Teething

Babies usually start cutting teeth between 3 to 6 months of age and continue teething until they are about 2 years old. Because teething irritates the gums, it causes babies to cry, drool a lot, and to chew on things. In addition, you may notice a change in eating or sleeping habits. However, some babies never develop teething symptoms.

You can help relieve the pain of teething by using the following measures:

  • Massage your baby's gums firmly with your finger or an ice cube covered with a cloth. If you do this before meals, feeding is easier.

  • Let your baby chew on a wet wash cloth or teething ring that you have cooled in the refrigerator. Never tie a teething ring around your baby's neck. It could catch on something and choke your baby. Teething biscuits or frozen banana slices are good for chewing also.

  • Only give over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your child's caregiver. Use numbing gels as directed by your child's caregiver. Numbing gels are less helpful than the measures described above and can be harmful in high doses.

  • Use a cup to give fluids if nursing or sucking from a bottle is too difficult.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your baby does not respond to treatment.

  • Your baby has a fever.

  • Your baby has uncontrolled fussiness.

  • Your baby has red, swollen gums.

  • Your baby is wetting less diapers than normal (sign of dehydration).