Babies go through teething at different times. For some, teeth can start to appear as early as 3 months, while others don’t start teething until after their first birthday. But most babies will start teething when they’re around 6 months old, with the bottom, middle teeth appearing first.
For many parents that means teething starts just as you’ve established a sleep routine with your little one. So how can you tell if your baby is teething, and how can you ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep?
Here are four signs of teething and what you can do to help make your baby comfortable:
Swollen or red gums
Having something cool to chew on can help soothe discomfort in your little one’s mouth. For example, you can freeze a Grocomforter and let your baby chew on the knotted corners. The cold fabric has a soothing, numbing effect. Just remember to put your Grocomforter in a freezer bag to keep it separate from other items in your freezer.
Increased nappy rash
Having a sore bottom can upset your baby’s sleep, so keep an eye on their nappies and use a barrier cream to combat nappy rash.
Going off their food
If teething is making your little one fussy over their food, you can try offering them chilled food such as yoghurts or purees. You may also want to increase the amount of fluid they drink to stop them getting dehydrated. Many babies dribble more when teething.
Baby is more fretful and wakeful during the night
Your little one may feel warmer than usual when teething, so keep them comfortable by checking their temperature. The Lullaby Trust says ‘Feel the baby’s tummy or the back of their neck. If your baby’s skin is hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of bedclothes. Your baby’s hands and feet will usually feel cooler, which is normal’.
For baby, the optimal room temperature is approximately 18˚C. Use a thermometer such as a Tommee Tippee Room and Bath Thermometer or a Groegg to measure the temperature in the rooms where your baby sleeps.
Teething can be stressful for baby and for you. If you have a bedtime routine, do your best to stick with it, but don’t feel bad for soothing and comforting your little one as their teeth start coming through. It may feel exhausting but remember teething doesn’t last forever!