Few things are certain in life, but having to care for a teething baby is one sure-fire definite! Whilst it is a process that every child and parent has to conquer, the journey is never the same per pair. Amid all the horror stories of sleepless nights and expected symptoms, here are a few things that you may not have known.
Things you may not have known about teething
1. There is no normal
We have all seen the guidelines of what age teeth generally start to erupt. However, these are not set in stone. Some babies can be born with teeth (my absolute worst nightmare was birthing a man child with teeth and a beard). Others can reach 14 months before a first tooth appears.
2. Order of appearance, please!
Our baby’s teeth tend to appear in a sequenced order. Some children pop their top teeth before their bottom. But generally, the two bottom teeth appear first, then the top two, followed by the lateral incisors, then first molars. The nasty canine teeth are next, followed by the second molars. Some babies can sprout four or six or more teeth at once!
While on the topic of order, interestingly the earlier the teeth come in, the earlier they leave to make room for adult teeth.
3. Drooling in excess
Teething does increase the amount of saliva produced, but too much drool is more often than not a symptom caused by other conditions. If your teething baby has a constant waterfall situation happening, we recommend speaking to your family doctor.
4. Hot, hot, hot
A slight increase in body temperature is a reported symptom of teething. A high increase in body temperature is not. If your child develops a fever, take them straight to the doctor.
5. Pain is not necessary
Research has shown that erupting teething is not a necessarily painful process. This has always surprised me, as seeing those swollen little gums just looks painful. However, our babies tend to be more in discomfort than pain. Consider it more of an itch, or pressure, than an achy pain. Encourage baby to gnaw on anything cold, such as teething rings or even a cold wash cloth.
All of my children had a seamless experience with teething so this next one surprised me. When the teeth are erupting, it can cause cysts on the gums. This is where a little bleeding happens under the gums causing a bluish blood blister (cyst). These do go away once the tooth breaks through the surface.