Understanding Your Baby's Teething Timeline & How to Soothe a Teething Baby

Oral Explorers

One of the first developed sensory areas we have at birth is in the mouth. Many babies use their mouths to explore the world around them. They do this by sticking their hands or feet into their mouths or sucking on a blanket or pacifier. It’s these types of sensations that draw a baby’s attention to the feelings of discomfort that come about during teething.

Don’t Be Fooled

At some point in your baby’s development, you may begin to see tiny white or yellow dots on the gums. Although these are commonly mistaken for baby teeth attempting to break the surface of the gums, they are actually gingival cysts called Bohn’s nodules, and they typically go away on their own without any intervention or treatment.

Unexpected symptoms

Between four months through around the first year after birth, parents may notice some symptoms that seem like their baby is fighting off a cold. Some babies may display irritability, higher body temperatures (although a true temperature of over 100.4 degrees is a sign of illness), congestion or a runny nose. These all may be signs that your baby is teething and not actually sick. Although teething has not been proven to bring on a cold, the stress involved may make babies more susceptible to illness. The most common symptoms are mouth sensitivity, specifically at the site of discomfort, and drooling.

6-10 Months before First Sighting

Although every baby is different and unique in terms of their development, most parents can expect to see the first sight of new teeth coming through between 6 to 10 months. Some babies can have teeth earlier and some won’t even have any teeth come through on their first birthday!

Helpful Remedies for the Pain

It’s difficult to see our babies in pain, especially at an age where they can’t communicate to us exactly where they are hurting. If they’re showing signs that they may be teething, here are a few helpful ways on how to soothe a teething baby.

Use clean fingers to massage the gums
- Offer a frozen or wet washcloth
- Offer a teething biscuit
- After consulting with your doctor, Tylenol may be appropriate

If All Else Fails

If you're having a rough time and you've tried everything you can think of, don't forget that there are medical professionals you can call and ask how to soothe a teething baby. You can call your local pediatrician or family dentist and see what alternative methods they would recommend. Try to avoid any gels that have the ingredient benzocaine. Although they are known to numb the gums, the FDA has warned parents against certain harmful side effects. Another popular alternative is amber bracelets and necklaces. These items may pose potential choking hazards and there has no scientific evidence to support any soothing properties.

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