Ten Ways to Tell if Your Baby is Teething

Many parents, especially first time parents are confused by a baby's signals and establishing whether they are teething. Here are a few things to watch for and some ways to help your baby to get through teething.

Ten Ways to Tell if Your Baby is Teething

Teething can be a very confusing time for mommy and baby! It's really hard to pinpoint signs of teething and for first time moms, nerve racking to say the least. I'm a 3 time mom myself and I know exactly how I felt when my first born went through the teething stage. He cried and of course, I didn't know why, I changed his diaper, fed him, rocked him, cried with him and nothing helped. I felt so stupid because I ran to my mother in laws house and it was my father in law who said, "the kids teething ding-bat!".......what an embarrassing moment back then. To save you some embarrassment, here's a few things you should watch for to see if your baby could be teething.

1. Fever

While a fever isn't a tale-tale sign of teething, it is commonly associated with teething.

2. Increased Fussiness

If you baby seems to be more irritable at specific times when he wasn't before, pay attention. Teething babies are experiencing gum pain, we would all cry too. For example, if your baby loves bath time, he giggles and coos but recently he cries......he may be teething.

3. Drooling

Slobbering and drooling excessively is very common.

4. Decreased Appetite

If your baby refuses to take the bottle or breast feed, this is another very common sign. A good example is if he's crying, you try to feed him, you get mixed signals because he acts like he wants it but then when he gets it in his mouth, he releases and cries. Some babies actually feel better when feeding though, if you notice that your baby is only happy when eating, it's a sign.

5. Gum Changes

Look inside your baby's mouth. If he's teething, most likely his gums will reflect just that. They will be red, puffy and swollen.

6. Chewing

All of my sons chewed on my shoulder. Everything they put in their mouth they were chewing! If you baby acts as though he just can't get enough of an object in his mouth, chances are he's teething.

7. Sleep Habits Change

If your baby is accustomed to sleeping regularly and all of a sudden his schedule is changing or his crying through out the night.

8. Diahrrea

A recent study done by a children's hospital in Australia found this to be the most common symptom. The baby may be swallowing excessive amounts of saliva, causing a looser stool or diahrrea.

9. Coughing

Some babies cough, have a runny nose or cold like symptoms. Probably because the baby has his hands in his mouth a lot so be sure to keep your baby's hands clean.

10. Rash

Most babies who are teething develop a rash around their mouth, on their chin or under the kneck on the chest.

The truth is, it is hard to tell. John Dorsey, M.D., Pediatrician, William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak Michigan says,"If the parents teethed early, there is a good chance that their children will be early teethers, too. While some children don't show many apparent signs of teething, the most common signs are more than usual fussiness at night, excess drooling and even hands that are constantly flapping at his ears." My mother claims that my brother and I both teethed at the age of four months, all of mine did too. The average age is between four months and twelve months.

There are a few ways to help alleviate your baby's pain, always consult your pediatrician first for advice though.The most common way has been handed down from generation to generation and that's too give your baby a cold compress to chew on. In the "old days" parents used a wet washcloth rinsed in sugar and nearly frozen, talk about a high! My pediatrician recommended soaking a washcloth in apple juice, nearly freezing it and giving it to my son to chew on. You should saturate the cloth with the juice, wring it out good and just tie a small knot in it. It worked for me and there's many types of juices at the supermarket to choose the healthiest one for your teething baby.

You can also purchase teething rings practically everywhere. Never completely freeze a teething ring though, it will be too hard. A lot of parents also massage the baby's gums with their fingers. (make sure your hands are clean) It's really important to choose the method that's right for you. There are teething pain relievers you can purchase but when a baby is drooling, he loses the medication or depending on the ingredients, some may cause the baby's throat to become numb. Babies aren't experienced swallowers so young and this could increase a baby's chance of choking. Ultimately it's up to you to decide what form will work best with your family and your baby.