The whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

Covered in drool? Your little one might be teething.  Most babies start teething around six months of age, but early bloomers may start as early as three months. Some won’t start teething until they are a year old.

The two bottom front teeth usually come in first, followed by the two top front teeth.

Here’s how to make the process easier for you and your baby.

1. Rub your baby’s gums

Massage with a moistened gauze pad, damp washcloth or your clean finger.

2. Use a teething ring

Choose a firm rubber teething ring, as opposed to one filled with gel or water because the baby could break through it.

3. Offer cold stuff

A washcloth, or cold foods like applesauce can ease your baby’s discomfort.

4. Dry the drool

Excess saliva can irritate a baby’s skin and cause a rash. Prevent this by wiping it away with a clean cloth.

5. Give your baby whole-grain teething biscuits

Biscuits are a healthy choice if they dissolve in the mouth.

6. Use teething cloths

These cloths soothe your baby’s pain when folded in a triangle and dipped in either chamomile tea or water, and cooled in the fridge.

7. Consult your doctor about over-the-counter medications

Tylenol and Advil can help your little one, but talk to your doctor before giving your baby any medication. Aspirin should not be given to your baby and be wary of teething gels. These gels, which work by numbing the gums, can be washed away by saliva without providing much relief, and too much gel can numb the baby’s throat and affect the gag reflex.

8. Give some TLC

Tender loving care in the form of extra hugs and cuddling could be just what your baby needs to be comforted through this painful experience.

How do you know if your baby is teething?

  • excessive drooling
  • irritability
  • swollen gums
  • trouble sleeping
  • chewing on solid objects
  • resistance to nursing (the sucking makes their gums more sensitive)

Fever, diarrhea and flu-like symptoms are not signs of teething and if your baby is experiencing these it may be best to pay a visit to the doctor’s office.

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