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A child’s journey from a little baby to a toddler is peppered with numerous tiny milestones, some concerning his behavior will others related to his growth. Learning to roll around, hold himself up straight, and taking the first steps are some of the major ones which leave the child quite delighted as well. But amongst those is one more milestone, which marks a very important stage in a child’s life, but can be quite taxing for the little one. The emergence of the first teeth might be a cause of celebration for parents, but for kids, it is no less than a nightmare!
What is Teething and is it Normal in Toddlers?
For a toddler, usually, it is the molars that are yet awaited. Other teeth usually have already appeared by the time a baby attains toddlerhood. In babies, teething starts around the time when a baby has completed 24 weeks after delivery, although this duration can vary as some children do teethe later on in life. The entire process gets quite painful for the babies since the teeth push their way to emerge out of the soft tender skin of the gums. Many babies tend to be quite irritated and fussy throughout this process, leading some parents to believe if their baby is suffering from some other problems. But these are generally normal signs of teething and the discomfort does fade away in some time.
Common Toddler Teething Symptoms and Remedies
When the phenomena of teething begin in your child, it will get quite apparent since it is usually accompanied by numerous symptoms and quite some pain. Opting for some toddler teething pain remedies can help make that entire process easier for your child to handle, and prevent any complications from occurring.
1. Being Excessively Cranky
The sensation of pain in the gums and the mouth can get quite irritating, leading them to be cranky and fussy about every single thing involving them. Taking care of such a child for extended durations can take quite a toll on you as well, leaving you exhausted and tired while your child refuses to calm down.
The only way to counter crankiness is with tons of love, care and spending a lot of time with your baby. This might take its own time and opt for some distractions like a game or a story or other sounds could take his attention off the pain. Being patient with him and yourself is the key to getting the both of you through this phase.
2. Waking Up in the Middle of a Nap
Sometimes, the pain of teething is a constant dull one, which leads your child to be cranky for long times. In other cases, that can also be accompanied by certain sharp ones out of nowhere, which disturbs your baby completely. These can even occur at night when your baby is sleeping peacefully and gets rudely woken up by a sharp ache in the mouth. What follows next is incessant crying, irritation at the sleep being disturbed, and failure to fall asleep again.
Some babies don’t require immediate attention right away. They might cry for a few minutes and go back to sleep again. In case that doesn’t happen, then your intervention is necessary. Hum his favourite song or gently pat his body till he falls asleep again.
3. Refraining from Consuming Anything
The constant ache in the mouth can rob the babies of the need to feed or even reduce your little one’s appetite for a few days. He might not suckle on your breast for long, or even turn away from it. Using a bottle, a straw, or his favourite sipper might not be of use as well, since the very act of sucking could trigger the pain all over again.
A change in temperature can get your child intrigued as well as provide some much-needed relief to the aching gums as well. Cooled breast milk or any soft food items are your best bet in this regard. If your child has started off with solids, then giving him some frozen yoghurt, mashed bananas, or other frozen fruit items.
4. Rubbing the Cheeks Constantly
The ache in the gums as the teeth do their best to emerge can result in the sensations being transferred to the cheeks as well. They could itch internally or simply feel weird, causing your baby to pull on them, or rub them as if he’s trying to brush something away.
Giving some teething biscuits to your child might be beneficial in this regard. Stay away from using any kind of gels or creams to be applied on the gums or cheeks to help soothe the pain. They are not safe for babies and could result in fatal results.
5. Pulling the Ears in Extreme Discomfort
The ears, nose, and throat are all interconnected within our body. Any kind of disturbance in one section could result in an effect in the other. The pain in the gums could cause weird sensations in the ear or even result in an earache, which your baby might attempt to relieve by pulling his earlobes constantly.
Keep your child’s hands occupied by giving him a toy or using chilled chewing rings that can relieve some pain of the gums. If the pulling is severe, then using acetaminophen or ibuprofen, after the doctor’s recommendation, could help as well. Do get his ears checked since there might be a chance of an infection within the ear itself.
6. Chewing on Anything and Everything in His Sight
The teeth apply tremendous pressure on the skin of the gums as they emerge from the roots within an attempt to break out. This pressure is what babies attempt to get relief from, by applying counter pressure and chewing on anything they can lay their hands on.
Chewing rings are your best bet, so are cold ice cubes or a sip of cold water. Make sure he doesn’t chew on sharp objects since those could harm the gums and cause hematomas or cysts within.
7. Irritation on the Skin of the Cheeks
Most of the times, teething is accompanied by excessive drooling which can keep the area around the mouth and the chin wet and moist for long durations. This can result in a rash or an irritation of the area due to constant wiping.
Use gentle wipes or a soft cloth and pat the skin dry instead of rubbing it. Make use of a baby-friendly ointment to treat a rash if it gets severe.
How Long Will Teething Last?
Once you know what to give a toddler for teething pain, you might wonder how long will this phase last. Generally, the front teeth (both the top and bottom ones) emerge by 1.5 years, followed by other teeth, gradually until a couple of years. The order might vary from child to child but the pain subsides after the first few teeth.
When to Consult a Doctor
The complications of teething in toddler usually occur when the teeth fail to erupt properly, requiring your doctor to get a better idea of the situation.
- Some children suffer from a condition called as hypodontia where the primary teeth in a child are completely missing. In rare cases, a baby might entirely fail to have any teeth at all, termed as anodontia.
- While the teething is in progress, your baby might tend to prefer sleeping with a bottle in the mouth or even your nipple. This causes the milk to be in contact with the new teeth for an extended duration, resulting in the formation of dental cavities and decayed teeth at an early age.
The process of teething is a good sign that shows your child’s development to be on a healthy path. The pain that accompanies with it can be cared for in numerous ways, along with ensuring that the natural process of teething isn’t hindered in any way. If toddler teething fever does tend to occur, it is best to contact your doctor and get his recommendation for medication if necessary.