Recognising Teething

Most parents with a small child will at some point experience the pain of teething, but when how will you recognize your little one is teething?

When will my child start teething?

The vast majority of babies will start to sprout their first tooth somewhere between 4 and 7 months of age. An early developer may get his first tooth as early as 3 months old, while some may be well into one year or older. Teeth actually start to develop whilst your baby is still in the womb, with little tooth buds forming in the gums. Teeth break through the gums one at a time, often in a specific order. The bottom middle teeth first, followed by the top middle teeth and then finally the ones along the sides and back. By 3 years of age your little one should have a full set of 20 milk teeth.

What are the symptoms of teething?

Some lucky babies go through the teething process with absolutely no problems, whilst others become fussy and irritable, chew on everything possible and spend most of their time drooling and needing lots of cuddles and attention. So for those of you with fussy teethers here are some practical tips and information to help you get through the teething stage.

Signs that your baby is teething

  • Gum Swelling – You can sometimes see and feel the outline of a little tooth as they attempt to break through the gum. Be gentle when feeling your baby’s gum, they may be tender.
  • Drooling – It will seem like your baby is continually drooling and you’re forever changing vests and tops. Your baby may also develop a red drool rash on the chin, neck, face and chest. This is nothing to worry about, just wash with warm water and gently pat dry.
  • Fussing & Irritability – Your little one may become more grumpy and cranky and need lots of attention. If you are breastfeeding you might find he wants to nurse more frequently, often for comfort alone.
  • Biting – You may find your baby starts to gnaw and chew on everything possible including toys, fingers, hands and even sometimes mummy. This isn’t great news for breastfeeding mums, if you find your little one biting on your nipple whilst breastfeeding simply remove him from the breast and firmly tell him no; he’ll soon get the message.
  • Sleep disturbances – Whilst you may have had a perfect little sleeping angel up until now, teething can change all of this. You may find your child starts to wake up more frequently during the night and becomes difficult to console and settle.
  • Diarrhoea & Nappy Rash – Some babies may experience mild diarrhoea and develop a nappy rash when teething. This is nothing to worry about. Some experts believe this is because of the excess saliva in their gut from drooling.
  • Fever – A number of babies will experience a low-grade fever of less than 100F (37.7C). If you believe your child has a fever then check their temperature with a thermometer, I personally use a digital thermometer to ensure I get a quick and accurate reading. The Brother Max One Touch 3-in-1 Digital Thermometer is perfect allowing you to measure your child’s temperature using either an ear or forehead measurement, alternatively the Non-Contact digital thermometer is great allowing you to measure your child’s temperature without even touching them. If your baby has a fever higher than this and has other symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting and loss of appetite then contact your health visitor or doctor. Many health professionals believe this low-grade fever associated with teething is related to inflammation of the gums.



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