A Mom’s Guide to Teething: Signs, Symptoms, and Tips for Your Toddler’s First Teeth
As experienced moms who have been through the teething phase with our little ones, we know it can be a confusing and frustrating time. But don’t worry – we are here to help you navigate the world of toddler teething with some useful tips and information.
Teething typically begins when your child is around 6-12 months of age, with the appearance of their first baby teeth. By the time they reach their first birthday, most kids have a few pearly whites in their baby’s mouth.
But, unfortunately, once the first few teeth arrive, there is still more to go, and teething for the molars and back teeth can be particularly tough on your little one.
After the initial appearance of the incisors (front teeth), your child will likely experience teething again when their first molars emerge, usually around 12-18 months of age. The second molars, often referred to as the 2-year molars, tend to come in between 23-33 months.
These larger-sized molars can cause even more discomfort due to their size and location in the back of your child’s mouth. So, brace yourself and your toddler for these milestones, and continue to provide the comforting remedies and support they need to get through this challenging stage of their development.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that a full set of primary teeth should emerge by the time your child is three years of age.
So, let’s dive into the most common signs and symptoms of teething, and how to soothe your child’s discomfort and help your teething toddler find relief.
Signs and Symptoms of Teething
This is one of the most common symptoms of teething. All that extra saliva helps to lubricate your baby’s gums as their new tooth pushes through.
Sore, swollen gums
Gently press a clean finger on your child’s gums to check for swelling and tenderness. This is a good indicator that a new tooth is on its way.
Ear pulling and cheek rubbing
As strange as it may seem, your teething baby might tug on their ears or rub their cheeks due to pain radiating from their sore gums.
Loss of appetite and difficulty eating solid foods
Teething can make your toddler’s gums feel extra sensitive, causing them to refuse food.
Night wakings and irritability
The pain and discomfort can cause your teething child to have trouble sleeping, leading to cranky behavior.
Runny nose and a low-grade fever
While a high fever and ear infection are not directly caused by teething, your toddler might experience a mild fever and runny nose due to their body’s response to the inflammation.
Ways To Help Your Teething Toddler
If you suspect that your toddler is teething, we recommend trying some of these soothing remedies:
Offer cold foods and drinks
Chilled applesauce, yogurt, or a cold water bottle can help numb your baby’s gums and provide relief.
Cold, soft fruits like melons or bananas can also be soothing when cut into small, manageable pieces. Just make sure to supervise your child to avoid any choking hazards.
Providing a variety of cold foods and drinks not only eases their discomfort but also offers an opportunity for your toddler to explore new textures and flavors during this challenging period.
Use a damp washcloth or chilled teething ring
Cold pressure can help alleviate your child’s pain. Try placing a clean, damp washcloth in the refrigerator for a short time and then allowing your toddler to gnaw on it gently.
Alternatively, you can use a chilled teething ring specifically designed for this purpose. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and chilling the teething ring.
It’s best to avoid using teething gel or baby Orajel constantly as your first go to but sometimes they can be a life saver when your little one is really suffering.
Offer hard rubber toys or teething toys
These can help your child gnaw safely and provide comfort during the teething process.
Many teething toys are designed with various textures and shapes to massage and stimulate your baby’s gums, promoting healthy oral development. We loved these silicone fruity shaped ones.
Look for BPA-free, non-toxic materials when selecting a teething toy, and ensure that it is an appropriate size for your child’s age to prevent any choking hazards.
Regularly inspect the toys for any signs of wear or damage, and replace them as needed to keep your teething toddler safe and comfortable.
Amber Teething Necklaces
Some parents swear by the use of amber teething necklaces as a natural remedy for their teething toddlers. These necklaces are made from Baltic amber beads, which are believed to release succinic acid when warmed by your child’s body temperature. The succinic acid is then absorbed into the skin, providing a natural pain relief for your little one. However, it’s important to note that there is limited scientific evidence supporting these claims.
If you decide to try an amber teething necklace, always prioritize your child’s safety. Be aware of the potential choking hazard that these necklaces may pose, and never leave your child unsupervised while they are wearing one. Additionally, do not allow your child to sleep with the necklace on, as this may increase the risk of accidents.
While some parents report positive effects from using amber teething necklaces, it’s essential to weigh the potential benefits against the risks, and consider whether this remedy is suitable for your child.
If your toddler is still struggling with pain, consider using over-the-counter pain relievers like Calpol, you can always consult your child’s doctor or pharmacist before administering any medication if unsure.
Homeopathic Teething Granules
Another alternative remedy that some parents turn to for their teething toddlers is homeopathic teething granules.
These small granules are formulated with natural ingredients, often chamomile, that are believed to help soothe the discomfort associated with teething. They can be easily administered by dissolving them in your child’s mouth or mixed with a small amount of water.
Some parents find that homeopathic teething granules offer relief for their little ones, so if your toddler is suffering it’s worth a try!
Toddler Teething Timeline
As soon as the first teeth come in, it’s time to start gently introducing tooth brushing with your little one. If you make it part of the routine early on, this can avoid battles later.
To make this fun for toddlers, you can use some of our free printable toothbrushing coloring pages and posters.
|6-10 months||bottom central incisors|
|8-12 months||top central incisors|
|9-13 months||top lateral incisors|
|10-16 months||bottom lateral incisors|
|13-19 months||first molars in top of mouth|
|14-18 months||first molars on bottom|
|16-22 months||top canines|
|17-23 months||bottom canines|
|23-31 months||second molars on bottom of mouth|
|25-33 months||second molars on top|
Remember, teething is a normal developmental stage, and every child’s experience is different. Be patient, and don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if you’re concerned about your toddler’s symptoms or if they’re experiencing a high fever, severe pain, or any potential problems like tooth decay.
By being proactive and using these tips, you’ll help your teething toddler navigate this milestone with ease.
So, hang in there, mama – you’ve got this! And soon enough, you’ll be celebrating the arrival of your child’s full set of adorable baby teeth!
- 5 Positive Ways Of Managing Toddler Behaviour
- 3 Easy Ways To Set Your Toddler Up For A Good Night’s Sleep
- 9 Strategies for Toddler Discipline
- At What Age Do Most Kids Say Their First Words?
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.