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How to Soothe a Teething Baby

Learn when your baby's teeth may appear, and what to do if they cause discomfort coming in.

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Babies usually start teething between 4 and 12 months of age and continue until they're around their 2nd birthday. The front teeth, generally, arrive first. After they do, some babies get 1 tooth at a time while others will get several at once. If you notice your baby is trying to gnaw on everything in sight, he's probably teething. Babies sometimes tug on their ears, too, because the nerves that run into the jaw also run into the middle ear. If your tot also has a fever or cold symptoms, it's likely an ear ache. So, take them to the doctor. You may also see an indentation or swelling in the gums. If your baby seems uncomfortable, start with whatever soothing tricks you usually use, picking him up, rubbing his belly, shushing him. If that doesn't help, massage his gums with your clean finger. Use gentle pressure to rub the area or simply let your sweetie gnaw on your finger. Teething babies love to chew especially on things that have been chilled. Try a cold teething ring, [unk], damp washcloth or semi-frozen banana or bagel if you've introduced solids. Whatever you choose, it shouldn't be frozen because it will be too hard. Keep these types of comforts in the refrigerator or, if you're short on time, stash one in the freezer for 15 minutes. If there's a change in baby's behavior, crying more than usual, waking more often at night, talk to your pediatrician about offering a dose of infant Tylenol for a day or 2. Teething tablets and topical gels are not recommended. There can be side effects and no clinical data suggests that they're helpful. Hang in there. Your sweetie's pain should subside in a couple of days.