Around the 6 month mark your apparently happy, settled baby may start getting fractious again, with sore, red, swollen gums, more dribbling, and quite possibly catastrophic nappy rash. It's teething time.
Although some babies may get their first teeth at around 4 or 5 months, and some later (all of ours were 7-9 months*), the symptoms will be the same and your poor little bub may be in considerable pain, usually for the first time. So just how can you do what mums and dads do best, and make it all better?
Some babies are lucky enough to have less pain, but even if they're not crying and fractious with the teething, they will probably dribble more, have red, flushed cheeks, have red, possibly swollen gums, and register some discomfort when feeding. Some babies will take to biting you, the cat's tail (yep, one of ours), toys or during breastfeeding, or they may be more restless at night and just generally feeling grumpy. If you run a clean finger over the front gums, you may well feel the cutting edge of the teeth underneath the surface.
Many babies will have runnier poo or a different coloured poo (remember that newborn poo chart!) and will often suffer from nappy rash. We used cloth nappies for all of ours and had very little nappy rash, but it was pretty awful every time new teeth were coming through. With all three it was, without doubt, the worst nappy rash we had!
If your baby suffers with this too, make sure they get lots of nappy-free time with the air on their bottom, change nappies often, and use cloth rather than disposables if possible when they do have to wear a nappy. Liberal application of a barrier cream like Bepanthen was a lifesaver too to help protect against the causes of nappy rash!
We were quite lucky as all of our girls were late teethers and not too bothered by their teeth coming in. But we didn't get off scot-free, so here's what worked for us, all natural and side-effect free:
Leta is mum of three and the founder of the lifestyle and parenting blog, Attachment Mummy, which covers family life, food, parenting and much more!
* N.B. Some children do not get their first tooth until much later, but if there is no sign by their first birthday consult your GP or health visitor.