What are the first signs of teething?
Baby teething is a rite of passage for every little one and involves the movement of teeth in and then through the gums. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it can be very painful for them and, in turn, stressful for you.
But whilst waiting for those pearly whites to appear, it sometimes feels like every symptom can easily be put down to teething. To help, we have a quick guide of what to expect from a little teether and when it might be a sign that something else is up.
Not all babies will have all teething symptoms, but see if you recognise any of these…
It’s getting hot in here
A classic symptom of teething is a slightly raised temperature. You may find yourself with a baby thermometer glued to your hand, but it shouldn’t reach 100 Farenheit / 38 celsius (see why below).
More dribbling than a football player
Excessive dribbling is common, as the gums produce extra saliva to help those teeth come through. Get those bibs at the ready!
Red in the face
You may find your baby sporting facial rashes and hot little cheeks as a result of all that extra saliva and action going on in their mouths.
Red in the mouth
If you are allowed even a tiny peek in there, you may see signs of sore gums in your baby’s mouth. There may perhaps even be tiny blisters or light bleeding where they have been rubbing to try to ease the pain.
And little red bottoms too
It’s thought that loose bowels occur during teething because there’s more saliva passing through their tummies than usual. It is also more acidic than usual, so can result in a very sore bottom. Ouch!
Chewing everything they can get their little chubby hands on
Your little one cramming anything they can into their mouth – toy, spoon, fist? Chewing can temporarily ease the pain of teething, so it’s not surprising. Save your fingers and your car keys with a good teether.
And eating nothing
Who wants to eat when in pain? It’s likely your baby will go off their food for a while. Just keep their fluids up with lots of water and see if you can tempt them with a nice cold treat, like an ice pop, to soothe those throbbing gums.
Irritable, grumpy and restless and who can blame them? You may find you feel the same, as everyone gets less sleep and your child demands more of you.
As much as the well-meaning around you will put everything down to teething, the next few symptoms can also be a sign of a more serious problem. So, keep your eyes out, trust your instinct and consult a medical professional if you are unsure of any of the following:
Vomiting and diarrhea
This can be an undesirable but natural side effect of all that dribbling, but equally it may be a sign of a stomach infection. If your baby keeps being sick, then consult your doctor.
If your baby keeps grabbing their ear in pain, it could be down to all that movement going on in the jaw. If it carries on, gets worse or seems to affect their hearing though, then your baby may have an ear infection. You’ll need to see your doctor if so.
A temperature of 100°F or above indicates a fever. While a slight rise in temperature is normal as a baby teething symptom, a fever is usually a symptom of another condition so you’ll want to get them checked out by your doctor.
Whilst very common during teething, due to all that excess dribble and mucus running down baby’s throat, if the cough is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms such as a high temperature, you should contact your doctor.
Hang in there mum, it may not feel like it but the baby teething stage will pass.