When Does an Infant Start Teething: A Comprehensive Guide for New Parents - Home Kartz

When Does an Infant Start Teething: A Comprehensive Guide for New Parents

Teething is a significant milestone in an infant's development, often accompanied by excitement and concern for new parents. Understanding when and how teething occurs can help parents better prepare for and manage this crucial phase. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about the teething process, from recognizing the first signs to finding effective remedies and knowing when to seek medical advice.

Understanding the Teething Timeline

infant teething timeline


Typical Age for First Tooth


Most babies start teething around 6 months old but don't be surprised if your little one starts earlier or later. Genetics plays a significant role in determining when those first teeth appear. Your baby might follow suit if you or your partner teethed early or late.


Variations in Teething Age


It's completely normal for some babies to get their first tooth as early as 4 months or as late as 12 months. Environmental and nutritional factors can also influence teething age. So, if your baby is a bit behind or ahead, there's usually no need to worry.


Late Teething Concerns


If your baby hasn't started teething by 12 months, consulting your pediatrician might be a good idea. While late teething is often just a routine variation, it's always best to rule out any underlying issues. Remember, every baby is unique and will follow their timeline.


Recognizing the First Signs of Teething

infant teething first signs


Common Symptoms


Because teething happens at different times for every baby, parents are often on the lookout for when that first tooth will arrive. Good clues to look for are more frequent drooling and your baby’s desire to chew on things. Chewing can help relieve the discomfort of teething and is a natural reaction in children.

Here are a few signs and symptoms that indicate your baby is teething:

  • Swollen lips or gums
  • Frequent crying
  • Irritability and an unsettled nature
  • Red, flushed cheeks
  • A slight fever (not typical)
  • Mouthing and sucking toys
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty feeding or refusing food
  • Disturbed sleep


Unusual Symptoms to Watch For


While their new teeth emerge, quintessential signs and symptoms of teething include irritability or fussiness, drooling, chewing on firm, solid objects, and sore or sensitive gums. Parents also commonly conclude that teething causes diarrhea and fever, but research has shown this untrue. Teething does produce signs and symptoms in the gums and mouth but does not generate constitutional or other extended bodily symptoms.


When to Seek Medical Advice


Such symptoms are common and do not result in illness; however, if your baby has persistent fever or diarrhea, it may be advisable to consult your pediatrician.

Teething can be frustrating, trying, scary…and can last a long time! That’s what makes it especially challenging for new parents. But if they have some idea of what to expect and how to handle their child’s discomfort, this period of babyhood can go a lot smoother and won’t overwhelm all the joys of those first few years.


The Order of Baby Teeth Appearance

smiling baby with first teeth in a cozy home setting


The baby teeth chart we mentioned is an excellent guide to the order in which baby teeth come in. Again, it can vary from child to child, and some of the estimated eruption times overlap. Most commonly, the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) are the first to debut, and the upper front teeth come next (upper central incisors). After that, baby teeth tend to show up symmetrically, with teeth on both sides of the mouth erupting around the same time (usually the lower teeth before the upper teeth). The last to arrive are almost always the second molars.


Your baby's first tooth will likely be the upper or lower incisors. The teeth next to the lateral incisors will emerge a few months later. The first molars or canines will come next, usually on the top of the mouth, followed by the bottom. Lastly, the second molars appear at 33 months. If your child’s baby teeth order doesn’t follow the chart strictly, there’s no need to be alarmed, and your pediatric dentist can guide you if you feel like something is off.


Remember, your child’s first set of teeth are there when he/she is born. You can’t see them because they are hidden under the gums! But when they’re ready to come out, you’ll see the upper and lower incisors first (think 2 front teeth!), followed by the others around those and, eventually, the molars, which usually appear after the child turns a year old, and then the “eye teeth.” A complete set of primary teeth numbers 20; most kids will have all arrived by about age 3.


