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Signs of Teething

Month 5, Week 1

Though you're probably loving your baby's toothless grin, that first tooth can appear anytime between now and after her first birthday.

Here's how to recognize and alleviate the discomfort of teething:

  • Drooling begins months before teeth appear, so don't expect instant results.
  • Don't use pain-relieving medication on baby's gums too often. It washes away quickly and may be harmful if swallowed. Instead, massage gums with your finger. Also, the FDA says medication containing benzocaine should not be used in children under age 2.
  • Though some teething babies develop mild fevers, a temperature above 101 degrees Fahrenheit may indicate something else. Ask your pediatrician.
  • Solid rubber teething rings are safer than liquid-filled ones. To offer cool relief, place in the fridge; frozen teethers can cause injuries. If you're concerned about the plastic chemical BPA, read the labels carefully. You may want to get one that is BPA-free
  • Don't stop breastfeeding when your baby's teeth come in; babies can't bite while suckling. If your baby nips when finished, discourage future incidents by firmly saying “no” and taking away the breast.
  • After your baby has teeth, clean them regularly with a washcloth or baby toothbrush.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Half of all five-month-olds regularly sleep eight hours, so there's a good chance that you and your baby are (finally!) sleeping through the night.

If you're not quite there yet, remember:

  • Although it may not feel like it to you, infants who sleep five consecutive hours (midnight to 5 a.m.) are considered to be sleeping through the night.
  • If your baby cries after three hours of sleep, it's probably just a brief wake-up during her normal sleep cycle. She should be able to fall back asleep without feeding or help from Mom or Dad.
  •  Babies who are put in their cribs while awake are better equipped to fall back asleep without help from Mom or Dad when they wake up in the middle of the night.

Month 5, Week 1 Tips

  • Read to your baby every day. It's a wonderful way to spend time together. You don't have to read every word in the book. Make up stories and point to the characters to keep baby interested.
  • Babies are drawn to human faces and the varied expressions we make. Have fun together by playing peek-a-boo, smiling, frowning, laughing and making funny faces.
  • If you need to leave your baby with a relative or close friend, stay and play for a while the first few times, so your baby will feel more comfortable with the babysitter.
  • Don't try to be a perfect parent; there's no such thing. Create your own parenting style, trust your judgment, be fair and consistent, and your baby will be fine.
  • You're much more than a parent. So nurture your own interests, hobbies, and adult relationships. Depending on your baby for your fulfillment isn't healthy for either of you.
  • A digital thermometer (used rectally) is cheaper than electronic ear thermometers, more accurate than plastic strip thermometers, and safer than glass mercury-filled thermometers.
  • It is good to start routines at an early age. It helps your baby feel more secure -- and help you, as well. Have consistent nap times, feeding times, bath times, and playtimes for a happy baby!

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on September 18, 2013

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