Teething

I think the “newborn” (well, 12 week old baby) is teething!

Is my newborn teething? Signs and symptoms of teething. 12 week old baby chewing on his hand

Chewing on his hand

So i’ve got it into my head that maybe the “newborn” is teething; he’s actually now 12 weeks old and probably not newborn any more, though.

I thought this from around 10 or 11 weeks. Why? Well he’s chewing on his hands a lot and this behaviour has increased in the last few days. He’s slightly more drooly but that could just be from the increased sucking and chewing on back of his hand. I think that i’ve seen something that could be teeth under his gum, but i’m not 100% sure. My first-born, now nearly aged 2, got his first tooth around 4.5 months, and never looked back sprouting all his teeth apart from the back molars by the time he was one (here’s a link to all the teething posts from the first time around).
Of course, it might not be teething at all, afterall it feels a bit early. I’m looking carefully around the space his bottom front teeth would be as they are apparently the first to come in according to sources such as the NHS on teething symptoms and how babies’ teeth emerge.

Teething symptoms

Some teeth grow with no pain or discomfort at all. At other times you may notice that the gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through, or that one cheek is flushed. Your baby may dribble, gnaw and chew a lot, or just be fretful.

(NHS; link above)

 

As their teeth erupt, some babies may become fussy,  sleepless and irritable, lose their appetite or drool more than usual. Diarrhea, rashes and fever are not normal for a teething baby. Prior to tooth eruption, the gingiva [baby-brain does not know what this is] may appear bluish and swollen as a result of a transient hematoma. In rare cases, an eruption cyst develops. The tooth will eventually rupture this watery sac as it pushes through the gums….

(pg 116; Gugwad, S., Bommanavar, S., & Garud, S. (2012) Teething: A Relook. Int J Dent Case Reports, 2(5):115-120)
baby newborn teething 12 weeks chewing on hand

Baby with tooth

So how long do I have to wait and see if it is a tooth, or not?

Tooth eruption takes place during an 8-day window that includes 4 days before tooth eruption, the day of eruption and the 3 subsequent days

(Markman, 2009, cited in Memarpour, 2015)
Read more on “tooth eruption and teething in children” here
Other references:

 

Babies, toddlers, their teeth and the dentist

The dentist, babies, toddlers, and healthy teeth. What is good dental practice for infants?We had our first dentist appointment today! (nearly 14.5 months).

I naively thought it would all go smoothly, but the Little Lovely refused to open his mouth. I sat with him on the chair, with him in my lap. The dentist was very nice and seemed like she had experience in working with small children. She brought out some stickers and tried to gain his interest. He wasn’t very interested. She got a very quick glimpse in his mouth. We tried to encourage him to open his mouth again but he didn’t like it and got upset. The upside of this was that she could see into his mouth again. All that we learnt was that he is still missing his back molars (which we know…), and the dentist said he might be a bit grumpy if they are coming in. She said only to use a very small amount of toothpaste and asked if he had a varied diet. We were only there for about 5 minutes, if that. Oh well. But, she made the good point that at the next appointment (in 6 months) and future appointments, he should be more used to it because he would have been a few times. Good point, yes:

Desensitization (where the anxiety or emotional response to a situation/stimulus is reduced through repeated experience, or exposure to that situation/stimulus) 

and habituation (reduced response from repeated exposure to the “thing”  and over time because it doesn’t have the same impact any more)!

So the brief appointment wasn’t in vain.

Anyway, what do guidelines say about child tooth health? The NHS says about children’s teeth:

A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health

Obviously… and what else?

Start brushing your baby’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through… It’s important to use a fluoride paste as this helps prevent and control tooth decay

 

Below the age of three years, children should use just a smear of toothpaste.

 

And further information found here says:

 

Your child’s teeth should be brushed twice a day: last thing at night before bed and at least one other time

 

The amount of toothpaste used depends on your child’s age. For children under three years, use a smear or thin film of toothpaste that covers less than three-quarters of the brush.

 

Don’t let your child eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.

 

All children should use fluoride toothpaste…Children under three should use toothpaste containing no less than 1,000 ppm fluoride.

 

What about the dentist:

Taking your child to the dentist

Take your child to the dentist when the first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can help prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child’s mouth for the dentist to take a look is useful practise for when they could benefit from future preventative care.

 

When you visit the dentist, be positive about it and make the trip fun. This will stop your child worrying about future visits.

