Just when you thought you are off the teething troubles, there come the molars – bigger and blunt and hence taking that much longer to come out. Molars take the teething pain to a whole new level! As your precious little is going to have some difficult times, essentially implying that your days are going be, well, not so great when you see him having tough times whining in pain. Ouch!
Read on to understand more about teething in the second year and how to help your baby cope.
(If your child is smaller and you are worried about the non-molar teething problems, please refer to Baby Teething and Baby Teething – Symptoms and Solutions)
Molars Sprouting: Teething In Second Year
Molars make their entry during your child’s the 2nd and 3rd year – the first set appearing around 12 and 19 months and the second set appearing around 24 to 33 months. Because of their large size and double blunt edges, they take twice as much time to sprout from gums and hence can cause twice as much discomfort and pain as the incisors. If you are very lucky, your child might cut both sets of molars without much hassle. But otherwise, you need to understand the various symptoms of toddler teething and provide some ease for the discomfort.
Signs and Symptoms: How Do You Know If Your Toddler Is Teething?
The signs that the molars are arriving are pretty much the same as the usual teething symptoms:
Drooling: If your toddler is drooling, or you notice reddened skin around the mouth and the chin area caused by drooling, then chances are he is teething!
Refusal or difficulty to eat: Teething can cause exceptional irritability and discomfort which make otherwise healthy eaters fussy about eating
Putting random things in the mouth: If your child is trying to suck on anything that he can lay his hands on (toys, towels, their own hands etc.), it indicates an inflated gum due to teething. He is trying to release some pressure on the gums with all his gnawing!
Blood in the gum: Sometimes when the teeth irrupts from the gum, it can break the hematomas in the gum and this will appear as bleeding beneath the surface. This is normal and will go away on its own once the molars are fully out
Irritability: Any unexplained crankiness and irritability can be attributed to teething
Mild fever: Teething is usually accompanied by mild fever
Trouble sleeping: You might notice that your toddler is sleeping lightly or waking up multiple times during his sleep
Other symptoms suggesting pain: To relieve the pain, your toddler might be seen rubbing his cheeks, pulling his ears and opening his mouth wide
Of course, now that your toddler can speak, he might just tell you his gums are aching! Alternatively, if he lets you put your finger inside his mouth, you can feel the gums to see if the tooth is coming in (but make sure you don’t get bitten!)
Most of these symptoms go away on their own when the teeth come out. However, if any of these symptoms lasts longer, it is wise to take your child to his doctor as it might be indicative of another illness that has symptoms similar to teething.
How Can You Help Ease The Teething Pain?
While it is much more difficult to pacify an infant as compared to a toddler, you can find some solace in the fact that you have dealt with teething once before when they began teething for the first time!
Some of the tips, home remedies and techniques that can be used to ease your little one’s pain and make him less irritable are:
Bring those old teething toys back and let your little one chew on them
Offer him cold teething rings. Alternatively, peel and cut a thick piece of carrot. Put this in the freezer for some time and give it to your toddler to suck/chew (some experts however do not recommend it as it can be a choking hazard – so keep a strict watch). You can also let him chew on a cold towel.
Keep a small soft cloth ready to wipe away the drools. Make sure not to rub the face, only pat softly
If the drools cause a rash, apply a soft moisturizer like Cetaphil in the area
Offer him soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow if they are showing difficulty to eat
Offer him cold drinks and smoothies (without ice)
Take extra care when brushing teeth to ensure that the inflamed gum are not rubbed on hard by the brush bristles
Distract him! Take him out to a new play area or park and let them play their way to forgetting the pain. Also, offer them some extra love and cuddling
If things are really out of control, you can talk to your child’s doctor, who might prescribe pain relief medicines. Never administer any medicine without consulting a doctor
Can Teething Cause Fever?
Widely debated, some experts maintain that teething does not cause symptoms like diarrhea and fever. However, many parents report that their children did suffer from mild fever, diarrhea of vomiting and loose stools when they were teething. William Sears, pediatrician and author of The Baby Book. Sears believes that teething can result in diarrhea and a mild diaper rash. He so suggests as the child’s excessive saliva ends up in his gut thus causing the motions to loose themselves. He also asserts that inflammation in the gums can cause a fever, though low. Some experts say that teething can make your baby vulnerable to infections, and these symptoms are a result of an infection, not because of teething. The best bet would be to see your child’s doctor so that your child can be treated well.
Here is hoping the misery molars are out soon and you can regain normalcy in life again!