So your baby is about to start the dreaded (or not – more on that in a moment!) teething.
And while you may be apprehensive, remember, it’s also an exciting time in your baby’s development. They’re growing teeth!
To help you get to grips with it, here are some of the most common teething questions answered:
When does teething start?
Teething generally begins at six months or so, when your baby’s first tooth (usually the bottom middle one) begins to push up through the gums.
So do all babies start at six months then?
Not necessarily – all children are different, so “normal” here is subjective. Six months is just a general marker; some children start earlier, some start later.
Will my baby be in pain?
It’s actually misconception that all babies suffer the uncomfortable symptoms of teething – many babies get through it without any – or at least much – discomfort. For some babies it can be a long, drawn out process, and for others, their teeth will come through with no problems at all.
What are the main symptoms of teething?
Again, all children are different, so symptoms vary, but the most commonly reported are: red and swollen gums, irritability and crankiness, disrupted sleeping, biting and chewing, and inconsistent feeding.
What about congestion?
Some teething tots can suffer from nasal congestion, although it’s advised to check with your doctor in case this is a symptom of a cold. In either case, congestion is not a nice experience for your little one; but, thankfully, there are some simple and helpful solutions to clear it right up. CALPOL®’s Soothe & Care Nasal Spray is a natural, non-medicated solution that washes away mucus build-up, to help your little one breathe clearly and easily. The accompanying Soothe & Care Vapour Plug & Nightlight, meanwhile, will soothe through the night with lavender and camomile vapours.
Why does teething hurt?
Your baby’s teeth are pushing up through their gums, which can cause pain, swelling and irritation. You may remember your own wisdom teeth pushing up, causing irritation and soreness – this is similar to what a teething baby is experiencing.
How long does teething last?
Unfortunately you can’t set a clock by teething, so you'll just have to go with the flow. All babies experience it differently, so they may be troubled with teething symptoms for a few days before the tooth pushes up, or they may have felt sore and irritated for weeks prior.
I've heard the first few teeth the ‘worst’?
Yes, while not an exact science the first few teeth do tend to be the most uncomfortable. So take comfort that the experience should get easier as more teeth erupt – well, at least until the back molars make an appearance at around 12 months or so.