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Coping with a Teething Baby

Pediatrics and Child Health

The process of teething normally starts when your child is between four and seven months old, and you may have a teething baby on your hands for quite a while, as the process of teething doesn't completely finish until a child is about two and a half, on average. While your teething baby won't get all his teeth at once, you can expect several days of teething pain followed by a reprieve of a few weeks before another tooth begins to sprout. When you have a teething baby, your child will show his discomfort by crying, by losing interest in eating, or sometimes by pulling at his ears as the pain radiates up and down his face. Unfortunately, this teething process is a painful process every baby must go through, but there are still things you can do to help your teething baby.

How to Help Your Teething Baby

The first thing to do when your baby begins exhibiting signs of teething is to determine if that is in fact the cause of his pain and discomfort. You can watch for the obvious signs and symptoms of teething, and you can also run your finger along your child's gum line to determine if you feel any budding teeth coming up. Some parents and pediatricians believe that a child may run a slight fever while teething, while others suggest that a fever is not a normal part of teething and that your child should be taken to the doctor to check for illness if he is running a fever while showing discomfort. If you are uncertain at all as to whether your child's crying and pain is caused by teething, take your child to your pediatrician who can help identify whether any serious problems exist or whether the pain your child is exhibiting is a normal part of growing up.

Once you know your child is teething, there are a number of things you can do to help your teething baby:

  • Consider homeopathic remedies, such as Hyland’s Teething Tablets, which should be administered under the baby's tongue every three to four hours while teething
  • Baby Tylenol can reduce inflammation and pain, but don't medicate your child without talking to a pediatrician first and make sure that you don't overdose your baby on this or any drug, even if you believe you are helping your child to reduce his pain
  • Teething rings can give your baby something to chew on that numbs the area and minimizes pain. Many experts recommend not actually freezing the teething rings, as this can cause them to burst or can cause your baby to chip a tooth if the ring becomes too hard
  • Chewing on frozen waffles, eating frozen pigs, or consuming other cold objects can also help to numb the area and reduce pain and inflammation

One thing to avoid when you have a teething baby is old wives tales about dabbing whiskey or other alcohol on a child's gums. Err on the side of caution, as it is unclear exactly what if any damage these minor amounts of alcohol can do to the system of a teething baby.

With any teething remedy, it may be advisable to consult your pediatrician on what is best for your child. As an expert, your pediatrician has likely dealt with many teething children and may have some secrets you can use for your own teething baby.

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