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How to Prep for Teething

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Babies typically begin teething around 5 or 6 months of age. The lower two teeth usually break through first, followed by the top two a few weeks later. While teething usually comes with some discomfort and a few sleepless days and nights, there are ways you can prepare for the process and to soothe the aches and pains when the time comes.

Maintain a consistent bedtime routine: When your little one is deep in the throes of teething, their sleep schedule can waver. Keep a regular schedule and a consistent routine for getting them down — this will help them maintain the comfort of that soothing routine, and will help to keep you rested and prepared for the next day.

Get them started on teething toys early: For starters, consider purchasing some cloth, rubber or silicone teething toys when baby is 3 or 4 months old, and integrate them into his/her routines early on. If your child loves his/her teethers now, come teething time they’ll be comforting must-haves that not only reassure a fussy child but, also, naturally help soothe gums — a win-win.

Familiarize them with gum massage: Just as you can prep your baby with teething toys, you can also get them used to having their gums massaged. Because this may seem awkward or even uncomfortable for a newborn or infant, it can be hard to maneuver when he/she is already in pain from teething. Consider applying gentle pressure to your baby’s gums a few times a day, starting at 3 or 4 months old. This will get him/her accustomed to gum massage so, when teeth begin to break through, baby will welcome this comforting motion.

Recognize when baby starts teething: While most babies break their first teeth at five or 6 months old, some start much earlier — and some much later. Drooling is a common sign of impending teeth break-throughs, as is a baby who chomps down on everything and anything, from your fingers to your jewelry, books, toys and more. Other signs can include red cheeks, a loss of appetite, general irritability or even a red or irritated bottom. If you spot these symptoms, your baby is likely teething or about to begin teething. When you see these signs you can start soothing gums ASAP to ensure a calmer, more seamless process with less pain for baby — and hopefully fewer headaches for you!

© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2016

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