Nappy Rash and Teething, what’s the deal with these two?
In this article we’ll be giving you a couple of pointers about:
- What Teething is and its Symptoms
- Which are facts and which are nasty rumors about the rash
- How to help a toddler with Teething Diaper Rash
- And a whole lot more…
Keep reading to find out.…
What is Teething?
Teething is the process by which your child’s baby teeth start appearing and pushing through their gums.
Around six months, you may find your child starting to grow more curious. They are making their way around and grabbing everything that catches their eye. Your little ones are also starting to put everything in their mouth (how fun!).
You may find yourself dealing with what looks like a diaper rash, but around their mouths.
Usually, babies start their teething period at about 4 to 6 months and up until 30 to 36 months.
A lot goes on in those months. They develop their immune system, change their diets, and walk (or start to at least). Usually during this time, they want to chew on something, to help alleviate the pain.
They will literally chew anything they can find.
We dive into some issues that arise with teething. And talk about the possible relationship between the teething and actual diaper rashes.
Symptoms of Teething
This is because your baby’s teeth are starting to peek out and irritate their gums. In this time, they will be trying to chew whatever they can get their hands on.
This is the drooly period of their infancy…
For the baby, you may find that they start developing swollen gums, fussiness, or refusing to eat.
Below are some more common types of symptoms associated with teething
- Irritability and crankiness
- Biting and chewing
- Cheek rubbing
- Raw, swollen gums
- Red splotches on mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to sleep
Debunking Myths: True or Not?
Some symptoms of teething are not as common…
They are possibly leftover from old wives’ tales passed on through time. We all know how stories passed down through generations are not always as told.
This is also true for things said about teething.
We looked at the possible reasons why certain symptoms are always associated with teething. Just like how our parents told us carrots can help with eyesight. These accepted facts may only hold some truth to them…
Irritability and Crankiness: True
This makes total sense, teeth are coming out of your child’s mouth after all.
We all know how much tooth pain hurts!
Even as adults, tooth and gum pain can be too much to handle. Should you feel that they are experiencing extra discomfort?
Consult your doctor about possible over the counter pain medication, like ibuprofen. Some babies are more sensitive to pain and may need a bit of extra help.
Extra saliva will irritate and cause extra coughing.
This is normal, and unless accompanied by a fever, or excess diarrhea, there is less cause for concern. Babies’ mouths are not completely developed and the saliva can accumulate.
We found that patting their backs gently, can help the saliva move forward.
Keep in mind…
Again, if you notice abnormally long periods of coughing, it never hurts to consult a doctor.
Irritability, Drooling, Biting Raw Cheeks, & Swollen Gums: True
All these surface-level symptoms are all common and basically saying all is well and normal.
To help soothe your child during this time, they may need some extra lovin’. For example, when they are cranky, we suggest being especially patient.
Physical comfort also shows them that you are always there for them.
Show them support and love and talk things out with them. Reassure them that this growing pain will pass. There are also some products on the market that could help soothe their pain.
Keep their mouths dry and free of drool (see below). If their cheeks or gums are raw, give them something cool to chew on to help soothe the area.
Teething rings or cold foods can be helpful.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, It is recommended to use gels or topical ointments to treat them. As this could affect their digestive system. We found that frozen fruits or veggies are a great option.
If your baby has a specific food that they like, you can mash it up and freeze it. They can get a little treat and forget about their tooth pain for a little.
Red Splotches on Mouth: True
In some situations, you may find them with a condition called “teething rash” or “drool rash”. The extra saliva they swallow as a result at this time can lead to irritated skin.
And when it ends up on their mouth, neck, or chest, it can cause a rash and red splotches.
This is because the drool can still have little bits of food in it. They are not able to completely break down the food. The saliva mixed with food and digestive enzymes cause rash. This combination is irritating to your baby’s skin.
Do not worry though, as this will come in and out of this teething period.
It is possible that other issues could cause it, such as eczema or a yeast infection. For persisting rashes, we recommend consulting a doctor to help you figure it out. Any red bump, lump, or rash is scary, especially for new parents.
This is completely normal.
We want to reassure you that teething rash is a real thing. It is very common, so there is no need to worry. It may seem wild that the rashes could occur in other places on the body, but it is very common. When I first saw this, I definitely freaked out.
Hopefully, after reading this, you will be less scared as I was.
To avoid this drool rash, be sure to keep your child’s mouth clear of drool. If it gets around your baby’s clothes near their neck or chest, we recommend having extra cloth around to catch it.
You can also clean the mess quickly.
If their shirt gets especially saturated, be sure to change it so it doesn’t irritate their skin.
Many believe that the extra drool from teething causes a baby’s stool to loosen. They claim that this results in wetter poops.
This may be true, but only if this happens within the window before or after a tooth appears.
We do not believe that teething and diarrhea are directly related. Your child is going to be going through a lot of other changes during this time. Including a change in diet to solid foods.
It is more likely that with the change in your baby’s digestion, you run the risk of diarrhea and more often. These two can seem correlated only because your baby is going through other changes.
If your child is having diarrheas, make sure to be aware of other factors. If it continues to persist, always call your doctor to make sure.
Loss of Appetite: True
During this time, a baby’s shift in foods can make them lose their appetite. They may not want to drink any liquid foods for a while.
This can be due to their swollen mouths made raw by chewing.
