Babies and teething – what do you need to know?

baby chewing teether stock sl

Although babies are occasionally born with teeth (yes, really!) most babies’ teeth will begin to emerge some time after four or five months. Parents have been known to blame all kinds of baby behaviour and temperament on teething – but what’s the real story?

We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.

When can teething begin?

Babies can get their first tooth anywhere between three and 15 months, but commonly between four to nine months – although discomfort may start earlier. Dribbling at three to four months is usually as a result of your baby learning to put things in their mouth, which is part of normal development.

Signs that might indicate teething

  • Rosy, flushed cheeks
  • Increased dribbling
  • Tugging at ears
  • Chewing on everything
  • Tender swollen gums
  • Irritability
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Poor appetite
  • Loose, frequent stools
  • Sore red bottom or rash.

What can you do to help?

Rub your baby’s sore gums gently with your finger. You can try giving your baby a teething ring – either a soft rubber one, or the plastic type that are cooled in the refrigerator. Chewing on something can help relieve discomfort. If you think your baby is in pain, consider giving paracetamol as directed for the child’s age. Avoid giving your child hard, sharp-edged toys that could damage teeth and gums.

What not to do

Don’t dip dummies or teething rings in honey or sweet foods, as it may lead to dental decay (and honey shouldn’t be given to babies under 12 months for health reasons). Don’t suck your baby’s dummy and give it back to them, as you will transfer bacteria from your mouth to theirs.

This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.

(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)

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