 

Take your child for regular dental check-ups as advised by the dentist. NHS dental care for children is free.

Oh good, so this taps into the earlier points about gradually exposing the child to the dentist and dental environment so that it becomes normal and familiar. Also, associating the trip with something fun and exciting sounds like a good idea, so that it doesn’t seem like a big, scary thing.

 

…Next appointment, 6 months!

Tooth explosion

Long time no write. Had a few bad nights sleep. The Little Lovely appears to have about 6 different teeth all coming in in various stages. His molars are coming in/have come in on the top and bottom, and also it looks like his top “fangs” are through. His bottom fangs also look like they might be attempting to push through. There is some drool going on. There is terrible nappy rash. It’s the worst i’ve ever seen it. Very odd tooth explosion occurring. At this rate he’s going to have all of his teeth apart from the back molars by the time he is 1. He almost has 16 teeth, if you count the 4 fangs, well actually, the bottom two might not be coming in, i’m not sure, it just looks like there’s something very very small threatening to poke out of there. Poor boy (he’s just over 11 months now).

Updates at 10.5 months – teeth, sickness and words

So what’s been going on recently for the Little Lovely? He’s 10 and a half months.
♥ He’s currently sick with some stomach bug that he picked up from who knows where. He got ill the evening after attending a baby class, so probably some other child at the class or he picked up and put something contaminated in his mouth that had been touched/mouthed by an infected child. Slightly annoyed, want to email the class and tell them he’s been sick now for 6 days, but babies put things in their mouths, but on the other hand, he’s never been sick before. Anyway, 3 trips to the doctor have been had and he is ok, but it could take 2 weeks to go. He’s not dehydrated and doesn’t have a temperature. If you’re concerned about or want to read more about Gastroenteritis in children, here is an NHS page about it! Have fun reading about the vomiting.
♥ He has a molar coming through on the bottom right. He had two hemotomas on the back of the top left and right gum, where I thought molars were coming through, his upper first molars, but no teeth have appeared. Instead one is coming in on the bottom (lower first molars), which is strange because according to information on appearance of teeth in children it’s usually the upper molars that appear first and then the lower ones at 12-18 months-ish.
♥ He can follow some simple instructions and pays attention when you say something to him such as “Little Lovely, can you say DaDa”, or “can you say cup” – and he’ll most of the time say DaDa or in the last few days can say “cup”, but says it as “bupp” – or something to that effect. He really just makes a “buu” or “bupp” noise but will say it specifically if you ask him to say “cup”, so I think this shows evidence of him listening to what you are saying and trying to speak.

Teething Pains

Sleep has been terrible the last week or so. He was finally sleeping well, around 9 months, but now is waking up every hour or so. I wasn’t sure if it was teething because he just had his lower lateral incisors (the ones either side of the bottom front middle teeth) come in a few weeks ago (and sleep was bad then too). But, today we noticed a “teething hematoma” at the top back on his gum where the first MOLAR is supposed to come in. Molars already!! Would explain all the upset. But why at night? He doesn’t appear so upset during the day. Anyway, let’s see if a molar comes through. Quite early. Not sure what he’s planning to do with all these teeth!

A quick look on Google scholar comes back with this article (1. Teething: A Relook) 

 

INTRODUCTION: Your new bundle of joy is about to embark on a  beautiful journey through the rites of passage, commonly known as “Teething.” Now, if the “Tooth be told,” this journey is not going to be a bed of  roses; but take heart! This emotionally charged  experience is but one chapter in the beautiful novel of the life that “YOU” have helped to create… (pg 116)

 

Ok, sounds interesting….

 

As their teeth erupt, some babies may become fussy,  sleepless and irritable, lose their appetite or drool more than usual. Diarrhea, rashes and fever are not normal for a teething baby (2). Prior to tooth eruption, the gingiva [baby-brain does not know what this is] may appear bluish and swollen as a result of a transient hematoma. In rare cases, an eruption cyst develops. The tooth will eventually rupture this watery sac as it pushes through the gums…. (pg 116)

 

…. Nice

References: 

  1. Gugwad, S., Bommanavar, S., & Garud, S. (2012) Teething: A Relook. Int J Dent Case Reports, 2(5):115-120.
  2. Markman L. (2009) Teething: Facts and Fiction. Pediatr Rev, 30: e59-e64.

