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So you are just feeling mighty pleased with yourself about the fact that your baby is finally sleeping through the night after those initial, gruelling three months. But soon enough that smile is wiped off your face when your baby starts crying incessantly yet again and you know you have reached the next milestone, the dreaded milestone that all moms keep cribbing about. That’s right, your baby has officially embarked upon his teething milestone.
The teething phase feels like some cruel joke that nature plays on you. Just when you have achieved some semblance of control, it just walks in nonchalantly leaving you frustrated. While some moms sail through this phase smoothly, moms like me need to brace themselves for the bumpiest rides of their lives.
It all begins very slowly, you wouldn’t even realize it as you wipe off that drool off your baby’s lips yet again. The drooling slowly develops into a pretty permanent feature, which may even cause a small rash on your little ones chin. Use the softest cloth possible to wipe it off each time. It actually takes only 1-7 days for each of those pearly whites to erupt through the gums, but since all 20 have to come out within a span of two years, you end up feeling like this phase is never going to end.
I remember this phase specifically, because like every mom, I was super elated that my baby was sleeping through the night. Just as he slowly approached his fifth month, things began changing. I found myself pacing up and down the room with my inconsolable baby again. Initially I was puzzled, exhausted, drained and frustrated. Slowly it dawned upon me that my baby was teething.
The teethers that are available in the market helped me quite a bit. Ensure that you buy a teether from a reputed brand which is safe, as some of them are known to have unhygienic liquid. The frozen teethers would give my son quite a bit of relief. I would also give him a cold carrot at times which he would just keep chewing on. Sometimes just a rub along the gums with my finger would give him that momentary respite that he was looking for. My son was also feeding more frequently as he found it comforting, while in most babies often a loss of appetite is observed.
Keeping a good supply of sanitized cold objects like washcloths, teethers, soft toys etc. can be quite helpful. If your child has begun with solids, cold foods like yogurt, mashed bananas etc. can help easing those achy gums.
Often we associate diarrhea and fever with teething. Diarrhea may happen because the child tries to chew on something which may not necessarily be hygienic.Mostly teething coincides with that stage of a baby when he is easily susceptible to many infections, which in turn results in fever. So next time you hear anyone mentioning the two symptoms, please do correct them.
Oral hygiene is also important at this stage. Much before the teeth actually arrive, which is ideally from the time right after birth, it is advisable to rub the gums with a soft wet cloth after each meal or feed. As the pearly whites arrive brushing your baby’s teeth with a soft bristled brush and water is advisable. However it is recommended not to use toothpaste until the age of two.
There are also some over the counter drugs and painkillers available if your baby is experiencing severe discomfort. Do consult your pediatrician before resorting to this method for treating your little ones teething woes. The idea is to stick to the trial and error method and see what suits your baby the best.