It’s hard to believe just how fast babies grow and develop. After welcoming our new girl into the world only a couple of months ago, looking back at pictures of her in the hospital, I just can’t get my head around how much bigger she is now! Just as you’re getting used to having a tiny baby around, all of a sudden they’re getting heavier, longer and stronger and you wonder where that tiny bundle of baby went?! Even though this is now my third little one, I still never get used to how fast it all happens.
Babies teeth, like everything else, come much sooner than you expect! As babies get ready for weaning, their teeth can start to emerge from as young as three months, however it usually happens between 4 and 7 months. If it hasn’t happened by then though, don’t worry as the first tooth can sometimes take up to a year to appear. At least by then, you’ll be ready for it!
Signs of Teething in Babies
Understanding what the first signs of teething are can be helpful, but remember, no two children are exactly the same so whatever advice you’re given - it might not apply to your child. There’s no bible of teething that all children adhere too.
You don’t need to get hung up on waiting for certain signs. Some babies exhibit no symptoms at all, whilst only a minority have more than one sign. Symptoms can last just for the time it takes for a tooth to push through, or for longer if lots of teeth pop up at the same time.
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of teething in babies, so if you’re child has any of them don’t panic, it’s probably just a sign of a tooth that’s ready to emerge!
Agitation and Irritability
Of course, agitation can be a symptom of many minor things in babies, however if they’re at teething age then this could be the first sign there’s a tooth on the way. Sharp little teeth pushing up and cutting through gums isn’t the most comfortable sensation and your child won’t understand why they are in pain. This can lead to sleeplessness, fidgeting and rubbing their face or grabbing their ears - which is where they’re feeling the discomfort.
Obviously, babies are known for drooling! Part of this excessive and clothes drenching substance is down to teething. If your child has been drooling more than normal, those teeth might be ready to show themselves soon!
Chewing Sucking and Biting Everything!
At teething time, babies often try to shove anything they can into their mouths to try and sooth their gums. This could be anything in grabbable distance, no matter how inappropriate… from wooly scarves to sharp objects, you find yourself cleaning all surfaces immediately in front of your child to stop them gobbling anything in their path.
Swollen, Red or Bulging Gums
If your child’s gums seem swollen, bulging or slightly sore then this could be the sign of a tooth getting ready to come through. This is a totally normal symptom of teething. Even if their is a bluish, bruised area, this is most likely just bruising caused by the emerging tooth.
If you can’t see or feel that there is a tooth coming through in the area of swelling, take note of the place on the gums that are the most swollen. With babies, teeth usually come through from at the front bottom of their mouths. Then the top front teeth, followed by the teeth closest to the top front two, and then lastly the molars and canine teeth.
If the swelling is coming from the place that the next teeth are “due” to erupt - it should subside once the tooth is through. But if the swelling goes on for a while and can’t be soothed or seems to get a lot larger without sign that a tooth is coming through, it might be a good idea to check with a doctor.
Rejecting their Food
Being fussy with food can just a common baby thing (who knows why they love something one week and won’t even sniff it the next week?) however, it can also be a sign of teething.
A Tooth Visible Under the Gum
If you can actually see a tooth or more than one just below the gum, then you can be 100% sure this is a sign of teething!
Remember, if your child is teething it’s important to make sure they use a safe teether to help soothe their gums! If you’d like to find out more about this, check out a parents guide to safe baby teething toys here.