As your baby starts to move and explore, they will come across many things that could be dangerous.
Your baby may now be putting most things into their mouth. This is how they learn about the world around them.
It can also be because they're starting to teethe.
Teething occurs when the teeth growing in the jaw begin to come through the gums. Teething usually starts around 6 months but may start a little earlier or after the first birthday.
It is important to ask your family dentist for advice if teeth have not appeared by 18 months of age. Teething does not make babies sick. If you are worried about your baby, talk with your Plunket nurse, other well child health provider or doctor.
Teething affects every baby differently. Some babies’ teeth pop through without any problems, while others find teething painful and upsetting. The lower front incisor teeth usually come first, but some babies have upper teeth first. By two and a half years children usually have 20 teeth. Teething can cause pain in the gums, increased dribbling, dribble rashes on their face or chin, changes to feeding patterns, different bowel motions (not diarrhoea) and sometimes nappy rash (as a result of changes to bowel motions and urine).
If your baby is unsettled with teething you can try:
If you are breastfeeding and your baby starts to bite you, you may like to take your baby off the breast when they bite, have a short break, then try again. Doing this every time will teach them that the reward of breastfeeding is stopped if they bite.
Biting is not a reason to stop breast feeding your baby. The action of feeding from the breast and biting is very different. Some babies will bite at the breast when they have finished feeding.
Baby teeth can be cleaned with a small soft toothbrush and a very small smear of fluoride toothpaste.