What Can You Blame on Teething?

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Teething is a likely scapegoat for lots of things, and many medical experts try to tell mums that most of the teething symptoms are not actually from teething. But most of these experts must have been work-a-holics who didn’t spend the sleepless nights with their teething babies, because mums who have been there know that there is a lot that you can blame on teething (whether is gets written up in medical books of not!)

Night Waking

The first sign that something serious is going on is when your baby wakes at night, won’t eat and has a hard time falling back asleep. It’s almost as if she’s uncomfortable and wants you to make it better. This is exactly the case. Even before you can see white in the gums, your baby might be feeling her teeth move around and the feeling can’t be great. The pressure builds and starts to hurt and sucking can make it even worse.

When your baby can’t stay asleep and wants to doze in your arms instead, you have a few options. You can let her doze while you doze in the rocking chair. Or you can call your doctor and get an okay for some pain relief such as Tylenol or Motrin. Just be sure to ask first. Topical pain relievers might be a better solution if you’re hesitant about the Tylenol, just be aware that it can take some time to find the right one for your baby.

Fever

Teething often causes a light fever. If your baby’s fever goes above 38 degrees (Celsius), you are likely dealing with more than just teething, but a slightly elevated temperature is normal and can be left alone or treated with fever reducers according to your doctor’s instructions.

Runny Nose

A runny nose might start weeks before the tooth erupts. The nose may only run for the bottom teeth as these seem to be more symptom-producing than the tops, but it might just run for every tooth that comes in. A teething nose runs clear, almost like a water drip. If the nose is running yellow or green, you are dealing with a cold, not teething. A clear runny nose might also be allergies. Allergies or teething, just keep a tissue handy and wait for it to pass.

Drool

Around three or four months your baby will start some serious drooling. Part of this is just the increased amount of saliva babies have and the not so proficient swallowing your baby does. But when a tooth starts moving around in the gums, the drooling will likely intensify. Grab a bib and a burp cloth to keep her cleaned up. You can also plan on changing her shirt a few times throughout the day as the huge amounts of drool soak through the bib and drench her. With so much fluid leaving the body, also be sure she is staying hydrated.

Fussiness

Teething babies are usually uncomfortable, so you can expect them to complain about it a fair amount. A teething baby might fuss all day and sleep well at night or fuss around the clock until that tooth comes through. Not all babies show a great deal of fussiness and babies that are sensitive to the teething might fuss more with some teeth than others. The first teeth, bottom teeth and molars are the more painful of the batch, so you can expect a bit more whining when these are coming through.

Ear and Face Rubbing

When a tooth comes through, the entire jaw can ache which means your baby may rub at her jaw, mouth, or even ear as that is where the jaw is connected. The rubbing might also a symptom of a tired baby or an ear infection, so see what other symptoms are present before dismissing rubbing as a teething symptom.

Biting

When a tooth is pushing up, nothing feels better for baby than putting a bit of counter pressure on the area. This is why teething babies love to chew. Give your baby teething toys, frozen bagels, hard biscuits and even frozen wash cloths to chew on. The cold of the frozen items will feel good on her gums and the pressure of the bite will help to lessen the pain. If you let your baby chew on your fingers, be sure your hands are washed and be ready for that first sharp bite as that tooth comes through.

Refusing to Feed

Sucking can cause pressure in the mouth, and if the mouth is already under pressure, more pressure is painful. This is why so many babies stop sucking during teething. She may just go a day or two with less food, and if possible help to fortify her diet with more baby food or finger foods if she’s old enough. Clean wet wash cloths to chew on might also help to get extra fluids in here since she’ll be losing so many, but not drinking much in.

Ear Infections

Not a direct symptom, sometimes the fluids which are so prevalent while teething cause problems of their own. When the fluids get trapped in the ear canal, they can cause an ear infection. Watch normal teething signs carefully to see if suddenly the fever spikes or your baby shows increased symptoms such as fussiness and ear pulling. Have a doctor check anytime you’re concerned.

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