Baby teething: All you need to know

Teething is often seen as a significant milestone in the development of infants. Once those first tiny teeth make their appearance, the early and challenging days of caring for a newborn have settled into a more predictable routine. Many parents feel anxious about potential changes in their baby's behavior when teething begins. They may wonder, "Will my baby wake up more frequently at night?" or "How do I prepare for long periods of holding and soothing?" These concerns can affect even the most self-assured parents.

However, it's important to note that teething is not as troublesome for most babies as it's often made out to be. Many infants go through the teething process without much drama or disruption to their daily routines. It's fair to say that some babies do become a bit more irritable during teething and may require additional comfort and care. Being aware of how to handle these situations can be immensely helpful.

Indications of Teething Although every baby is unique, there are several common truths when it comes to teething. Understanding the typical pattern of tooth eruption, the usual signs of teething, and what to expect can be valuable for parents. Recognizing the signs that teeth are on the way can be beneficial as they push through the gums and make their debut.

Breaking Negative Habits During the teething process, it's easy for parents to fall into negative patterns. Many resort to quick relief strategies for teething symptoms, such as cuddling, feeding to sleep, co-sleeping, or offering snacks. Knowing what's reasonable to expect and provide in terms of care can help prevent these habits from persisting long after the teeth have come in.

Why All the Fuss? Teething symptoms can sometimes obscure other issues, such as illness or exhaustion. When it's unclear why a baby is fussy, "It's probably teething" is the default explanation. However, determining the exact cause of a baby's behavior can be challenging, even for the most sensitive and attentive parents. It's important to rule out illness when teething is suspected. Having a checklist of symptoms that are typically not related to teething can be reassuring and essential. Exhausted parents are often not in the best position to make objective assessments of their baby's needs.

The Unique Cases In some rare instances, babies are born with a tooth, occurring in about 1 in every 2000 births. However, the majority of babies get their first tooth around six months of age, with some experiencing this as early as four months. Every baby follows their individual teething timeline – some take their time with each tooth, while others might have multiple teeth emerging all at once. There can be extended breaks between teeth breaking through the gums, followed by bursts of activity.

Understanding what to expect and what to look for during your baby's teething can boost your confidence and allow you to enjoy this fascinating stage of your baby's growth.

It's important to remember that teething, like other stages of your baby's development, will occur no matter what. So, it's a good idea to relax and savor this time.

A Final Note Always consult with a qualified nurse or healthcare professional to understand your baby's specific needs and ensure their well-being.