Dentists and doctors will tell you that as with anything else with people (or their babies) teething occurs differently in different children. Babies begin teething at different times, and they feel pain and discomfort in different ways and by different amounts. The first challenge for a parent, of course, is to recognize when it actually happens. How do you know when you can put a baby’s fussiness down to teething and when you are to put it down to a actual problem? This little guide to how to spot teething babies should help. It will be a couple years before the first visit to the dental office.
Let’s start with how you can spot teething babies. Your first clue of course would be to actually see the white tip of a tooth just below the gums somewhere. You can also tell if there seems to be a bump along the gums somewhere that could indicate to you that a tooth is in the process of erupting. A baby that keeps drooling, keeps trying to do something with her hands and face that would indicate to you that she’s trying to comfort herself, a baby that keeps worrying her ears – all of these are pretty good signs that your baby’s going to have some brand-new choppers.
If there’s just one tooth coming out at a time, the discomfort should last about a few days for each tooth. If there is a whole set of teeth coming out at the same time however, they really have it in for your baby. It’s going to last several weeks. And remember – if you have a baby that’s suddenly having a lot of trouble sleeping, teething babies do that too.
Okay, so you do know now what teething babies look like. It would also help if you could look at a baby that had a problem that wasn’t related to teething and be able to tell. A baby with a fever, a runny nose or an upset stomach isn’t usually reacting to the teething process. There are lots of parents who are completely sure that teething does these to a baby. But study after study shows that there’s just been no connection. If there is anything like this going on, be sure to whisk your baby off to the doctor.
It would also help if you knew when to expect the whole teething thing to start. The problem of course is that there is a very wide window that it chooses to happen in. It can happen at four months and it can happen to 10 months. Sometimes, the first tooth shows up past the first birthday. As long as your baby seems healthy overall, there really is nothing you need worry about. You could make a mention of it to your doctor, is all.
If you are expecting a baby soon, you’re probably wondering about the whole debate to do with feeding a baby formula as opposed to choosing to get a child breast-fed. Just think – the American Academy of Pediatrics goes so far as to recommend that your baby see no other food for the first six months other than breast milk. Does this mean that a mother who doesn’t breast-feed is somehow not doing the best for her baby? What you decide to do depends in the end on what you’re most comfortable with. The baby’s emotional and nutritional needs usually, are well-met no matter what method of baby feeding a mother chooses. At this point, there is no concern for dental health – that is a while into the future.
As far as breast-feeding is concerned, mother’s milk is so far an inimitable choice. As close to the original composition as the formula makers have come, the products you get at the stores are never as good as what nature can make. Breast milk contains the exact kind of vitamins, protein, fat and minerals that your newborn baby needs for teeth growth, dental health, and many other reasons. No other kind of milk is an easily digested by your baby’s developing digestive system. Not to mention, a baby feeding on breast milk gets doses of antibodies against all kinds of diseases. A baby that is fed on breast milk is less likely to come down with allergies, cholesterol problems, diabetes and asthma and is less likely to end up overweight later in life.
Does this sound like having a baby feeding on breast milk is great for the baby but not for the mother? Not really. To begin with, breast-feeding helps a new mother lose calories that would otherwise get deposited around the waist. The kind of volume of exercise a new mother would have to undertake to do to lose those pounds would be pretty high. Breast-feeding also helps them get into shape quickly by helping the uterus get back to its normal size far more quickly. And of course, researchers say that there is some evidence that breast-feeding helps the new mother keep breast and ovarian cancer away.
So far so good; is there anything at all that recommends formula over breast milk aside from dental health reasons? Well, a baby feeding on formula needs to be fed far less often. A baby’s digestive system doesn’t digest formula as quickly as it does breast milk. A mother can keep a close watch on how much exactly her baby is getting when it’s formula too. Not to mention, for a working mother, bottlefeeding can be so much less demanding. This gives a mother more time to sleep through the night. And that is an advantage that is not to be taken lightly.