While some babies don’t seem to be affected by teething, others are fussier than usual when the first symptoms of teething appear. This usually happens right around the six-month mark, but it’s perfectly normal for the first tooth to come in anywhere between 3-12 months. By the time your little one is about 3 years old, all 20 primary teeth will have come in.
When your baby’s first primary teeth are pushing through, the gums are sore and can swell. This usually begins about three to five days before the tooth shows. The lower front teeth usually come first, and the upper front teeth usually appear one to two months afterwards.
Here are our favorite remedies to soothe your baby’s sore gums:
All you need is a clean finger for this old-fashioned teething remedy. Gentle counter-pressure from Mom or Dad applied to a baby’s sore gums can help ease the pain of teething. Do this for about 2 minutes at a time.
A spoon chilled in the fridge (not the freezer, or it can stick!) can offer much-needed relief. Just apply the rounded part of the spoon to baby’s gums. Best for before any teeth actually break through to avoid the risk of chipping a tooth.
Frozen or merely chilled, a cold wet washcloth (dipped in water, breast milk, or—as some mom’s swear by—chamomile tea) can be comforting for baby to gnaw on.
If your baby has already started solids, try offering him a cold food like applesauce or yogurt to help soothe gum pain and fill him up.
Sometimes a change of scenery or activity is all it takes to help distract baby from teething pain, at least temporarily. Try running a bath for baby—the warm water may help him to relax—or even just some giving some unexpected cuddle time.