Teething is difficult. When you see your little child hurting, all you want to do is relieve their suffering and help them feel better. Teething may be a hassle for parents and babies alike due to drooling, irritability, and crying. Too frequently, well-intentioned parents and other caregivers resort to potentially hazardous medications and treatments in an effort to soothe a child’s discomfort. Products can be harmful, and they can cause severe injuries or even death. When a baby starts teething, the first teeth will erupt from the gums. For both the infant and the parents, it’s a major deal. However, there are many ways you can help your baby feel more at ease while they are teething. (Also read: This is how you care for baby’s teeth before, during and after pregnancy )
“Sleep actually is one of the best things you can do for your little one. Good sleep will help them feel better and be more able to handle any challenges and changes they go through, like teething. While teething does indeed hurt, the pain doesn’t actually last for days and days like we seem to think. Keeping your baby on a consistent routine and schedule will help them get back to sleeping well quicker if they were thrown off a bit by an extra angry molar.” says Mica and Chelsae, Child Sleep Experts. They further suggest four tips to safely relieve teething pain.
- Teeth don’t “stab” through the baby’s gums. The gums move out of the way to allow teeth to emerge, which is why they don’t bleed. So don’t overestimate the amount of discomfort your baby’s going through.
- A well-rested baby will handle teething better than one who’s not sleeping well. As they are less often disrupted by teething.
- Studies show that symptoms associated with teething consistently occur only on the day a tooth erupts and the day after.
- Experts agree the safest remedy is gnawing on a refrigerated (not frozen) teething ring.
Certified infant and child sleep consultant, Caroline, suggested symptoms of teething and how it affects your toddler’s sleep in her Instagram post.
Teething symptoms include:
• Swollen gums
• Red cheeks
• Excess drooling
• Mouthing everything and anything
• Slight fever
• Pulling on ears
Teething and sleep:
- The average age for a baby’s first tooth is 6-7 months. Some babies are born with teeth while others won’t have any teeth until after their first birthday. Most children will have all their baby teeth by age 3. That’s about 2.5 years of on-and-off teething.
- Teething symptoms can be similar to the symptoms of more serious illnesses. If your child has a fever or experiences prolonged symptoms, it is best to get them checked by a doctor.
- A few days before, the day of, and the few days after tooth eruption are often the most painful and this is where sleep can be impacted. Teething is unlikely the cause of prolonged sleep issues. Sleep disturbances that last for several weeks or months should be investigated further.
- Avoid using medicated teething gels as these can be dangerous in high doses. Opt for cold teething toys or discuss alternative pain relief with your doctor.
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