Teething is an important part of your baby’s development. Although it can be an irritable time for your baby, there are many ways you can help ease the pain. Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months, but they might come anytime between 2 and 12 months of age. Teething does not cause a high fever or vomiting and diarrhea, so if your baby does develop these symptoms, it is important that you contact your pediatrician immediately.
Helping Ease the Pain
When your baby is teething, all you want to do is help ease the pain. Your pediatrician offers a few tips to keep in mind when your baby is teething:
- Wipe your baby’s face often with a cloth to remove drool and prevent rashes from developing.
- Give your baby something to chew on, but make sure it is big enough so that it can’t be swallowed and that it can’t break into small pieces. Teething rings are a popular choice for babies to chew on, as well as plush toys that are crunchy on the inside.
- Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
- Never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, as it could get caught on something.
- If your baby seems irritable, ask your pediatrician if it is okay to give your baby a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease discomfort.
Cleaning Your Baby’s New Teeth
Once your baby’s new teeth have arrived, they are susceptible to plaque buildup just like adult teeth, which can lead to discoloration and dental complications. However, do no use toothpaste on your child’s teeth until they are old enough to spit—around the age of 2 or 3. Until then, brush their teeth with a small, soft toothbrush and water. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that kids visit the dentist by age 1, when six to eight teeth are in place, in order to spot any potential problems and advise you about proper preventive care.
By visiting your pediatrician, you can establish proper care for your child. Your pediatrician can help guide you in caring for your child through teething so that they are more comfortable.
- Sudden high fever
- Severe headache that isn’t easily confused with other types of headaches
- Stiff neck
- Vomiting or nausea with headache
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Sleepiness or difficulty waking up
- Sensitivity to light
- Lack of interest in drinking and eating
- Skin rash in some cases
When it comes to caring for your baby, nail care is often overlooked. In the first few months of life, you may not be too worried about caring for your baby’s nails. But at some point your little one will take a swipe at you, and you will quickly find out how sharp those nails are. Baby nail care is easy—for the most part. Your pediatrician is available to offer helpful tips to ensure proper care for your baby’s nails.
Proper nail care can be as simple as trimming the nails when they get long enough to scratch you. However, your baby may squirm and move around, which makes cutting his or her nails difficult. Your pediatrician, we want the process of cutting your baby’s nails to be as easy as possible, which is why we are available to offer friendly advice.
There is no wrong way to cut your baby’s nails, as long as you do not nick the baby, and the nails get trimmed. Your pediatrician shares some basic tips:
- Clean your baby’s hands, feet and nails during regular bathing.
- Hold your baby’s finger and palm steady with one hand and trim with the other.
- Press down on the fleshy pad of his or her fingertip to move the skin away from the nail.
- Cut along the shape of the nail and snip any sharp corners or use an emery board.
While these tips may be easy to follow, some parents may still remain concerned about cutting their baby’s nails. If you are still concerned, follow these tips to make the job easier:
- Have your partner hold the baby while you trim the nails.
- Do it while your baby is sleeping.
- Use only baby nail clippers to trim the nails.
- Wait until your baby is in a good mood and find something to distract him or her, such as a new video, toy or snack.
Visit your pediatrician for more information on how to care for your baby, including proper nail care.
- All infants should be put down for sleep on their back to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Avoid soft bedding that might suffocate your baby, such as pillows, blankets, plush toys, and bumpers.
- Crib slats should be 2 3/8 inches apart or less so that your baby’s head cannot get trapped.
- Keep your baby’s room at a moderate temperature and dress them in a way that will prevent them from overheating to also reduce the risk for SIDS.
- Share a bedroom with your newborn—but not a bed.
- Avoid devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS, such as sleep positioners.
Nursing your baby and making sure that your baby gets all of the recommended vaccines can help protect against SIDS. Your pediatrician is available to provide you with the right information to protect your baby and keep him or her healthy and that includes proper care while they are sleeping.
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