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How your baby's growing
Teething can start as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months, but most babies sprout their first teeth (typically the two middle ones on the bottom) between 4 and 7 months of age. Don't be alarmed if your baby has gaps between those pearly whites. Teeth often come up through the gums at odd angles, and the spaces commonly disappear by age 3, after all 20 baby teeth have broken through.
Once your baby starts teething, you can expect more drooling – you'd do it too, if you had to adjust to having strange new things in your mouth.
- Learn more fascinating facts about your 7-month-old's development.
Your life: Taking time away from your child
If you have yet to hire a babysitter or spend much time away from your baby, you're not alone. That said, there are good reasons to get away from your baby every once in a while – if not for your sake, then for hers. Short separations help her adjust to other people and become more socialized – and may even help "inoculate" her against full-blown separation anxiety before it hits.
You don't have to go out for very long. An hour of errands, a movie – any short separation when your baby is awake and aware that you're away will do the trick. And you, in turn, will realize that the sky won't fall if you're not there to hold it up over her.
Learn about: Choking
Will I know it when I see it?
Yes. Choking means that your baby is trying to get air or dislodge something that's obstructing his airway. Your baby may be choking if he has trouble breathing, is making unusual sounds, or is gagging, coughing, or wheezing. His skin may turn red or blue, and he may lose consciousness.
What should I do if my baby starts choking?
If your baby can cough, cry, or speak and appears to be breathing adequately, then his airway isn't fully blocked. He'll probably be able to clear the obstruction on his own, and the best thing a parent can do is stay calm and reassuring. But if your baby is gasping for breath, turning from red to blue, looks panicked (wide eyes, open mouth), or appears unconscious, then yell for help and ask someone to call 911 immediately while you try to clear his airway. You'll alternate back blows and chest thrusts to help him cough up the object. To see exactly what to do, make sure to check out our illustrated guide to infant first aid for choking and CPR.
What are good ways to prevent choking?
Give your baby age-appropriate food (mashed or strained foods and safe finger foods such as O-shaped cereal), supervise him during feedings (don't feed in a rush or in the car), and always have him sit upright when fed. Don't let him play with small objects, toys that have small parts, or containers of baby powder. Follow the age guidelines on toys – they're based on safety, not just educational value or developmental skill. Also don't use a rub-on teething medication, as it could interfere with your baby's gag reflex. Choking is one of the most common causes of death in children, so every parent and caregiver should take a class in infant CPR.
What if I suspect that my baby has swallowed something?
It's common for babies to swallow small objects (such as coins), which usually pass through the intestines without causing harm. But if you notice excessive drooling or an inability to swallow, a dramatic decrease in appetite, or if your baby indicates he's feeling pain where an object may be stuck, call your baby's doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.
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