It’s 3 ‘o clock in the morning and your baby just won’t settle down. She’s been crying non-stop for the last couple of hours and after checking that’s she’s dry, fed and not in any way uncomfortable, you still can’t figure out what’s wrong with her. Surely it can’t be that she’s teething? She’s still so tiny!
But yes, it’s possible – teething can begin as early as three months and continue until a child’s third birthday. Between the ages of four and seven months, you’ll notice your baby’s first tooth pushing through the gum line. The first teeth to appear usually are the two bottom front teeth, also known as the central incisors. Four to eight weeks later the four front upper teeth (central and lateral incisors), appear and about a month later, the lower lateral incisors (the two teeth flanking the bottom front teeth) will appear. In some rare cases, babies are born with one or two teeth or have a tooth emerge within the first few weeks of life. Unless these teeth interfere with feeding or are loose enough (as they sometimes are) to pose a choking risk, this should not be cause for concern.
As your baby begins teething, she might drool more and you’ll notice that she wants to chew on things. Fortunately for mom, some babies find teething completely painless and their teeth seem to suddenly appear out of nowhere! However, others may experience brief periods of irritability, and some may seem cranky for weeks, with bouts of “unexplained” crying and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns. And you guessed it – that’s when you find yourself at 3 o’clock in the morning trying to calm a crying baby! For the most part, teething can be uncomfortable, but if your baby seems very irritable, talk to your doctor.
Although tender and swollen gums could cause your baby’s temperature to be a little higher than normal, teething doesn’t usually cause high fever or diarrhoea. If your baby does develop a fever during the teething phase, it’s probably due to something else and you should contact your doctor. It has been said that teething symptoms are signs of physical stress which can lower your baby’s resistance to infectious agents that under normal circumstances would not produce illness. The same germs that live in a baby’s intestines and cause no ill effects, at other times could produce ear-aches, congestion, or other low-grade infections when your baby is teething.
As parents look more towards natural healing, we have found Baltic Amber, which is a fossilised resin, can provide relief. There are many gum soothing medications and remedies on the market and you should consult your pharmacist, local clinic or paediatrician to find a solution that best suits your baby’s needs.
Stages of teething :
- 6 to 7 months – Incisors (situated 2 central bottom & 2 central top teeth)
- 7 to 9 months- Two more incisors (situated top & bottom; making four top & four bottom teeth in all)
- 10 to 14 months – First molars (double teeth for chewing)
- 15 to 18 months – Canines (pointed teeth or fangs)
- 2 to 3 years – Second molars (second set of double teeth at the back)