Teething No nos The teething process can begin as early as 3 months, and may start as late as your baby’s 7th month. But how can you tell if her teeth are starting to emerge? “You can tell if teeth are about to erupt by looking at the shape of the baby’s gums. With my boys, a ridge formed on the gums,” says Liza Lamzon, director of a multinational BPO and mom to Diego and Lucas. When she starts biting and gnawing on whatever she can get her hands on, she may definitely be teething. Teething may also stimulate excessive drooling. With this extra saliva, you’ll notice occasional coughing, and spots of rashes will start to appear on her chin.
Quick Fix & Remedies Easy remedies can be done during this frustrating stage. Chilled teething rings—hard or soft plastic, silicone, or water filled—are common. But if you’re using the water type, make sure that you don’t leave it in your freezer for too long, or it might hurt your baby’s sensitive gums when, she chomps on it. Some babies are hard biters, too. So be aware that the water filled kind can cause harm to your little one if it breaks.
Teething Oh nos! Sometimes, the teething process can be more challenging than usual. “My first kid had fever, and kept on throwing up and crying,” shares Tricia Maramag-Siao, a homemaker and mom to Billy, age 7, and Toby, age 5. If this is the case, take your baby to her pediatrician for expert advice. “The pediatrician recommended a balm for the gums for my teething baby,” Siao recalls.
Myths on Teething Fever and diarrhea are often linked to teething. But doctors say teething is not the cause of such illnesses. “These are caused by the baby’s dirty hands or the germs in the objects she puts in her mouth,” explains pediatrician Edna Puno-Santiago, M.D. Pediatricians usually prescribe paracetamol or ibruprofen for pain relief. “Dental paste or other teething gels are also recommended,” Dr. Santiago adds.
Treats and Feats for New Teeth You will notice that your baby may not want to eat. Yet, your baby’s health is of utmost importance during this stage. Serve soft food like gelatin, yogurt, and custard to soothe your baby’s swollen gums. Just be careful not to add too much sugar in her meals, and remember to let her drink water after feeding. Wipe your baby’s gums clean after feeding, too.
Add cereal mixes, puréed fruits and vegetables to add variety to your baby’s meals. Eventually, ground meat mix can be included in your baby’s everyday meals.
SOURCES l Edna Puno-Santiago, M.D., pediatrician, Cardinal Santos Medical Center l Spock’s Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock, M.D., and Steven J. Parker, M.D., 1998 l Websites: kidshealth.com ; ada.org ; thenewparentsguide.com