It’s true…that gummy, toothless smile of hers is adorable! But sooner or later, your little girl will sprout her first tooth. Those pearly whites will usually make their grand appearance around 6 months, but her tiny choppers can pop up anywhere between 3 months and 15 months. When your daughter actually gets her teeth depends on a combination of genetics (when mom and dad got them) and whether or not she was born premature (preemies tend to get them a bit later).
Along with those new choppers, your daughter may experience symptoms such as gum pain, excessive drool, sleep disruptions and crankiness. Or, she may experience none at all. While each baby deals with teething differently, there are things you can do if you happen to have a cranky cutie on your hands.
Is She Teething?
Lay on the drool. Excessive drool is on of the first signs that your daughter may be teething. It can occur days or months before she pops that pearly.
Inflamed gums. Red, puffy gums may indicate that there are budding teeth underneath.
Sleep disturbances. A baby that used to sleep through the night may now awaken several times (especially at night) or have trouble napping.
Cranky and crying. The pain associated with teething may cause her to cry more frequently.
Constantly chewing. Your daughter may become like a “puppy” chewing on anything and everything she can get her little hands on.
Ear pulling. She may fidget, pull, or pat her ears from the pain.
Eating Issues. Babies that are teething may increase or decrease the amount of food they eat.
Ways to Soothe Your Cranky Cutie.
Chew on This. Give her lots to chew on – especially things that are cold as it will help decrease her swollen gums. Try putting a baby spoon in the fridge for a couple of hours and then letting her chew on it. Another great trick is to place a cold wash cloth in the freezer for her to chew on. Teething rings and toys are also a great choice.
Infant ibuprofen or Tylenol. This is an especially good option for a very fussy baby. Often these medicines can help your daughter sleep better (and that means you sleep better!). Also try topical oral anesthetics (Orajel). Just be sure NOT to exceed the correct dosage on any medications you give your child.
Warm Olive Oil on gums. Many parents swear by this “Italian Classic” home remedy. Warm a small amount of olive oil in the microwave and massage it on her gums.
Distract, Distract, Distract! Increase her playtime. Cranky babies, like adults, feel better if they have a distraction to take their mind off the pain. Take her for a walk or get down on the floor and play with her. You’ll both be laughing in no time!
When to call the doc: If her symptoms worsen or she gets a fever above 101 degrees, you should contact your doctor since these could be symptoms of another illness.