Teething in babies begin as early as 2 months old and as late as 31 months. Teeth don’t actually erupt through their gums until 4-6 months old. The bottom teeth (incisors) usually come in first followed by the top two, but sometimes it's vice versa. Then the canines (or, as I like to call them, "fangs") make their appearance. Molars are the last and they usually come in between baby's 1st and 3rd birthday, so our little ones are teething for a long time.
Below is a helpful teething chart guide:
Every baby is different when they go through teething. Some babies have no symptoms while others become a little cranky Smurf, so it can be tricky sometimes to really tell if teething is causing their discomfort. However, there are some common symptoms to watch out for:
- Constant drooling
- Red cheeks
- Trouble sleeping
- Red, swollen gums
- Gnawing on everything
- Rejectings certain foods
- Rubbing face
Another symptom that many parents think is related to teething is the baby becoming sick with a fever and or diarrhea. The reason behind this is clear to see: when the tooth finally erupts through the gums, it is essentially an open wound. It's easy for bacteria to get into those wounds when babies puts items in their mouths that have been in contact with dirt, germs and viruses (for example keys, cellphones, remote controls, dogs' chew toy, etc.). It's natural that babies constantly put anything and everything in their mouths, not only due to possible teething but also because it's part of development to discover tastes and textures of different objects.
I know it’s hard to see your little baby in discomfort. Teething not only sucks but it is really painful. Think about it; a sharp bone is cutting through gums and causing an open wound in their mouth while the roots are growing underneath. To help alleviate the pain, it really helps to apply pressure to their gums, either with your finger or with a teething ring. If you have a teething ring that is freezer safe, the cold, hard teether will numb their sore, tender gums.
Developing small motor skills
Learning and practising small motor skills like reaching, grabbing and grasping is important since it eventually leads wee ones to learn how to feed themselves or hold a pencil. During teething stages, these small motor skills are developing while they learn to improve their hand-eye coordination. They strengthen their tiny little fingers, hands and arms and gain more control. They work towards development when they reach their tiny fingers to grab their favourite teether, grasp onto the edges and lift it up to their mouths to gnaw on (or drop it on the floor or throw it across the room). Teething aids and accessories not only help with the discomfort of teething but they also help with developing manual dexterity.
As baby gets older and starts to develop large motor skills like sitting up, they learn to transfer an object from hand to hand or they learn to bang objects together to make noise and maybe get a smile from you.
These learning stages all start with the small stuff - and, believe it or not, teething aids can play a major role in all of it.