Teething is such a tough time for babies. It can be so painful, disruptive and a little confusing for them.
As heartbreaking as it is to witness our babies in pain, unfortunately it’s something that each baby has to go through and can be a challenging time for us parents. There’s no getting out of teething.
When does teething start?
Teething can start at various ages, and early symptoms can start as early as 1-2 months, Hugo started teething this early and that’s what inspired me to write this post, but just like every other milestone, some babies don’t cut their first tooth until their first birthday.
Hugo’s earliest teething symptoms were the constant grumbling noises and gnawing on his hands, and of course the non stop dribbling too.
The funny things is Hugo and most babies will also gnaw on their hands when they’re hungry too. That’s why it’s so important to look out for other signs.
So here are my 10 teething signs and symptoms:
- Dribbling – All babies dribble a little, but constant dribble can indicate that your baby is teething. They produce a lot more saliva which can also give them a sore chin, keeping some cotton pads close by to dab the chin with will help avoid rash around the chin area.
- Swollen gums – Babies gums are usually sore and quite red where the tooth is coming through, this is a definte teething indicator. Massaging over the gums can help relieve the pain.
- Gnawing – Babies love putting everything and anything in their mouths, but when it comes to teething they usually make very loud grumbling noises when they try and find something to chew on.
- Disturbed sleep – Teething can be a painful process, and this can keep your baby awake at night. They can become more grumpy, distressed and irritable than usual during the night because there are fewer distractions during this period.
- Rosy cheeks – Rosy cheeks are a common sign of teething. You may notice that your babies cheeks also feel warm.
- Inconsistent feeding – Babies feeding patterns can frequently change, they can either have a loss of appetite or an increased one. If you are breastfeeding you may notice that baby becomes very fussy on the breast but this can also indicate a growth spurt too.
- Mild fever – Babies may develop a mild fever when teething but it shouldn’t be more than 38 degrees celsius. If it’s higher than this, then it may indicate that there’s something else wrong.
- Loose stools – Some babies develop loose stools or diarrhoea during the teething process. The extra saliva they produce acts like a laxative.
- Runny nose – There are a few myths to babies having a runny rose when teething but all three of my children have had a runny nose when teething. I have read somewhere that the stress of teething can make babies more vulnerable to infections, which can cause symptoms such as a runny nose.
- Tooth buds appearing – Small bumps along your babies gums can be the tooth buds appearing which is another definite sign of teething.
When it comes to teething, there are many ways to help soothe your baby and make them feel a little bit more comfortable.
I asked a group of parent bloggers how they used to help their teething babies and this is what they said:
Kate – Before mine were on solids I made them breastmilk ice lollies. They were lovely and soothing on their sore gums.
Emma – Anbesol liquid was a godsend for my babies.
Rebecca – Bonjella and chew toys were our go to! We did go down the route of amber bracelets but I can’t honestly say it made much of a difference!
Helen – My little ones loved grabbing onto anything and chewing. So we ended up getting a teething necklace – always there for a nibble when it was required. Make sure you get one from a reputable source though that is robust enough for baby not to break.
Rebecca – Weleda Chamomilla Granules are amazing, suitable from birth and they help with colic too – win win!
Rebecca – Keep a clean, wet flannel in the fridge for little one to suck/chew on when they’re in pain. It’s cheap and reusable! Also cold fruits are a good one.
Sophie – Lots of distraction! I found taking their mind off it really helped!
Vicki – I didn’t really find that anything worked for either of my daughters. However, they did generally just chomp on whatever toy was lying around at the time or my nipple as they both breastfed until well after getting their first few teeth. I coped knowing it was only a temporary thing.
Bizarrely, my eldest daughter’s first sleep through the night in months coinciding with her cutting her first tooth. I believe her to be an anomaly!