When do babies begin teething?
Most babies start to teethe when they are between 4-6 months. Some may begin earlier and some later. We've had customers who tell us that their babies didn't even start teething till 1 year old! Apparently it is dependent on family history - so if you got your tooth early your child is likely to as well!
What are the signs?
I have always thought that heavy drooling is a clear sign of babies beginning to teethe. However my Maternal Child Health Nurse told me that is more a sign that babies are preparing for solids. So I researched into that and found that heavy drooling is a sign of the digestive system developing which happens anytime from around 2 months old and lasts till 15 months old. So it will coincide with the teething phase and naturally lead us to think that is a sign of baby teething! What then are the signs of teething?
- Red swollen gums
- Flushed cheeks
- Pulling on ear the same side as the tooth/teeth that is erupting
- Slight fever
How to help your teething baby?
Try hard objects!
A hard solid object provides the perfect surface to aid teeth trying to break through the gums.
I gave mine hard teething rusks/ homemade teething rusks - here's a recipe if you'd like to make some by Kid Spot. I made a batch and stashed the extras in the freezer to use along the way.
Alternatively our hard antibacterial beechwood teething rings also provide a non messy solution (those rusks will see crumbs and wet mashed up pieces on hands and clothes that you'll need to clean up). We use beechwood in our teething rings as it is renowned for its antibacterial properties and is also hardwearing (doesn't splinter or break), making it perfectly safe for little ones to play with, throw about (they looove doing that) and chew on. With the hard surface of the beechwood ring, teething babies will be able to chomp hard down on the ring to help the teeth break through the final layer of gum. For handheld beechwood teethers our top two customer choices are our HEXX Teething Rattle and Ring Pop Teething Rattle.
Cool and soothe those poor sore gums!
A wet wash cloth chilled for a few minutes or our freezer safe silicone teether (the TRIO Teether) that you just need to pop in the freezer for 15-25 min (you just want it cool - not freezing cold). The best thing about the silicone material is that it is firm whilst still squishy providing just the right amount of massage when chewed upon on those sore gums. Just hand the teether to your baby to hold to suck and chew for teething relief!
Teething Tablets and Teething Gels
I personally do not use them and do not recommend them. I'm the kind of person who avoids medication unless there is no other choice. Also, the teething tablets and teething gels have been getting a bad rep recently and rightly so.
"Australian parents are being asked to stop using the homeopathic teething tablets that are being investigated over links to baby deaths...
Teething gels like Bonjela are another popular remedy, but Aussie doctors have called for mandatory warnings on them following the hospitalisation of several children with potentially life-threatening poisoning." - Kidspot AU
Here is a recent article link regarding warning on use of Bonjela as it poisoned a baby.
How long do babies teethe for?
My first born had her full set when she around 2! Every baby is different though but most children would get their full set of milk teeth by 3 years of age. I'll have to wait to see when my second born will get her full set by. She's 4 months now and still nothing yet! So in general you would definitely be preparing yourself for quite a long teething phase of about over 2 years. If you do decide to purchase a teething ring/ teething toy, you would definitely want to invest in a good quality one that will last and is age appropriate for the whole teething phase from about 4 months to 2+ years. Have a read here on how our teething toys at Lluie can provide you with such a quality option.