Teething is a difficult time for babies as it can be very painful and uncomfortable. Understanding what is actually going on and how you can help will make the process a lot less worrying for mums and a lot less painful for infants.
 
When does it start?
Every baby is different and while most get their first tooth around the six month mark it is different for each child – some kids can even be born with them already.  However, your little one should have started teething before their first birthday. If not, you should consult with your GP or dentist to make sure everything is ok.
 
What pattern do they grow in?
The first teeth to appear will be located at the front of your infant’s mouth on the lower gum line. These are called incisors and are usually followed by the top ones. The next ones to follow are the lateral incisors at the top followed by the equivalent on the bottom. After their first birthday, your child will usually get their canines, molars and second molars. All teeth should be up by the time your  little one reaches two and a half years of age.
 
Helping to ease the pain
Teething is painful, but thankfully there are a few things you can do to help soothe your little one. Here are five things you can try:
  • Wet finger - Rub a clean wet finger along your little one's gum line as the pressure can help with the pain.
  • Teething ring - Give your baby a teething ring to chew on. There are number of varieties available including ones you pop into the fridge to cool before giving to your child.
  • Pain reliever – If your infant is really struggling with the pain give them a little ibuprofen to help. Temperatures are a symptom of teething and this can help to lower it.
  • Teething gel – there are number of over-the-counter teething gels to help babies. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about any particular ones that they may recommend.  Make sure you only choose infant-friendly gels and never use one recommended for an adult.
  • Fruit sticks – applying pressure onto the gums can help reduce any pain, so offer your little one vegetable and fruit sticks to chew on. Make sure they are always supervised when eating anything like this as they can be a choking hazard.

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