroughly and make sure your nails are not sharp so the baby will not be injured.
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Are over-the-counter medications safe?Before giving your baby any medication, make sure to consult your pediatrician first. Do not self-medicate, as it can put your baby's health at risk.
Some teething gels or numbing agents are sold without a prescription, but not all are safe for baby.
According to the FDA, most teething gels in the market have benzocaine as its active ingredient that is not suitable for children under 2 years old. Benzocaine can cause serious side effects when taken in large doses.
Ingesting benzocaine might cause methemoglobinemia, a dangerous condition that happens when the oxygen in the blood is reduced. In the worst cases, it can even result in death.
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SOURCES: Healthy Children | What to Expect | FDA