For parents, this is what it is all about. That moment when your baby has developed his/her first tooth. A sign that your ‘mini me’ has reached an important milestone in terms of their personal development. But, don’t put the champagne on ice just yet…

First tooth: celebrate or commiserate

The moment the first tooth puts in an appearance is something to celebrate but there is another side to this. It can be a miserable time for your baby who will display a range of symptoms well in advance of this appearance. In fact, these symptoms will develop a month or two before the actual tooth. Your baby will dribble more than usual, have a mild fever, sore gums, earache, runny nose, a cough and several other symptoms. Some babies develop nappy rash or diarrhoea during this time. These are discussed further as individual articles in our teething symptoms section.

Expect your baby to become grizzly due to a lack of sleep and the pain of teething. Yes, pain is one of several aspects with teething but there are ways of dealing with this. A teething gel will soothe those sore gums or ease the discomfort with something firm to bite on such as a teething ring (instead of your fingers).

Cutting a tooth

You might have heard this expression used by other parents and wonder what it means. Is it a fancy way of saying that Junior has got his first tooth? Yes and no. As the milk teeth emerge through the gum they don’t actually break the skin. What happens is that the body releases chemicals that kill off some cells in the gums which allow these teeth to breakthrough. This is also known as an ‘eruption’. The teeth may not cut through the gums, but it can still be a painful process for your baby. Your little one will not understand the use of semantics in regard to the difference between ’emerging tooth and ‘cutting a tooth’. But what he or she will understand is the pain caused by the ‘eruption’. Some babies escape this but many others do not and if your little one is unlucky enough to suffer teething pain then lots of TLC (tender loving care) is called for. Just increase the cuddle quota during this time.

Share the news of your baby’s first tooth

This is an occasion to share with family and friends. After all, it is not every day that your baby develops his/her first tooth so make the most of it and celebrate with others. Take a photo or a short video clip of the occasion. Or if you want to show that you are au fait with the latest technology then why not post your news on Twitter or share it on Facebook.