Su Laurent brings us handy hints and tips to make life easier, such as how to know when babies are teething.
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Sam Norman: It’s that time again when our resident doctor Su Laurent joins the Baby Channel to answer the questions that you have sent in by text message. Hi Su, we’ve got some very interesting questions there. The first is what are the signs that a baby is teething? Su Laurent: Well, teething is a very interesting one, isn’t it? Sam Norman: Yeah. Su Laurent: And we will be through with our children and a lots and lots of things are put down to teething and I found lots of people say, oh I think he is teething months and months before the teeth appear. Sam Norman: Everytime through my teeth, it’s a tooth, isn’t it? Su Laurent: Exactly but I think the real signs are both in a redness of the cheeks, really an intense redness. And you can sometimes look in the gums and feel that they feel rather sort of swollen and red and they’re looking like teeth are about to come through. A lot of drooling very often and lot of putting the hand in the mouth and then sometimes, a little bit of diarrhea as well. Sam Norman: Why the diarrhea? Su Laurent: Oh, it is quite interesting, I don’t know, I think it isn’t quite clear why but there have been a bit of research to look at is this true? And the answer was, yes it is true, it does happen, presumably something to do with the gut, bulks that live in the gut or also slightly by the teeth coming through. Sam Norman: With your hand in the mouth or whatever -- Su Laurent: Who knows, who knows. Sam Norman: Yeah. How long the onset of teething does it take for the first two, three years? Su Laurent: Well, this is an another really interesting one, because it depends on whether you are right with what you’re calling teething. Sam Norman: Yeah. Su Laurent: And some people say, oh my child is being teething for four months until the first tooth appeared and I would say that wasn’t teething four months ago. I would say true teething, the teeth are going to start appearing within a matter of weeks, not months. Babies can be born with teeth. The average time for the first tooth is about six months, but normal childrens, sometimes that won’t happen until at least a year. Sam Norman: And is it always stressful for the child or can you just teething --? Su Laurent: No. I think some of them just, you just notice it, I often I found in the first year, the teething bit was a bit stressful but it was fine. The second year, I suddenly noticed, there are more teeth out there and I hadn’t realized it’ll come through. So I think it sort of gets better. Sam Norman: Next question, please could you give me some information and advice on weaning. My son is five months old and I am concerned about over or under feeding him, now that’s a tricky one, isn’t it? And at which point to cut out bottle feeding? Su Laurent: Okay. Well, weaning -- the current advice that we’re giving all parents is don’t wean them on to solid food until they are six months old. Sam Norman: Right. Su Laurent: Now that’s because your baby doesn’t need anything other than milk until they are six months. But you can be sure that many, many parents are still giving solids earlier now, I certainly did. Sam Norman: I did, third month I think. Su Laurent: About four months. I think what happens is, the baby start to tell us, his mums and dads so they are beginning to be a little bit hungrier and you’ll notice that, maybe they’d been sleeping through the night then not anymore and they’re looking around and they’re sort of reaching out and trying to pick up food. So sometimes, starting it a bit earlier, I don’t think it’s a problem, I shouldn’t be officially saying this. And then starting on a little bit of one type of food, something breast milk and to some extent for them, the milk is quite sweet, so they’re going to take -- more likely to take the things that are quite sweet, like a bit of mushed up banana. Then they are to the kind of gluey baby rice stuff that we all buy as the first weaning food. Sam Norman: Right. Su Laurent: I mean my children cert