Teething twins – double the drool , double the inflamed gums, and double the fussiness for mom and dad.
Teething is the process of the first 12 teeth coming through the gums. The usually begin making their appearance around six or seven months of age – although I found my twins started earlier – 4-5 months. Generally the the middle incisors on the top and bottom come in first.
The process of ‘cutting’ all those baby teeth can be rough on both the babies and the parents!
The tooth pushing against the baby’s gums is painful and the result is a cranky baby – times two – as twins generally hit the developmental milestones at basically the same time.
Teething for every baby is different though – so if you’re lucky at least one baby won’t have too hard a time of it !
For some babies it just seems to happen overnight, and with others it’s a long , drawn out process. Here are some tips to help you through this stage.
Symptoms of Cutting Teeth in Twins
Teething symptoms include fussiness, lots of drooling,chewing on anything and everything, inflamed (red) looking gums, loss of appetite and difficulties with sleeping. Some babies get diarrhea possibly due to all the excess saliva which can result in a later diaper rash. ( Most doctors say this is not related but all 4 of my children had diarrhea when they were teething and were not ill otherwise.)
Some babies can get a red rash on their cheeks, chin, neck and chest from all the drooling. Some babies can get a low grade fever and may pull on their ears, similar to an ear infection. These are all normal symptoms.
Some hints to help your babies ( and you ) be more comfortable
Massage your babies gums -pressure on your babies gums can help relieve their pain. Rub their gums with a clean finger firmly – you may even find they grab onto your hand to keep it there or turn their head from side to side to bite down harder on your hand.
Make it cold – cold can soothe the inflammation and distract your baby from the pain. You can try running a washcloth under cold water, placing it in the fridge and giving it to your baby. Cold pacifiers can work, a frozen bagel is great to gnaw on ( as long as there are NOT any teeth present – once teeth are through then there is a chance of biting off a piece and choking.)
Numb their gums – with a commercial oral anesthetic like Orajel or Anbesol. They can give temporary relief.
Try pain relievers – if your babies are really miserable you can give liquid tylenol or advil that will offer pain relief for up to 6 hours. Make sure to follow the dosing levels and use sparingly – most babies make it through cutting their teeth without too much trouble.
Commercial rings and toys Anything that the babies can chew on will help that little tooth push through. There are many teething toys on the market now – you can place them in the fridge for extra cooling ( although some babies like the cold in their mouth – they don’t like holding it in their hands so mommy might need to do that.) Make sure that you check them often for signs of a leak or hole – and don’t use them after your baby has developed teeth.
Keep a towel handy – all of the excess drooling can cause a lot of skin irritation for your babies so make sure to wipe it away often.
Stock up on diaper cream– no – this isn’t for your babies mouth ! Lots of babies will develop a diaper rash now so you’ll want to be prepared!
A chilled apple slice or carrot great and nutritious to gnaw on.
Breastfeeding can help your baby cut their teeth more comfortably – although you will feel like a human chew toy !
Rubbing any form of alcohol on the gums ( an old folk remedy) is not recommended for children of any age. Even minute amounts of alcohol can be toxic to a child and may predispose them to a taste for it later in life.
Be careful not to blame excessive crying and fussiness on your babies new teeth. Babies can get ill at the same time as they are cutting teeth.
Generally teething does not cause high fevers, vomiting, loss of appetite or convulsions. Teething will cause crankiness and sore gums.
If you feel your babies are feeling more than just normal pain from their teeth coming through , please consult your doctor. Teething is not fun for either your twins or their parents, but it doesn’t cause any serious illnesses.