I'm still a bit baffled at the fact that Erin is teething. I for one didn't realise a baby could start teething as early as 3 months. But low and behold lads, my little one is most certainly teething.
I was of the assumption a baby would start teething from 6 months on. Kind of around the time you might be weaning or coming off the breast. So when Erin started to show signs of teething, all I immediately thought of was "Christ, Ruth's poor boobs".
Signs of Teething
One of the first signs of teething we noticed with Erin was her bringing her hands to her mouth way more. This was followed by her either rubbing her gums or what looks like her chewing on her hand.
We have teething toys, items and a mitt but she doesn't seem that interested in using them. Sophie the giraffe teething ring does get a little bit of a look in at times but more often than not I get "I'm fine with my hand Dad".
The next sign, which generally comes together with the rubbing of gums, is drooling. If you're unsure if it's just drool or teething. A baby will produce enough drool with teething to soak their clothes. My advice is to have a bib on your baby pretty much at all times and check their clothes are dry whenever you change them.
Erin hasn't, but babies can develop a rash on their skin and cheeks from the extra moisture coupled with the rubbing.
The third sign, which you won't miss is crankiness. Look out for your little one being cranky, despite otherwise being healthy. It could be a sign they're teething as a tooth is pushing up and can be uncomfortable.
One thing we also noticed was we were able to see under the gum where the teeth are coming up. As clear a sign as ever and confirming to us that Erin is definitely teething.
The last thing Ruth and I noticed, which is both a sign and a symptom, Erin isn't feeding as well off the breast as normal, not latching, as eating can irritate the sore gums she has. The public health nurse had mentioned this as a sign of teething.
Now it's not every feed. Sometimes she's fine and will feed a lot. Other times, her gums might be a bit sore and the feeds take longer or we end up giving a bottle of breast milk as she seems to prefer that for some reason.
Things that help
The first thing we tried was the teething rings and applying some gentle pressure with a clean finger to Erin's gums. As I mentioned above, Erin isn't too fond of the teething rings and the finger on the gums is only ok. From what we've experienced, it doesn't give massive relief. That's not to say it won't work for you, so it's at least worth trying.
Next, we got some infant numbing gel which you can pick up over the counter in most pharmacies. Again, it's given some relief but nothing I would shout from the rooftops about and say it's a must-have. Handy to have in the travel bag just in case as it was only a couple of euros. (Apparently, infant Bonjela is the thing to have but unfortunately, it's only suitable for babies that are 4 months and older).
The most effective pain relief we've found is infant Calpol. Now it takes a bit of time to work as it's ingested but it seems to do the trick, allows Erin to feed better, gives pain relief and also relaxes her.
One piece of advice I'd share which works for us when it comes to a teething baby and feeding. Make sure he/she is as calm and as chilled out as possible before shoving a bottle or boob into their face and mouth.
As much as that sounds like a great Friday night for me or you, a bottle and a boob to the face. If your little one is unsettled they'll go off, work themselves up, scream the house down and you've no hope feeding them until you calm them down again. Whenever that might be.
Any tips you'd share?
I'll keep adding a few tips as I go through teething with Erin, but as always it's great to get a few tips from other people. So, if your little one started teething at 3 months, what advice would you give? Leave a comment below and I'll share it later.