What Is Teething

Newborn Tips#1: Don't Hush-A-Bye-Baby
You don't have to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. The womb is loud, and newborns are used to the noise. When ours first came home, we watched television and I would vacuum, wash dishes and talk on the phone around her while she slept. She got used to sleeping with noise, and I could get stuff done. I am still able to vacuum in her room while she sleeps (she is 14 months), and she is peaceful and well rested when she wakes up.
Newborn Tips#2: Soothe Your Wailing Newborn
When my baby cries, I comfort her by patting her back in a heartbeat-like rhythm. That helps her burp more quickly, and it also helps her relax if she's crying from insecurity. If this doesn’t work, I also try one or all of Dr. Harvey Karp's five calming moves: swaddling, shushing, holding her on her side, swinging her or letting her suck. Sometimes it takes all six!

Additional Information:

What are symptoms of teething?

For most parents teething symptoms are a lot of crying and whining. Your baby is teething when his or her first set of baby teeth, called the primary teeth, break through the gums and you can see or feel them.

When does teething typically start or babies?

Teething usually begins around 6 months of age, but it it also typical for teething to start between 3 months and 12 months of age. By the time your baby is about 3 years old, he or she will have all 20 primary teeth.The lower front teeth usually come in first in the baby's mouth. Upper front teeth usually come in 1 to 2 months after the lower baby front teeth.

What are the signs of teething?

Some babies are fussier than usual when they are teething. This may be because of soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before the tooth shows, and they disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. Many babies don't seem to be affected by teething.

Newborn Tips#3: Help Get Your Baby to Latch
If you are having latch-on issues while breastfeeding your baby, you can use breast shields to help the process. This was a wonderful tip that I learned from my lactation consultant. I had to use the shields for an entire month before my baby would latch onto my own nipple without them. Had it not been for the breast shields, I would not have been able to continue nursing my baby.
Newborn Tips#4: Get Prepped
At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress level - and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.

Babies may bite on their fingers ( or your fingers) or toys to help relieve the pressure in their mouths. They may also not want to eat and nurse because their mouths hurt. Many babies drool during teething, which can cause a rash on the chin, face, chest or other parts of their body. These are mild symptoms that get better usually are nothing to stress about. Call your pediatrician if your baby's symptoms are severe or don't get better.

How can you help your baby have minimal discomfort while teething?

Here are some tips to help your baby feel more comfortable while teething: Give your baby a mild pain reliever that is labeled for his or her specific age. For example, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help relieve your baby's discomfort. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because it has been linked to a sickness called Reye syndrome, a rare but grave disease.Use a clean finger to gently rub your baby's gum for about 2 minutes at a time.

Many babies find this soothing, although they may protest at first.Provide safe objects for your baby to suck on, such as teething rings or pacifiers.

Many parents use other teething remedies, such as soothing gels you put on a baby's gums. Many health experts question if these work and are safe. If you want to try these products, talk to your doctor about which types are safe and how often to use them.

Primary teeth are usually known as “baby teeth.” Usually, the first primary tooth comes in (erupts) at about 6 months of age, although it can be as early as 3 months or as late as 1 year of age. In rare cases, a baby gets a first tooth after his or her first birthday. By age 3, most children have all 20 of their primary teeth.

Newborn Tips#5: Keeping Your Baby Awake During Feedings
When our baby was eating slowly and sleepily, my husband and I would massage her cheek to stimulate her to eat faster. A gentle stroke with a fingertip on her cheek was all it took, and on those long sleepless nights, this simple trick was a godsend! Our friends have found it works great with their infants too. When babies eat efficiently until they're full before going to sleep, they sleep for longer between feedings. And that means you’re both likely to be calmer!
Newborn Tips#6: Help Your Baby Bond with Dad
Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Daddy. His touch and voice are different than yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets the baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be hard. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you're needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and "fix" things if she starts crying. Your baby cries with you and you experiment to find out what's wrong. Dads need time to do this too - in their own way. By allowing this time, your child will learn there is more than one way to receive comfort, which will help immensely when you leave your baby with a sitter or another family member for the first time. You could have your partner bathe her, put her to bed or just read or talk to her.
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