Teething is a big milestone for you and your baby. Some babies may not feel a thing, while it can be pretty uncomfortable for others. Don’t be surprised if your baby gets a bit upset when those pearly whites start coming through. It does vary, but the average age for a baby to get their first tooth is around six months old. The first ones to appear are usually the two bottom middle teeth, followed by the two top middle teeth. The last teeth to make an appearance are usually the second, or back, molars in the upper and lower back of the mouth. Most children will have all their milk teeth by about two and a half. There are 20 in total, 10 at the top and 10 at the bottom.
Here are some common signs that your baby is teething:
- Your baby's gum looks sore and red where a tooth is coming in
- One cheek is flushed
- Your baby might chew, dribble and want to gnaw on things a lot
- Baby’s bowel motions might get looser and look different
- Your bundle of joy is a little less joyous – they might be cranky or a bit tearful, particularly at night when the pain can sometimes make it difficult for them to sleep
- They might fuss over breast or bottle feeding as the sucking action can hurt their sore gums.
There are a few things you can do to help ease the symptoms if your baby is teething:
- Give your baby something to chew on as this can help ease the pain of teething. Try hard food like a Teething Rusk. Just make sure you always stay close by in case of choking.
- Cold foods like apple purée or yoghurt straight from the fridge can help numb the pain.
- Cold drinks can soothe the whole mouth. Try chilling water, breast milk or formula in the fridge.
- Giving your baby a teething ring to chew can help ease the pain of sore gums. Chilling it in the fridge first may also give extra relief.
- Lightly massaging your baby's gums with a clean finger helps ease pain. You can also use a sugar-free teething gel or a homoeopathic teething powder. Have a chat to your pharmacist or healthcare professional – they’ll tell you which are the best ones to use.