Teething is confusing for many moms. Babies' teeth develop at different paces, and in different orders, and it's sometimes even hard to be certain that teething is the source of your baby's discomfort! Here are some ways to get a handle on the process.
1. How Do I Know If My Baby is Teething?
According to Dr. John Mersch of MedecineNet, babies who are teething may be fussy, with red or swollen gums, and perhaps even a bubble-like blister over the site where a tooth will erupt. They may refuse food, put their hands in their mouths, drool a lot, and have trouble sleeping. Babies who drool excessively might also develop a facial rash.
While many moms insist that fever, runny nose, and diarrhea also seem to be associated with teething, doctors say that these symptoms are more likely caused by a virus or other illness. (For a discussion of this issue, visit the Circle of Moms conversation, Do babies develop cold 'symptoms' while teething?)
2. How Long Will Teething Last?
Most parents on Circle of Moms teething forums agree that the worst symptoms come three or so days before a tooth erupts and ease up considerably on the tooth pokes through the gum. But remember, this process is true for each tooth, so teething in general can go on (and off) for quite awhile.
3. In What Order Do Teeth Come In?
Talia wonders in what order her kids' teeth should appear. Her first child got his bottom two front teeth first, but his little sister got her top two front teeth first. Bridget points out that, while there are patterns that parents can testify to (front teeth usually come in first, bottom then top), exceptions to this are completely normal. Mersch says that the front teeth, top and bottom, usually come in between six and 12 months of age, but that this is a very general range.
4. How Many Teeth Should My Child Have By 18 Months?
On average, most kids have both central and lateral incisors by 16-18 months, as well as first molars. Many have canines as well. Second molars don't typically come until 22-24 months of age, and can be more painful than small front and side teeth.
5. When Should I Call the Doctor?
If your child has a fever of over 101 degrees, a rash that extends all over his body, or has other symptoms that concern you, call the doctor right away Don't assume that these symptoms are related to teething.
And regardless of where your little one is in the teething process, you both can take comfort from 7 Ways to Soothe a Teething Baby.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.