This is often not a cause for concern. If their loss of appetite persists for a long period of time check in with a doctor. Especially if their poop starts to change and look different.
Just like when we feel a toothache, we may not want to eat as much.
Since a baby is growing all the teeth at the same time, their whole mouth hurts. A good tip is to not push your baby to eat if they really do not want to.
Frozen fruit and veggie popsicles are always a good option to help get their nutrients in.
We also found that veggies with some chicken broth in popsicle form were great for our kiddo. They are able to get a meal in, even if their mouth hurts.
Inability to Sleep: True (Sort of)
Irritability and crankiness can definitely affect your child’s sleeping patterns. Since they are constantly in pain, it is harder for them to fall asleep.
When they do not get the sleep they need, their body will not function as well.
This will not be a sudden thing though. If your child is waking up irregularly, at times they have not before, this may be from teething or irritation.
This is usually brought on by an emerging tooth.
We recommend soothing techniques like a cold teething ring. One way to tell is to check for sore gums to see if that is what is causing the crying.
Another way is the pick up test.
If they stop crying immediately after you pick them up, that is a way to tell that they are not bothered by teething. They are most likely just looking for comfort.
Low Grade Fever: False (Sort of)
So a 2011 study of Brazilian researchers found that the temperature of a baby slightly increased the day a tooth popped up. Yet, this did not constitute a fever.
In our research, we did not find that teething causes fever.
Should you find your baby’s temperature is higher than 100.4F, please consult a doctor.
People associate fever with teething, since the baby’s body may be working a bit more. Their body is going through a huge change, which can account for minor temperature changes.
It is not usually cause for concern.
Teething and Diaper Rash
These are two things that parents fear most.
Little did you know, there might actually be some correlation to the two. There is no straight answer for this one, but teething is not directly related to diaper rash. WHEW!
A reason why some may attribute diaper rash to teething is that your baby’s stool might be slightly looser. This can cause some irritation to the baby’s skin, leading to diaper rash.
Another reason actually involves you; teething in our little ones can cause a lot of stress in parents, and cause insomnia.
This can lead to delays in diaper changes.
Since diaper rashes usually come from prolonged exposure to moisture, urine, and stool, be sure to keep up with changing them.
Tips to Help with Teething Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is really painful.. and your little one will keep crying and not feeling
Changes to Cleaning
You may need to make slight changes to their cleaning process…
We usually use baby wipes to wipe their bottoms during a change. We found that switching to a gentle washcloth with warm water is more soothing. This can also get in all the little nips and folds without your baby fussing.
The cleaner they are, the less chances they develop diaper rash.
Also make sure you do not scrub too hard. I know we want to get them as clean as possible, but it could cause more irritation. Their bums are extra sensitive.
Since some babies are more prone to diaper rash, we suggest using ointments.
These ointments can help the skin recover faster, and also provide some relief to your baby. The most highly recommended ointments include zinc or petroleum based creams.
These are a bit thicker and can sooth the dry skin.
Timely diaper changes are crucial to avoiding diaper rash. Prolonged exposure of excretion and urine causes excess moisture. This also makes the diaper acidic.
This can damage the sensitive skin on your baby’s bottom…
It may seem like a hassle to keep changing your baby’s diaper over and over, but it is most definitely necessary. We recommend changing their diaper as soon as your baby soils them.
It is a lot of work, but you avoid more trouble down the road.
This is similar to how we let a wound breathe by taking off the bandage. It may seem silly, but letting your baby’s bottom enjoy a little breeze helps to avoid diaper rash.
The air helps to dry the skin more naturally.
It also helps to prevent bacteria from collecting inside the diaper. Another great tip is to make sure not to adjust the diaper too tightly.
If the diaper is too tight for the baby, it causes chafing, and more irritation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How do you recognize the onset of teething?
Teeth can often present with the following symptoms:
- Inflammation of the gums, around the area where the tooth comes out
- Hyper salivation
- Red cheeks
- General irritability
- Difficulty falling asleep or disturbed sleep
- Rubbing of the gums, or more biting and sucking
- Intestinal upset ranging from constipation to diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Painful ear on the side where the tooth comes out
Q2: If my baby is teething, what are the tips to help him feel better?
- Give your baby cooled or ice-cold pacifiers or teething rings so they can chew them and relieve sore gums
- Make sure her diapers are changed as quickly as possible after getting soiled
- In case of diaper rash, use a protective ointment with each diaper change, to create a protective barrier to the skin and aid in the skin’s natural recovery.
Q3: Can teething cause diaper rash?
Teething, which most often begins in babies at around six months of age, can be a challenging time for both parents and the baby. During this period, the infant or child may appear ‘unwell’ and irritable, with many minor symptoms usually caused by the ‘teething’ phase.
Teething is one of the many steps towards becoming a big kid.
It will certainly be an interesting time both for you and your child. Lots of things will be happening, so take it one step at a time.
Teething does not directly cause diaper rash.
However, teething can lead to an episode of diarrhea, which can promote the development of diaper rash, especially if your baby’s skin is in too much contact with stool and urine in his diaper.
Your child will be looking to you for guidance and reassurance that this is normal.
There are a number of different ways to prevent unnecessary discomfort for your baby.
Understanding what is happening as they move through this stage of life is your first step.
We wish you happy teething!
The information in this article is only a guide for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for advice from a medical professional or healthcare provider.