Taking Care of Baby Teething

Usually, babies have their first tooth erupt at around 5 to 6 months of age. However many babies may have their teeth erupt much later, some after 1 year of age. There is no reason for this variation. So, if your baby is well, active, and growing normally, even if there is a delay in the eruption of teeth, it is okay and there is nothing to worry about.

In some cases, however, the delay can be due to calcium deficiency especially if the baby is being exclusively breastfed and the mother is not consuming adequate amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D-rich food. It could also happen if the mother is not getting adequate exposure to sunlight as may happen when a mother wears burqa /abaya when she goes out. 

To prevent this mother should take enough calcium-containing food and if necessary calcium and vitamin D tablets. If in doubt one should consult a doctor. During the eruption of teeth, the baby often appears irritable and tends to put everything in her mouth and also drools a lot. Many people think that diarrhea, fever, cold and cough are due to teething but that is not so. 

Actually, babies usually remain well until 5 to 6 months of age but thereafter they start getting minor illnesses like cold, coughs and diarrhea. This is because by this time the immunity that they get from their mothers, while in utero, starts to decrease. They also tend to put everything in their mouth and they may get germs because of this. Since this period also coincides with teething there is a common perception that the fevers and diarrhea are because of the teething. 

Most of the time these are mild infections and children may only need paracetamol for cold or fever. At times, they will have to be taken to a doctor if they are ill or not getting better in 2 to 3 days.

Many mothers want their doctors to prescribe some medicines so that their children can go through teething without much of a problem. Unfortunately, there is no such medicine. Teething is a normal process. In fact, some children have no problem while teething, while others may be a bit irritable. If they tend to put the fingers in their mouth, it is worthwhile giving them a teether to chew on. 

Be careful that whatever you give to your child is not breakable and its color does not come off. If baby is very irritable then a dose of paracetamol can be given, even if she has no fever. This will reduce the pain she may be having and will make her comfortable.

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