How to Soothe Your Teething Baby

Your baby’s first tooth is likely to appear as early as six months after birth. From then until about the age of 2½ your baby may show some symptoms right before or right after the teeth come in. These symptoms can include biting, drooling, gum-rubbing, irritability, and sucking. Your baby may also temporarily rub her ears, and eat or sleep less. Fever, rash, and diarrhea are not normal symptoms of teething. Research has shown that no one particular symptom can be linked to teething.

In fact, a study of more than 100 teething infants found that about 35 percent of the babies did not have any symptoms in the four days before and four days after a tooth came in. Also, teething did not cause a high fever or diarrhea in any of the infants. So always consult your baby’s doctor about a fever higher than 100 degrees, diarrhea, or other signs of illness.

If teething is causing your baby’s misery, don’t rub medications on her gums. They wash out of the mouth too fast to help. Instead, try these soothing tips:

• After your baby is 1 month old, offer her a teething ring or pacifier to suck on. But never dip it in honey or sugar water, which can cause tooth decay.

• Gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger or wet gauze.

• Let your baby gum a cool spoon.

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