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My Baby is Teething, What Should I Do?

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 31, 2021

My Baby is Teething, What Should I Do?

Teething is something that parents expect in their baby’s first year. If you ever find yourself asking, my baby is teething, what should I do?, remember the following facts about the development of your little one’s first tooth.

Fact #1: When teething happens varies in babies

Exactly when teeth develop varies from child to child.

Reports say that teething may begin when the baby is 4 months old, but most will start at 6 months.

In case they reached 6 months and you still don’t find a single tooth, don’t panic. Reports say that some babies may not have any teeth by their first birthday.

Fact #2: Your baby will give you clues

Before we discuss the ways to soothe a teething baby, let’s first talk about the signs that they may start teething soon.

  • Low-grade fever: a temperature of 37.8 to 38.2
  • Fussiness: babies who’ll soon develop teeth may exhibit irritability and increased fussiness. You might observe that the once laughing and giggling bundle of joy is now clingier and whiny.
  • Swollen and red gums: When you open their mouth, you might find that their gums are red and swollen.
  • Mouthiness and drooling: Mouthiness refers to their behavior of chewing, gnawing, or biting objects (and even people). It often comes with increased drool.
  • Decreased appetite: Just when a tooth is about to erupt, your baby may not eat, especially when their gums are swollen. This is especially the case for those already on solid foods.

Spotting these signs will help you prepare better for your baby’s teething. For instance, you might want to stock up on bibs since they will be drooling a lot!

Fact #3: You can continue breastfeeding

My baby is teething, what should I do? Should I stop breastfeeding? This is a common concern among mommies who feel that teething will make breastfeeding painful.

Experts don’t recommend stopping breastfeeding because of teething. They emphasize that with proper positioning and latching, as well as home remedies that ease your baby’s sore gums, you can continue breastfeeding just fine.

my baby is teething what should i do

Fact #4: There are many ways to soothe a teething baby

In case your baby starts teething, consider doing the following:

  • Massage or rub their baby gums with your fingers or wet cloth. You can also do this before and after breastfeeding.
  • To ease gum pressure, give them teething rings that they can chew. For added comfort, you can choose rings that can be chilled in the fridge. Never give your baby a frozen teething ring as it may damage their gums.
  • Remove dribble by wiping their face gently; this prevents rashes.
  • For babies on solid foods, you can give them cold foods such as yogurt and applesauce.

For a cranky or distressed baby, you can talk to the doctor about medications such as paracetamol.

Beware of products and medications that contain belladonna, benzocaine, or lidocaine. They “numb” teething pain, but experts say they may have potential side-effects.

Finally, don’t give your baby teething necklaces or bracelets. Not only are their effectiveness in question, but authorities say they increase choking and strangulation risks.

Fact #5: Newly erupted teeth need brushing

And finally, for infants 6 months to 2 years  old, you need to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, once after the morning meal and then before bedtime.

Use a tiny, soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Once your child learns to spit, usually at the age of 3, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also recommend bringing a child to the dentist a little before or at their first birthday.

When to seek medical help

Home remedies are often enough to ease teething discomforts. However, bring your baby to the doctor if they have the following symptoms as they could point to other conditions:

Likewise, bring your little one to the doctor if they appear too uncomfortable or when teething already interferes with their drinking and eating.

Learn more about Baby’s First Year here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 31, 2021

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