Teething is one of the milestones of a baby’s journey like talking or walking, and it is a sign that your baby is becoming a toddler. However, it is not a very pleasant experience for the baby or the parents.
Usually, teething begins when the baby is between four and seven months of age. Some babies get their first tooth at the age of three months whereas others may take more than one year. Whichever the case, most babies experience constant aches, pains, and even fever as a result of getting the first tooth.
Teething fever is a very common symptom and not something to be worried about. Some parents assume every fever which occurs during the development of the first tooth is related to it. According to a pediatric dentist, Joana Ramos-Jorge, baby’s fever often relates to other illnesses such as a virus. As a parent, it is best to examine the possibility of other illnesses and then to conclude whether the fever is caused by teething or not.
Symptoms of teething
- Runny noses
- Short-lived diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Mild temperatures
- Fussy behavior
- Trouble sleeping
- Swollen, sensitive gums
These symptoms are never severe or prolonged. They usually disappear the day after the tooth popped up. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, the body temperature of the baby may rise due to teething; however if baby’s temperature reaches to the rectal temperature of 100.40F, that doesn’t consider as a normal symptom. If the baby experience fever and other symptoms for few days, call your doctor for further advice.
What should you do?
- Lukewarm bath
Giving your baby lukewarm bath will help bring down the fever. Also, a baby may feel relief after having a warm bath and makes it easier for you to put them to sleep.
- Keep the baby hydrated
It is always a good idea to give plenty of fluids for the baby to keep them hydrated. Also, if the baby is suffering from fever due to teething, it would be difficult them to eat solid food while having swollen gums.
- Give something cold
Ice works as a pain killer in a number of scenarios. One option is to keep a clean wash cloth in the refrigerator for a while and handover to your baby to chew on it. Fabric of the clothe will message the gums as baby chew on it while the cold reliefs the pain.
Also, you can try giving them something cold to chew on such as a teething ring. There is a wide range of products available including vibrating teething rings and liquid filled teethers etc. If one thing doesn’t work, try a different approach to ease the pain.
- Frozen food
If your baby is old enough for solid food, offer yoghurt or another food to the baby. Make sure not to give frozen food as it may get hard enough to damage the baby’s gum. Also, keep an eye on the baby in case she/he starts to choke.
- Rub a clean finger over sore gums
Gently but firmly rub a finger over your baby’s sore gums to ease the pain. But make sure not to use the teething gel as it may be harmful to your baby’s health.
- Visit a doctor
If the baby seems to have the teething fever, it should disappear within few days and baby should start to feel better with above home remedies. If not, your baby’s illness most probably will be something else and it is best to visit a doctor for further treatments.
Things you should not do
- Don’t use teething gel
These products cause seizures, breathing problems, and other side effects in children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends parents not to use them to ease the pain as they can lead to more serious issues.
- Don’t reduce the room temperate
Some parents try to make the baby feel better by reducing the room temperature. Keep the baby’s room temperature between 65.0F and 70.0F and try giving a lukewarm bath to bring down the fever.
- No aspirin for the baby
Under any circumstance, do not give your baby aspirin or adult medicines to reduce the fever. Aspirin causes a rare yet serious illness called Reye’s syndrome in babies. Instead, you may give them a fever reducing medicine recommended by a doctor. Always, read the instructions and dosage carefully prior giving them to the baby.