Teething comes with some frustrating symptoms, and it's particularly frustrating for everyone involved because young babies can't talk to communicate that they’re in pain or feeling uncomfortable.
But, you can look out for the following signs that may tell you that their first tooth is on its way…
- Excessive drooling: Babies dribble a lot more than usual when they're teething.
- Chewing on everything and anything: Teething babies have sore and tender gums, so chewing gives them with relief.
- Irritability and grumpiness: Your baby may be irritable, grumpy and restless, and who can blame them?!
- Slight increase in temperature: A mildly-raised temperature can also be a sign, but should not be over 38°C. If it is, seek medical advice.
- A loss of appetite: Who wants to eat when in pain? It’s likely your baby will go off their food for a while. Just keep their fluids up with lots of water and see if you can tempt them with a nice cold treat to soothe their throbbing gums.
- One flushed, red cheek: This is a common sign of teething. Your baby's cheeks turn red and feel warmer when they're teething because the tooth that's coming through the gum causes irritation.
- A facial rash around the mouth or chin: Teething often leads to more drooling, and all that extra moisture can irritate baby's sensitive skin.
- Rubbing their ears: The nerves around the gums, cheek, jaw, and ear are connected, and so they can all be affected by teething pain. If you see your little one tugging on their ear or rubbing their cheek or jaw, this is a sign that they're probably teething. However, it's good to note that little ones with an ear infection will also pull their ear, so check with your doctor if this symptom is present for longer than a few days.
To know for sure if your baby is teething, you can…
- Lay them your lap and look inside their mouth by moving their top or bottom lip or gently opening their jaw.
- Then, use a clean finger to gently feel around their upper and lower gums to check for tooth buds (small bumps along your baby's gum with a hard tooth underneath).
According to NCT, other symptoms parents sometimes associate with teething but that aren't generally linked to teething include…
- Coughs and congestion
- Disturbed sleep
- An increased number of poos, runny poos and nappy rash
- Loss of appetite for liquids
- Rashes other than those on the face
- A fever of over 38°C or 100°F
A fever and symptoms like diarrhoea, rashes, and vomiting are not likely to be linked to teething, so you should always talk to your doctor if your baby is experiencing these.