Tooth’s Company

Ok so as I thought might happen The Little Lovely does have a second Upper Lateral Incisor coming in, to the left of his upper front teeth. Yay. Tooth for the price of one, again. At least he is being efficient with his teething, but seeing as this has happened 3 times now (two teeth coming in within a day or two of each other) maybe this is normal?!

Teeth and Other Developments – Crawling, Teeth and Talking

What? I like to sit with my legs like this | baby development teeth and talking - Baby-Brain.co.uk psychology resource, perspective & blog on motherhood

What? I like to sit with my legs like this

The Little Lovely is now 6 months and 3 weeks. I discovered he has another new tooth today, on the top to the right of his newish front teeth (his Upper Lateral Incisors, apparently). He’s following the appropriate “tooth appearance in babies order” again, although this time I can’t see a second tooth coming through on the other side. Maybe it will turn up in a day or two, like what happened with his other teeth (see the tooth for the price of one posts here and here about his bottom and upper front teeth).

This might explain why he had some poor sleep during the week and wanted to get up at 5:30am on a couple of days. I’m afraid 5:30am is not “morning”, it is not a time that should exist where I should be up in the “morning”. But, I had to because LL didn’t want to sleep any more. He used to want to get up at about 8:30am. This then changed to 6:30am and then down to 5:30 amand even 5:10am last week. I’m starting to feel sorry for the lady I spoke about in the Sleep Lady post where her baby slept through the night but wanted to get up at 5am every day. I previously didn’t have much sympathy because her child slept through the night and at least she got uninterrupted sleep for several hours. Don’t worry, LL is still not sleeping through the night, but I can now appreciate the woman’s complaint a little more (although I’d still rather LL slept through the night and woke up at 5am than wake several times during the night and get up later at 8:30am).

Ok, and so other than teeth and sleep, what else is LL up to? He is mostly crawling backwards, and has been for some time now, but can now bring a hand off the ground when in a crawling position and do something with it like hit the floor or hold a ball now. He can stretch out and lunge forward a bit. He can’t crawl forward traditionally but will do a strange improvised-movement-thingy where he sits, moves onto all fours and a crawling position, stretches, then goes back into a sitting position but will be sitting a bit further forward than he was to start with, so over time he can actually shuffle himself across the floor.

And...push! (baby mini pushups) baby development teeth and talking - Baby-Brain.co.uk psychology resource, perspective & blog on motherhood

And…push! (baby mini pushups)

We also witnessed him pushing himself up today onto his feet for a few seconds, although can’t stand at all. He was also doing some massive push ups a few weeks ago (baby push up; picture on right), and now sits with his legs in an odd position as seen in the picture above. Maybe this is for more stability?

 

baby development crawling, teeth and talking - Baby-Brain.co.uk psychology resource, perspective & blog on motherhood

Sit..shuffle into crawl…crawl and shuffle a bit… now i’m further forwards!

He’s also started to get more vocal; I think his first words might be dadada as he is making similar sounds now. This has developed in the last few days. Of course, there’s the issue about whether it’s a proper “word” or language if the speaker does not consciously assign any meaning to it (dadada is just a sound he makes because he is developmentally able and ready to make it – it doesn’t mean he is saying daddy or means dad). Meaning comes a bit later, apparently at about 1 year old, according to this article about talking from the baby center. I found this article from the Child Development Club on “is my baby trying to talk to me” (written by a Speech-Language Pathologist specialising in early intervention for infants and toddlers) to be quite interesting on this topic. She writes that:

The difference between babbling and talking hinges on intent and meaning. 

And so if a child is actually using a word they are using them intentionally with the purpose of communicating with you. However, adults and parents assist the child in developing meaning behind their communications by reflecting meaning back and reinforcing and confirming communications. For example, the article writes that the development of a child’s communication can depend on how you react. If your baby smiles when you pick them up and swing them around, he might be smiling because he likes it and it feels nice. Baby might not be intentionally trying to communicate his happiness and feelings to you. However, we see the smile and because we are insightful and experienced adults, we interpret that to mean that he is a happy baby and likes it when you swing him. You therefore continue to swing him and baby learns that a smile lets you know that he likes something or wants more of it.