How Long Does Teething Last?

infant teething illustration


Duration of Teething Phases


Teething can feel like it lasts forever, but it’s a series of phases. Most baby teeth come through by about 12 months, and the molars come between 13 and 19 months. Typically, all baby teeth are out by 24 months. However, the pain flares up only when the teeth are breaking through the gums, and it subsides between episodes. So, the severe symptoms usually last just a few days.


Factors Affecting Teething Duration


Every baby is different, and several factors can affect how long teething lasts. Genetics plays a significant role, as does the baby’s overall health. Some babies might breeze through teething with minimal discomfort, while others might experience more prolonged symptoms. Environmental factors like diet and exposure to different textures can also influence teething.


When Teething Extends Beyond the Norm


If your baby is still teething beyond 24 months, it’s usually not a cause for concern. However, if you notice severe symptoms or if your baby seems to be in a lot of pain, it might be worth consulting your pediatrician. Sometimes, late teething can indicate underlying health issues, but this is rare.

Teething can be frustrating, trying, and scary, but knowing what to expect can make this period a lot smoother. Remember, while it’ll take approximately two years for all of their teeth to come in, the severe symptoms usually last just a few days at a time.


Teething Remedies and Relief

infant teething remedies and relief


Teething can be a challenging time for both you and your baby. Luckily, several remedies can help ease the discomfort. Natural remedies are often the first go-to for many parents. Massaging your baby's gums with a clean finger, a damp washcloth, or a clean, dampened gauze pad can provide some relief. You can also offer a teething ring made of hard rubber. Just avoid the liquid-filled kind, as they can break.


Over-the-counter solutions can also be effective. Baby-safe pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used, but always consult your pediatrician before giving any medication. Teething gels are also available, but be cautious, as some contain benzocaine, which is not recommended for infants.


If natural and over-the-counter remedies aren't providing enough relief, it might be time to consult a pediatrician. They can offer additional advice and recommend other treatments to help your baby feel more comfortable.


Dealing with Teething Pain

infant teething pain relief


When your baby is teething, it might show discomfort like swollen gums, excessive drooling, and irritability. Recognizing these signs early can help you take steps to ease their pain.


There are several ways to help your baby feel better during teething:

  • Massage their gums with a clean finger or a damp washcloth.
  • Offer a cold teething ring or a chilled spoon.
  • Use over-the-counter remedies like acetaminophen for particularly rough nights.


You can find various products designed to help with teething pain. Some popular options include:

  • Teething rings are made of hard rubber (avoid liquid-filled ones as they can break).
  • Teething gels (consult your pediatrician before use).
  • Teething toys that can be chilled in the refrigerator.

Remember, every baby is different, and what works for one might not work for another. It's all about finding the right combination of remedies that provide relief for your little one.


Teething and Sleep Disruptions

infant teething and sleep disruptions


Teething can really disrupt your baby's sleep schedule. You might notice your little one waking up more frequently at night or having trouble settling down for naps. This is because the discomfort from teething can make it hard for them to relax and get the rest they need.


Here are some tips that have worked for me to help my baby sleep better during teething:

  1. Create a calming bedtime routine: A warm bath, a gentle massage, and a quiet story can help soothe your baby before bed.
  2. Use teething toys: Chilled teething rings can provide some relief and help your baby settle down.
  3. Consider over-the-counter remedies: Sometimes, a little bit of baby-safe pain reliever can make a big difference. Always consult your pediatrician before giving any medication.
  4. Keep the room cool and comfortable: A comfortable sleep environment can help your baby rest better.


A consistent bedtime routine can be a lifesaver during the teething phase. Start with a warm bath to relax your baby, then gently massage to ease any tension. Reading a quiet story or singing a lullaby can also help signal that it's time to sleep. Consistency is key—try to follow the same routine every night to help your baby know what to expect.

Teething can be tough on both babies and parents, but with a little patience and some tried-and-true strategies, you can help your baby get through it with as little disruption as possible.


Teething and Feeding Challenges

infant teething and feeding challenges


Teething can make breastfeeding a bit tricky. Babies might become fussy or even bite during feeding due to gum discomfort. It's essential to stay patient and try different positions to find what works best for both of you. If biting becomes a problem, gently remove your baby from the breast and try again later.


