There are going to be a few times during your baby’s first year that he has a very legit reason for screaming, and one of those is teething. The first tooth comes in at around 6 months, and they keep coming until about 3 years old.
Teething hurts! It actually bothers babies at varying degrees, but no dad wants to see his baby in any amount of pain. We want you to understand teething in a lot of detail and then arm you with some techniques to ease the misery.
First things first, let's understand all the stages of teething…
Stage 1: (0-6 months) At birth, babies have a full set of 20 primary teeth in the jawbones beneath their gums.
Stage 2: (6-8 months) During this stage, the first teeth come out. The lower and upper front teeth (the incisors) begin to erupt around 6 months, but signs and symptoms of pain or discomfort may happen before 6 months. Prior to the eruption, the uneven edges of the teeth may push against the gums, and the baby will typically start chewing on toys, hands, or other solid objects.
Stage 3: (10-14 months) During this stage, the primary molars begin erupting. These teeth come in the back of the mouth in the lower and upper jaws. This stage is a lot like stage 2, but you will notice even more drool, crankiness, and the need to chew on solid objects. During this time period, it’s common for babies to have a bit of a loss of appetite, fever, and diarrhea. During stage 3, a baby’s sleep schedule may become “off.”
Stage 4: (16-22 months) During this stage, the canine teeth (between the top and bottom molars and incisors) will surface.
Stage 5: (25-33 months) For some kids, this is the most painful stage of teething. During this time, the large molars emerge. These are the biggest teeth, and the old soothing techniques might not work anymore.
Teething is a natural and normal part of growing up. As a society, we are conditioned to keep ourselves and our kids far away from pain and discomfort. However, teething is a right of passage. It’s helpful to tell yourself that this is part of life for your little one and he will definitely get through it.
Nevertheless, there are things we can do to ease the pain. Although it’s easy to give your kid some Tylenol, we prefer to recommend natural remedies in order to limit any side effects. Here are some tricks you can try.
- Cloves contain oils that have warming, numbing properties. Mix ground cloves with water, coconut oil, or unsalted butter, and chill in the fridge to make a paste that can be rubbed on the gums. Clove Essential Oil works great too!
- Homeopathic remedies have been successfully used for years to soothe teething. We like this one.
- Vanilla extract contains a soothing agent that can reduce a baby's anxiety. Also, the trace amounts of alcohol found in the extract create a warm, comforting sensation. Soak a cotton swab with the extract and apply it to your baby's gums.
- Amber teething necklaces are designed to be worn, not chewed on, by your baby. Body heat releases the succinic acid contained in the stones, which is a natural pain reliever and inflammation reducer. Amber has been used for centuries to provide relief to teething babies.
- Let them chew on a hard vegetable (such as a carrot) in order to put pressure on the gums
- Give them frozen milk, formula, or a cold spoon to suck on. You can actually freeze almost anything and give it to them on a stick. Try mashed bananas or strawberries if they are eating solids
- Let them suck on your finger and press down on their gums
No matter how much discomfort your baby is in, he will get through it. We promise! Don’t stress too much about this stage of life and embrace the process.