The author outlines that in a similar vein, when babies smile, babble something or wave their arms about like they are waving “hello”, they are probably not intentionally communicating something to us at first, but after a while these babbles, smiles and waving become more intentional because of the way we react to them. It’s similar with verbal communications such as a general dadada babble, where we might respond and confirm by saying “yes daddy, da da da” – and point to daddy, or play a game of “where’s daddy” or something – dadada then becomes daddy and baby begins to understand that his sounds can be meaningful. So, from what I understand, it looks like parents construct meaning with their children. At least until the child mixes more socially and picks stuff up from others. And so, the article finishes with this:

And remember, treat your baby’s vocalizations as if they are meaningful and your baby will begin to understand the power of speech.

Thank you for reading – Teeth and Other Developments – Crawling, Teeth and Talking – Baby-brain.co.uk –  psychology resource, perspective & blog on motherhood 

Tooth for the price of one – again! (teething, biting & breastfeeding)

Biting, teething and breastfeeding

Is there just one upper central incisor coming in here?

So I thought I could see a new tooth coming in on the top, an “upper central incisor”. This would be the next tooth to come in after his lower front teeth according to tooth order information. However, yesterday it looked like, again, he decided to be efficient and grow two at the same time. And yes, indeed there is another upper central incisor coming in. So now we will have a scary mouth of upper and lower front teeth. Scary for me as I am the one feeding him. He has bitten me twice; I had already thought in advance what I was going to do if he bit me. I decided to yell and express that it hurt as soon as he bit me, to take him off, look at him and say “biting hurts mummy” – see this post on behavioural psychology and explanation of reinforcement and punishers for why – in a nutshell, I wanted to give immediate feedback and a consequence to the biting, and to show that it had an impact. He cried and I cuddled him.

Here’s a brief recap on punishment and reinforcement: 

  • Punishment” doesn’t necessarily mean there is a harmful or dangerous consequence, it’s a process where a consequence immediately follows a behaviour which decreases the future likelihood of that behaviour occurringPositive punishment is where a negative consequence is put in place after the behaviour, like sending child to “time out” or telling them off, and negative punishment where a good thing or desired outcome is removed after the behaviour occurs, such as removing cake/sweets. 
  • Reinforcement is where behaviour increases. Positive reinforcement is where a behaviour increases because  it’s followed by a positive/motivating consequence. Negative reinforcement is where behaviour increases because a negative consequence is removed, such as a kid does his chores (behaviour) to avoid being nagged to do it (negative).

So I suppose expressing my discomfort would be a positive punisher? I don’t know if it was the “right” thing to do but I don’t want to be bitten and in fear at every feed. It seemed to work and there was no biting again for a few weeks, then he bit slightly a few days ago, so I did the same thing. I don’t know if that was because he had a new tooth coming in and he was experimenting, or what.

nope, I decided to give you BOTH upper central incisors at the same time

nope, I decided to give you BOTH upper central incisors at the same time

Also, the Little Lovely (LL) appears to be teething a bit earlier than average; first teeth might not come in until between 5 and 7 months, according to this page on teething from the NHS, and upper central incisors at 6 to 8 months. LL was about 4.5 months when his first teeth came in so maybe his younger age impacts on biting and feeding issues? I don’t really know, I’m just thinking out loud.

What I noticed each time, however, is that he was not really eating and had probably finished. It feels like sometimes, toward the end of the feed he is just “mucking around” a bit.  I can tell this by playing with his hand or kissing on his arm. If he has finished eating then he will giggle a bit and smile – if he is proper eating and seriously concentrating on that, he does not react to this playing so I leave him to get on with eating. So, maybe he was just experimenting with his new teeth. I will need to retrospectively complete a behavioural analysis on the situation if he does it again! Indeed, from from having a quick search online babies are more likely to bite if they are full, and teething can also impact on biting. So looking at contextual factors in considering why baby bites might be helpful because LL was teething when he bit a few days ago because the other top front tooth was probably about to break through.

Here are some “tips to reduce and eliminate biting” from La Leche League (LLL). In summary, they write:

  • it’s physically impossible for baby to bite when latched on correctly and nursing actively. this is because baby needs to stop sucking in order to bite – so this supports my observation that his biting came at the end of the feed when he was “mucking about” and not actually eating as actively as he does at the start of a feed
  •  So, as a first “hint” of when your baby is about to bite, try and watch for a moment–usually after the initial hunger has been satisfied–when your nipple slips forward in your baby’s mouth. Often the tension in your baby’s jaw will change just before this happens.

