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How to tell if your baby is teething?

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

If you've found this blog post the chances are you have a fussy baby and you're trying to figure out if they've started teething.

As a mum of two young kids and owner of a teething jewellery company, I have learned a few things over the years that I'd love to share with anyone who might find it useful.

Firstly, there's not nearly enough research into this area so most of what we know is anecdotal. Please remember, you know your baby better than anyone and your instinct is often the best measure of how things are going.

That said, if you want some fast facts and pointers about teething, please read on...

When do babies start teething?

Every child is different, but teething can start as early as 3 months old.

How long does teething last for?

Teething can continue in some cases until 2 years old. But again, every child is different.

Is putting hands in mouth a sign of teething?

Yes, if your baby is putting their hands in their mouth and gnawing this could be a sign that teething has begun. Other signs include red flushed cheeks due to the swelling in their mouth and gum area. Many babies dribble during this time too as it can hurt to close their mouth so lots of drool may start running down their chins. You might want to consider adding a barrier cream or moisturiser to their chin and neck to prevent a sore rash from developing. Dribble bibs are also great too.

How do you know if your baby has teething pain?

I'll say it again because this one's really important; trust your instincts, you know your baby better than anyone. If your baby is displaying any of the signs mentioned above (dribbling, flushed cheeks, stuffing hands in their mouth and gnawing) then they are probably teething. Offer your baby something safe to chew such as teething jewellery and see how they get on. Plus lots of comforting cuddles.

How long do teething pains last?

There’s no rule, teething pain could last anything from a few hours to a few days. It really depends on how quickly the tooth pops through. This is when chewing on a teething toy or jewellery can help as it numbs the pain naturally, creates a distraction and many believe it helps the tooth to ‘cut through’ too.

Should I give my teething baby pain killers?

Suitable pain relief should be considered, in the UK this is commonly Calpol (low dosage paracetamol for babies and children). We are in no way advocating medicating your child if it’s not something you want to do. But you should definitely consider your views on this and follow up accordingly. Please speak to your GP if you have any questions.

How long does it take for a tooth to break through gums?

Again there is no rule, some babies’ teeth will come through in a matter of days, some may take weeks. The pain usually comes in waves, which is why teething necklaces are so perfect - you can easily keep it with you at all times, for when the pain flares up unexpectedly and your baby needs soothing.

Is teething worse at night?

Every child is different, but in general it seems that many children suffer more in the evening time.

How can I help comfort and soothe my teething baby?

Offer your baby lots of hugs and contact, help them feel safe and loved. The pain can be excruciating, and they have no other way to express their discomfort and fear than through crying. Please allow them to cry and continue to offer them love and comfort. You can get through this together.

What things are safe for a teething baby to chew on?

Teething products made from safe, non-toxic materials can offer great relief. They help apply pressure to sore gums which naturally numbs the pain. They also create a distraction from the discomfort, which is a great tactic. If you’re looking for a natural solution for teething babies then teething jewellery is a great option.

Can I freeze my baby's teething products?

Please do not freeze teething products as there is a risk they could get stuck to your babies lip with the cold and be painful to remove. Instead, try putting your silicone teething jewellery in the fridge (not the freezer!) for an hour so it feels nice and chilly on babies’ sore gums.

There are many different ways to deal with teething pain, and a lot of advice out there about different solutions. Please always consider the hygiene aspect and any choking risks when using homemade methods. Please never leave babies unattended with any small objects or long string.

Final thought: Ultimately all you can do it try a combination of things until you find the right combination that works for your little one, sadly there's no single magic solution.

You've got this. You can do it.

Victoria x

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