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Teething Challenges and How to Deal with them

Written by Cara Barilla

Every child experiences teething differently from others. It could be quite broadened or a short-term period of pain and irritability. Signs and symptoms will also substantially change during different times of their infancy and as they grow into toddlerhood. Effective methods of controlling the teething phase can change from time to time. It’s crucial to switch on your “motherly intuition” and read your own baby’s signs, symptoms to become aware of their behaviour changes and needs. Every child is completely different from the next; the way they engage and deal with pain to how they express their needs. As the parent, during this developmental period you will pick up their queues and harmonise irritability.  

Red and swollen gums can occur from a very early stage. This is challenging as your Bub may be in pain without showing signs of teething. Depending on their age, if they are over 6 months, keep some cool snacks such as cucumbers in the fridge. If they are under 6 months, keep gel teething rings or cool frozen gel or silicone based toys at arm’s reach. Frozen rubber teats are also very helpful.  Excessive drooling can occur from as early as 3 months. During this period, ensure your bub gets lots of cuddles and changed bibs for comfort.  

Redness in the cheeks is very common, though many mums can get this confused with skin allergies or eczema. Soothing gel, baby panadol or teething rings are helpful at this stage of symptoms.
Additional sleeping during the day and night can be a challenge to pick up whether it is due to teething or not. This could be linked to redness in their gums so if the two symptoms are evident, it’s best to keep bub well hydrated for an easy day’s rest. Watered down milk with baby panadol or some cool purée is very healing.

If your baby is pulling and rubbing their ears, it is an obvious indication of jawline teething pain. It could be a rough time for you and the baby as they will be making things worse by pulling on their ears and creating additional ache. Biting toys, hands, food, and clothes is a sign that they may have current but short-term pain. At this point of their milestone, mums and dads need to be well-composed and ready to handle their baby at any hour of the day as teething can be uncontrollable and irritable. 

More severe cases of teething include loss of appetite. This is not uncommon but it can throw off your daily routine. The more tolerant you are to cater for your little one’s needs, the more your baby will naturally synchronise to the routine with ease. Try to keep your home relaxed, slow paced and quiet. In a time of teething, anything could possibly add on to the irritability.

Facial rashes are common during teething and can be linked to eczema. Due to over drooling, the saliva can ultimately create irritated layering around the skin. Qv cream, baby rash cream and specialised eczema cream are all very helpful during this period. There may be a possibility that your baby might experience minor health irregularities during teething. This is primarily caused by sleep deprivation and inability to consume food properly and relax. Many children develop short-term diarrhoea or a flu around this period. This is mainly a side effect rather than a sign of baby teething. It’s best to speak to your GP to determine what medicine is best for healing your bub at this time.

There is no clear set time of when teething will last. Until all your babies “milk teeth” have developed, it may be a rocky rollercoaster in the meantime. Milk teeth can finish developing from up to 2 years old. Your baby’s teeth won’t come out all at once; they could pop up after several months. As long as you are mindful of the best precautions for teething, it’s best not to be too hard on yourself as a mum. Put the main focus on your child’s happiness and daily health. 

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