Teething isn’t fun for anyone — you would cry too if new teeth were trying to poke their way through your sensitive gums. While you can’t predict exactly when teething will start for your baby, most begin teething around 6 months.

All babies are different though, so be on the lookout for teething indications at any age from 3 months up until 3 years old, according to WebMD.

How can you tell if your baby is teething?

Your baby could be suffering from painful gums if they show any of these behaviors:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Chewing on solid objects
  • More crying and crankiness than normal; however, check with your health care provider to make sure that your little one isn't sick

Luckily though, there are some simple things you can do to ease the pain. Here are some of the best ways to keep your baby (and their gums) happy and (relatively) pain-free.

1. Massage those gums

Using a clean finger, gently rub your baby’s gums. About 2 minutes of massage at a time can help ease the pain. If you don’t want to stick your fingers directly on their gums, you can also use a gauze pad.

2. Give them something to gnaw on

If your baby is chewing on solid objects, it’s because it feels good, and they’re on track to easing teething. Help them out by providing safe objects to chew on. Chill teething rings in the fridge and consider buying a teething necklace or toy.

If your baby’s old enough to eat solid foods, try some age-appropriate ones. Make sure you give them right-sized pieces and keep an eye on them at all times to avoid choking hazards.

3. Keep that chin clean and dry

Excessive drool from teething can irritate your baby’s chin and cause nasty rashes or even more discomfort. To avoid chin and face rashes, keep a towel handy to mop up the extra drool, and pay special attention to keeping the drool under control.

4. Cool down fiery gums with something chilled (not frozen)

Cold objects can soothe your baby’s fiery, inflamed gums. Just make sure not to give them frozen solid teething rings or other frozen objects, which can hurt those delicate baby gum.

Try a washcloth or refrigerated teething rings to provide relief.

5. Save medicine for the last resort

It’s best to consult your baby’s doctor about medication to help relieve pain from teething.

The Bottom Line

Listen to your baby and pay attention to mood changes for indications that the teething is getting worse. If your baby develops a fever, diarrhea or other indications of significant discomfort, get in touch with your doctor. Although researchers insist that teething only causes issues in the mouth and gums, fever or discomfort could be indications of an unrelated illness.

The bright side? The pain means your baby is growing up, and is on their way to a set of healthy teeth.