Teething Troubles: Top Tips for Helping Your Fussy Baby
You love your baby, but he won't stop crying. He's restless, even after you've fed him. What's wrong? There could be a number of things wrong. If you've already checked the diapers, checked for obvious signs of a rash or some other illness (i.e. a fever), it's time to explore the possibility that your baby might be teething, especially if the child is around 5 months old.
Your Child Has Bulging Gums
This might not look so pretty, but it's normal. Bulging gums, and a clear outline of the teeth inside them, is visual proof that teeth are coming in. The middle-bottom ones are usually the first to develop. If this is a painful process for baby, she'll let you know. Try frozen teething rings. She'll love chewing on these and it will help numb the pain a bit.
He Or She Is Drooling More Than Normal
Drooling can become a problem, but it's more or less a harmless one. Babies often even develop drooling rash. This too, is harmless. Your baby might get a red, raised rash on his face or check, neck, lips, or even the chin. If you're concerned about it, or it starts to look really horrible, try putting some lanolin ointment on it.
Fussing can become a serious impediment to your beauty sleep. Cold spoons, a frozen bagel or banana, a frozen washcloth, and even ice can help with the noisemaking. If baby can't be assuaged by the usual cold therapy, try some acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Both are safe and effective as pain relievers for baby. They will also help you, and the little one, get some sleep. Finally, teething gels might help if you aren't keen on the idea of giving your child pain medication. They are sold over the counter as gels or pastes and they numb the gums. You only need a small amount.
When using these teething gels be aware that they're going to taste awful to baby, they travel through the mouth in the saliva and can also numb the tongue, it's really easy to use too much, and baby might swallow too much.
Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night
Most babies wake up in the middle of the night at some point. During the first few months, you'll probably get decent sleep. But, starting in month 4, expect that to change. Baby might start waking up in the middle of the night. This could be a result of the teething process. According to a New York Family & Pediatric Dental Care, this is normal, even if it is unpleasant. The usual remedies apply. Try giving baby something cold to suck on. If baby just cannot sleep at all, try giving baby acetaminophen.
Babies love gnawing on things, but they especially love it when they're teething. But, an obsession with chewing or biting might be more than just the normal “gotta put everything in my mouth” baby curiosity. It might be the first sign that teeth are coming in. Baby might start chewing on his fingers, your fingers, toys, and even your breast.
Don't worry too much about this. Yeah, it's not going to feel great once those chompers really start to come in, but it's a normal part of the growing and learning process. Obviously, you'll want to discourage the biting of you.
Robert Ander is a veteran pediatrician. He especially enjoys blogging about infant health and ways parents can ease babies' struggles.