When your baby starts teething, it might be a good time to introduce solid foods. Soft, cold foods like yogurt or applesauce can soothe their gums. Remember, every baby is different, so don't worry if adjusting to solids takes a little longer.


Feeding discomfort is expected during teething. Here are some tips to help manage it:

  • Offer cold teething toys before feeding to numb the gums.
  • Stick to softer foods that are easier to chew.
  • Maintain a calm feeding environment to reduce stress for you and your baby.

Teething can be a challenging time, but with a little patience and some helpful strategies, you can make feeding a more comfortable experience for your baby.


Maintaining Oral Hygiene During Teething

infant teething oral hygiene


Keeping your baby's mouth clean is crucial, even before their first tooth appears. I gently wipe their gums with a clean, damp washcloth or gauze. Once that first tooth pops out, you can use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste. Consistency is vital in preventing early tooth decay.


Teething toys can be a lifesaver for both you and your baby. I always look for toys made of hard rubber rather than the liquid-filled kind, which can break. Sea Musical Baby Toys offers interactive fun for little ones. Chilling a teething ring or a washcloth can also provide relief, but avoid freezing them, as this can harm your baby's gums.


It's never too early to start thinking about preventing tooth decay. Avoid giving your baby sugary liquids like juice in their bottle, especially to soothe teething discomfort. Extended contact with sugary liquids can lead to tooth decay. Instead, fill their bottle with water if they need something to suck on for comfort.

Remember, good oral hygiene habits start early and can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth.


When to Call the Doctor About Teething

infant teething with concerned parents in a home setting


While teething can be a challenging time, it’s a natural process. However, specific symptoms should prompt you to call your pediatrician. If your baby seems unusually uncomfortable or sick, seeking medical advice is a good idea. Trust your instincts—if something feels off, don’t hesitate to call the doctor.


A slight fever can be expected during teething, but a high fever is not. If your baby develops a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to call the pediatrician. High fever is generally not a side effect of teething and could indicate an infection or other illness.


Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your baby’s teething symptoms might become overwhelming. If your baby is crying more than usual, refusing to eat, or not sleeping well, seeking professional advice is okay. Your pediatrician can provide guidance and support to help you and your baby get through this challenging phase.

Remember, while teething can be tough, with the right support and care, both you and your baby will get through it.


Teething can be challenging for both babies and parents. If your baby is experiencing severe discomfort, a high fever, or other concerning symptoms, it might be time to consult a doctor. Visit our website for more detailed advice and to explore our range of baby care products.


Conclusion


Teething is one of those milestones that every parent looks forward to, but it can also be a bit of a rollercoaster. Remember, every baby is different, and there's a wide range of what's considered 'normal' when it comes to teething. Whether your little one starts early or takes their sweet time, the most important thing is to keep them comfortable and consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns. With patience and much love, you'll get through this teething phase just fine. Hang in there, parents—you've got this!


Frequently Asked Questions


When do babies typically start teething?


Babies usually begin teething around 6 months, although the exact timing can vary from child to child.


What are the first signs of teething?


Common signs of teething include irritability, drooling, chewing on objects, and swollen gums.


Which teeth come in first?


The front bottom two teeth (lower central incisors) are usually the first to emerge, followed by the front top two teeth (upper central incisors).


How long does the teething process last?


Teething can last until a child is about 3, when the last set of molars typically comes in.


Are there natural remedies for teething pain?


Natural remedies like chilled teething rings, a cold washcloth, or gentle gum massages can help soothe teething pain.


When should I consult a pediatrician about my baby’s teething?


You should consult a pediatrician if your baby has a high fever or diarrhea or if the teething pain seems unmanageable despite trying various remedies.


Can teething cause a fever?


A slight increase in temperature can occur during teething, but a high fever is not typical and should be evaluated by a doctor.


How can I maintain my baby’s oral hygiene during teething?


You can clean your baby’s gums and new teeth with a soft, damp cloth and eventually use a baby toothbrush with water or a tiny smear of toothpaste.

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