  • when you notice this “change”, you can release the suction by placing a finger into the corner of baby’s mouth and take him off, keeping your finger in his mouth to protect the nipple. Pulling baby off might seem like an automatic response to being bitten, but it will be less painful if you release the suction!
  •  positioning may be relevant: pull baby in closer. If he begins to position himself away from the nipple, “be alert for a possible bite”. Great

 

See here for further information from LLL on “if your baby bites”, an interesting page that offers more details to the above points on what to do if baby bites, factors that might contribute to biting, positioning matters, preventing biting  and gaining perspective. The contributing factors section is interesting; it’s helpful to think about what is contributing to the biting when attempting to address it. For example, the page writes that colds (lack of clear airway could interfere with suckling correctly) teething and asking for attention can be contributing factors. Responses to and attempts to address biting might be different depending on different contributing factors.

 

 

 

 

 

Tooth for the Price of One!

Two for the price of one!

There’s two teeth there not just one! ogre tooth two

The Little Lovely’s daddy noticed another one coming in right next to the first. Poor boy. I wonder if it’s confusing for him to have these things suddenly appear and hurt in his mouth. No calpol, granuals or teething gel today. I did get another teether though in case it helps him. He doesn’t seem to be too interested in them though and prefers to chew on his or my hand instead.

Although he’s been drooly for a while, teething symptoms apparently occur significantly more frequently in the days before, during and after the tooth emergence (an 8-day teething period or “window” – says a recentish study (1)). Might explain some irritability and poor sleep we all had recently.  The study didn’t find high fever to be associated with teething, something that I was looking out for and relying on to confirm teething! Although a mild rise in temperature was associated.  Some infants had no symptoms, but they do helpfully highlight “mild symptoms” found to be temporally associated with teething including increased biting, drooling, gum-rubbing, sucking, irritability, wakefulness, ear-rubbing and facial rash. Although, no particular cluster of symptoms were found to reliably predict the imminent emergence of a tooth — so poot if I was looking for a predictive formula. oh well, only one study.

Note though symptoms are not necessarily caused by teething (they are only associated) – for example, this study (2) writes that  “during this same time period of an infant’s life, passive immunity due to maternal antibodies wanes and exposure to a wide variety of childhood illnesses occurs. Due to this temporal relationship, teething often is blamed for symptoms such as changes in sleep and eating patterns, rhinorrhea, drooling, rash, fussiness, and diarrhea.”

 

References:

(1) Macknin et al., (2000).  Symptoms Associated With Infant Teething: A Prospective Study. Pediatrics, 105 (4), pp. 747 -752

(2) Markman, L. (2009). Teething Facts and Fiction. Pediatrics in Review, 30, pp. e59 -e64 

Is that a tooth?

small chair LL  The Little Lovely (LL- as pictured) is teething!

He’s been drooly for a while now, and could get quite irritated, so we suspected It could be teething but then we also weren’t sure as he can get slobbery and annoyed at other times as well. He gets particularly drooly before his bedtime feed; I started singing the song “truly scrumptious” but replacing “truly” with “drooly”, until the song got stuck in our heads and LL’s daddy banned the song. In fact I’m singing the song now. I just googled it and found this website, so I’m apparently not the only one making that association. Unfortunately for me the site is American, so I can’t buy anything there. Too bad, this one looks quite nice

ogre tooth

Anyway, he has one little toothy peg coming in on the bottom in the middle. He’s going to look like a ogre with one little tooth sticking out, but it appears that he is “normal” in terms of this tooth coming in first according to info on order of tooth appearance.

I was sitting next to a nanny at a baby class, and she told me that when the front and bottom teeth come in the baby looks like a rabbit – nice! She said she has nannied 7 babies so far and has her own children, so I suppose she should know.

I was recommended those chamomile teething granules so we used one today and a bit of teething gel. LL didn’t seem at all concerned that we were putting strange stuff in his mouth. I don’t know if they work yet for him, it’s only been used the once.

I was a bit upset when he first started drooling and I suspected teething. And now he actually has one coming through it means he’s not a baby anymore and and a reminder he won’t need milk forever. He’s on the way to chewing and munching through his own foods. He’s only 4.5 months old, it all seems a bit early. My little baby is no longer so little.

I need to find a gum massager and other teething tools. We have some teethers that I bought a few weeks ago, but he is not very interested in chewing on them. I got a chewable toothbrush but I’ve seen some that you can put on your finger for babies to chew. This might be a better idea because LL is a big fan of hand and finger chewing, both his own and anyone else’s.

 

Earworms

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