Teething in your infant shows progress towards your little ones growth. Teething is when new teeth form and push through the gums. This is a normal process of development for children and will come at some time or another. The unknown is when. Each child and infant will be unique in their development.
Timeline – When Does Teething Start and How Long Does Teething Last
There are timelines you can monitor to make sure your child is on schedule. When does teething start is an elusive answer. It can begin as early as 2 months despite not actually seeing signs of these teeth until 6 months. The first tooth that usually push through the gums are the lower center incisors. They can be the most sensitive. Once the process starts, parents often ask how long does teething last.
The Signs and Symptoms Teething has Begun
It is important to know that most children will have little or no problem when their teeth start the process. The discomfort will seem to ebb and flow after several minutes.
As a parent you may notice your infant drooling more. Please be aware that drooling may start as early as 3 months of age but this is not always a sign that the teething process has begun. A mild rash may form around the mouth due to the excessive drooling.
Sucking (or not Sucking) on Fingers
If your infant is constantly putting fingers or fists into their mouths, this can be a sign of teething. Remember that babies like to chew on things and it is a sign of development and might not always indicate teething has started. Be mindful to keep an eye on objects close to your baby at all times to make sure they can’t get their little fists on something they see as a chewing toy.
The flip side of this can be the refusal of food due to the gums being sore. It is important to monitor your baby’s feedings to make sure they are not refusing food due to the pain.
As the teeth start to push through the gums, the gum under that tooth may become swollen and puffy. You may even see fluid-filled area over the tooth trying to protrude that resembles a blood blister of sorts.
All babies, and even adults, have their moments of fussiness. If you notice your infant being more cantankerous or ornery than usual, it could be a sign that they are feeling discomfort in the gums from the teething process. Your infant may exhibit restlessness or decreased sleep due to gum discomfort. If you infant is rubbing their cheek or ear region, this could be due to pain of the molars pushing through.
Don’t Confuse Teething with Illness
Teething does not usually cause high fever, diarrhea, runny nose, cough, prolonged fussiness or rashes on the body. It is important not to brush off your babies symptoms as teething. This little person is unable to communicate their needs and as a parent you need to make sure you are looking for all signs and symptoms of illness, not just the signs and symptoms of teething.
Helping your Infant Teeth
There are things as a parent you can do to help you infant teething process.
- Massing the Gums. Find the irritated gum area. With a clean finger, massage it for two minutes. This can be done as often as necessary. The pressure on the gum can help reduce the pain.
- Teething rings. Teething rings, pacifiers, ice wrapped in a wash cloth (depending on the age) can all allow the child to massage their teeth as needed.
The good news is, by the time your infant reaches the age of 30 months, they will be proud owners of a set of 20 deciduous teeth known as baby teeth.