Well, gentle readers, today is my son's 3 month birthday and I'm fairly certain he has started teething!
Up until about 3 days ago, my son was an angel. Well, as much of an angel as an active infant can be. Then he slowly started to turn into a monster....He stopped napping for longer than 20 minutes. He started fussing more. He refused to sleep in his crib. He wanted to nurse all the time. He went from pretty well sleeping thru the night to barely sleeping at night at all. My husband commented on this change in his habits and his mother mentioned a possible answer....is he teething?
So, I opened up my trusty laptop and launched google....and google sent me back some helpful info.
*Most babies begin teething between 4 and 7 months
*Early developing babies may begin to teeth at 3 months and late bloomers may begin teething at 1 year; some babies are born with a tooth already showing!
* They generally appear in this order: bottom two middle, top two middle, then the ones along the sides and back. The last to appear are the second molars which are in the back of the mouth and usually make their appearance by babies second birthday. By age 3, your little one should have his full set of baby teeth - 20 total - and those should hang out until his permanent teeth come in at around age 6.
*drooling (which can lead to a rash on his face)
*swelling and sensitivity of gums
*irritability - the discomfort is usually worse during the first teeth and later when the molars come in because of their bigger size. Babies generally become accustomed to the sensations of teething and learn to live with them; some babies are fussy during whole time that every tooth comes in; each child reacts differently
*not sleeping well
*loose stools - likely caused by swallowing extra saliva, which loosens the stool.
*cheek rubbing and ear pulling - the discomfort may travel to the ears and cheeks, particularly when the back molars begin coming in. Keep in mind tho, that pulling at an ear can also be a sign of an ear infection
**Not all symptoms are agreed upon by doctors and if you see something that worries you, you should IMMEDIATELY call your doctor. Some of these symptoms may be other things, like an ear infection.
What can I do to ease my baby's discomfort?
It is strongly recommended that you contact your pediatrician before doing any of the below
*Give him something to chew on...a rubber teething ring or cold washcloth or if he's doing solids, cold foods like apple sauce, pureed peaches or yogurt can help
*Give him a hard unsweetened teething cracker, such as zwieback (no carrots...they're a choking hazard)
*A cold bottle or cup of water (if they're old enough)
*rub a clean finger gently but firmly over his gums
*if none of the above are working, try a small dose of children's pain reliever such as infants' acetaminophen - BUT CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE GIVING YOU BABY ANY MEDICATION. NEVER give your baby aspirin or even rub it on his gums to ease the pain. The use of aspirin in children is associated with Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition
*Using a topical pain relief gel (like baby orajel) is also an option, but again, consult with your doctor. If you use too much, it can numb the back of your baby's throat and weaken his gag reflex (which helps prevent him from choking on his saliva). In rare cases, babies are allergic
If the drool causes a rash on his face, wipe (don't rub) the drool with a soft cloth. Petroleum jelly on his chin before a nap or bedtime can protect the skin from further irritation.