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How do I Know if a Baby is Teething?

Babies go through dozens of discoveries and experiences as they grow. Early on, they learn new colours or different faces. Gradually, they learn how to get on all fours and crawl across the room. While parents and caregivers can help them be ready for these exciting moments, nothing can prepare them for teething. 

Teething often occurs when a child is between four months old and two years old. It starts with the lower front teeth. The process continues until the molars appear when the child is between 30 to 36 months of age. Working as a nanny in this situation, what best to do?

 

What are the symptoms of teething?

Some babies do not exhibit symptoms when their teeth start sprouting. Others may show one or more signs when they are teething. The symptoms we listed below occur in 70 to 80 percent of infants

  • Irritability 
  • Drooling
  • Coughing or gagging 
  • Biting or gnawing 
  • Slight fever
  • Cheek rubbing or ear pulling
  • Diarrhoea

What can nannies do to alleviate teething symptoms?

Teething can be handled at home. As long as the child is still eating and drinking, there is no need to contact the doctor. Experts recommend against using over-the-counter remedies such as teething tablets and topical gels. Pain relievers containing benzocaine or lidocaine can be extremely harmful to babies. 

If the teething baby is uncomfortable, nannies should consider these easy tips:

Irritability

The discomfort of the teeth breaking through the gums cause babies to be irritable or fussy for days or weeks. This symptom is often exhibited when the first teeth and the molars are sprouting. Giving your charges some “cuddle time” provides them comfort that can help alleviate their pain.  

Drooling / Skin Rashes

Excessive drooling is stimulated by teething. This can cause skin rashes, due to the bacteria on the skin from the saliva. Fastening on a bib can keep the saliva from pooling on their skin. Applying a simple barrier cream or petroleum jelly can also help with the dry and sore skin. 

Coughing

Too much saliva can sometimes make babies cough or gag. However, if it is accompanied by signs of cold, flu, or allergies, caregivers should contact the infant’s paediatrician. 

Biting or Gnawing

Babies bite or gnaw on objects to alleviate the pressure from under their gums. Giving them teething rings and rattles can help. Nannies can also make frozen fruit and veggie popsicles to provide them with something delicious and healthy to bite.

Slight Fever

A slight fever is defined as having a temperature that ranges between 98 to 100 degrees F (up to 37.7c). This can easily be solved by using an age-appropriate medication recommended by your paediatrician.  

Cheek Rubbing or Ear Pulling

Babies who experience pain in the gums can often feel the strain on the cheeks and ears. Massaging the gums with a clean finger may help lessen their discomfort. 

Pulling or rubbing their ears can also be a symptom of an ear infection. Contact the infant’s paediatrician if a high fever accompanies the symptom. 

Diarrhoea

Many believe teething can cause the stool to become loose. However, diarrhoea can be a sign of a severe infection. If the child’s stool becomes watery, it is recommended to consult with a paediatrician to prevent dehydration. 

 

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