On average, your little one will sprout the initial pearly white around five months. Being still young, this experience can be distressing for bubs; pain management isn’t high on the developmental skills timetable yet. Thankfully, though, there are a few tricks to help ease the toothy discomfort.
Incisors are usually first to erupt, then molars and canines. Preceding all that is often loads of drool, crying, niggly moods, sleep disturbance and appetite changes. Here’s how to save the family’s sanity while you’re in the middle of it all:
- Wash your hands thoroughly, and gently press a finger onto the inflamed gums to relieve pressure.
- Refrigerate a teething ring. (Avoid freezing as this can cause skin burns!) The comfort of a chilled, chewy distraction can work wonders.
- Refrigerate a clean, damp washcloth. Softer than a teething toy, a cool textile could be your baby’s preference.
- Don’t freak out. Like most things that are par for the parenting course, this particular trial doesn’t last forever. If your bub’s gums look unusual, make sure to contact your dentist straight away.
While each bout of teething doesn’t become less uncomfortable as your tot grows, what does get better is your reaction. Explains professor and dentist, Dr. Jonathan Shenkin:
“Once parents get through the first set coming through, it becomes less traumatic because by then you understand the symptoms.”