By Chioma Obinna
All of a sudden, her head became hot. No amount of pain reliever could subside the temperature. I have given all pain relievers I have,but she is still feeling hot and the situation appears getting worse. My neighbour advised I should get infant malaria ACT and Septrin. Still, nothing positive seems to be happening.
Are you sure she is not teething? I believe so.
Babies are teething when the first set of teeth, called primary teeth, break through the gums.
Onset of teething
Teething usually begins around six months. But it is normal to start at any time between three and 12 months of age. At about three years old, he or she will have all 20 primary teeth.
The lower front teeth usually come in first. Upper front teeth usually come in one to two months after the lower front teeth.
Some babies are fussier than usual when they are teething. This may be because of soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through.
These symptoms usually begin about three to five days before the tooth shows, and disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. But most babies don’t seem to be affected by teething.
Baby’s teeth start developing while in the uterus (womb), now the teeth are pushing through the gums. This is what’s causing the gums to be painful and perhaps swollen.
Pressure from chewing a teething ring may relieve the pain. Sucking, however, can cause more blood to rush to the swollen areas, making them particularly sensitive. This is why baby may turn away from the breast or a bottle when teething.
Soothing painful gums
Giving something cool to bite on can relieve the pressure and ease the pain.
Rub a finger or a cold spoon over the baby’s sore gums to numb the pain temporarily or give a teething ring. Solid silicone-based teething rings are recommended. If baby is more than six months old, allow to chew on hard non-sweetened rusks, breadsticks or oven-hardened bread. Use fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, such as cucumber to use as a chewable soother.
Don’t use raw carrots.
You could also try chilled water in a bottle or a feeding cup. Teething gels usually ease the pain and prevent infection. A small amount rubbed onto the sore gum with a clean finger or cotton wool pad has a numbing effect that lasts for about 20 minutes. Do not use teething gels more than six times a day.
If you are breastfeeding, do not give teething gels just before a feed. Give infant paracetamol if baby is over three months old. Ask your doctor for guidance. Ear infections are often mistaken for teething. If your baby seems unwell and upset, or has a fever, go to the doctor.
Duration of teething
There is no set date when your baby’s first tooth will arrive. It could be any time between five and seven months. Teething could carry on for a year or more. The good news is that your baby’s first few teeth will probably be the worst. The next few teeth may come through more easily.