Teething is a natural process that all babies go through, but it can be a challenging time for both the baby and the parents when the symptoms with teething cause distress for your baby.
When a baby’s teeth start to emerge from the gums, it can cause discomfort and pain, which can lead to a range of symptoms.
While some babies may experience teething without any noticeable symptoms, others may experience a range of symptoms that can make them irritable and fussy.
Common signs of teething include drooling, swollen and sensitive gums, a tooth visible below the gum, irritability or fussiness, trouble sleeping, trying to bite, chew, and suck on everything, refusing to eat, and rubbing face and ears.
However, it’s important to note that not all babies experience the same symptoms, and some may not show any signs of teething at all.
In this article, we will explore the most common symptoms of teething and provide tips on how to ease the discomfort and pain associated with teething.
What is Teething?
Teething is the process of teeth growing and breaking through the gums. This is a perfectly normal, developmental stage for babies and usually starts around 6 months of age, but can begin as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months.
The first teeth to come in are usually the two bottom front teeth, followed by the two top front teeth.
Teething can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process for babies, and it can cause a variety of symptoms. Some babies may experience no symptoms at all, while others may experience several.
Common symptoms of teething include:
Irritability or fussiness
Chewing on objects
Sore or tender gums
Refusing to eat or drink
It is important to note that while some parents may attribute fever or diarrhea to teething, these symptoms are not typically associated with teething and may be a sign of another underlying issue.
If your baby is experiencing a fever or diarrhea, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the cause.
Symptoms with Teething
Teething is a natural process that every baby goes through, but it can be uncomfortable and painful for them. Understanding the signs and symptoms of teething can help parents provide relief for their little ones. Here are some common and uncommon symptoms of teething.
These are the most common symptoms of teething:
Chewing on objects
Irritability or crankiness
Sore or tender gums
Trying to bite, chew, and suck on everything
Babies may also have a slight increase in temperature, but it is not considered a fever. The teeth in front of the first molars are usually the first to come in, followed by the canines and then the molars.
While the symptoms listed above are the most common, some babies may experience other symptoms during the teething process. These include:
Redness or a rash around the mouth or chin due to excessive drooling
Babies may pull on their ears due to the discomfort in their gums
Some babies may not want to eat solid food due to the discomfort in their mouth
Coughing or gagging
Babies may cough or gag due to the excess saliva produced during teething
If your baby experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with your baby’s pediatrician to rule out any other underlying conditions.
How to Soothe Teething Symptoms
There are a number of home remedies that can help soothe your baby’s teething symptoms:
Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger or wet gauze to ease their discomfort.
Use a cold spoon or chilled teething ring (not frozen) to soothe your baby’s gums.
Give your baby a cold, wet cloth or rag to chew on to decrease inflammation along the gums.
Offer your baby a hard, unsweetened teething cracker to chew on.
If your baby is older than 6-9 months, offer cool water from a sippy cup to help soothe their gums.
Gently massage your baby’s gums with your fingers in a circular motion.
Give your little one a warm, relaxing bath to help soothe them.
Offer teething rings or massage gums with teething gels
- Breastfeeding can help soothe teething pain
If home remedies aren’t enough to soothe your baby’s teething symptoms, there are over-the-counter medications that can help:
A pain reliever that can help reduce or relieve teething pain and discomfort. Always follow the dosage instructions carefully.
A pain reliever and anti-inflammatory that can help your infant reduce teething discomfort. Only use if your baby is over 6 months old and follow the dosage instructions carefully.
A numbing agent that can be applied directly to your baby or child’s gums to ease discomfort. Only use if your baby is over 2 months old and follow the dosage instructions carefully.
It’s important to always consult with your pediatrician before giving your baby any medication, especially if they have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.
Do babies seem sick when teething?
Babies can seem sick when teething, as they may experience symptoms such as fever, irritability, drooling, difficulty sleeping, and decreased appetite.
However, it’s essential to monitor your baby or child’s symptoms and consult a pediatrician if you’re concerned about their health.
Can teething cause cold symptoms?
Teething can sometimes cause symptoms similar to a cold, such as a mild fever, runny nose, and irritability. However, teething should not cause a high fever, severe cough, or other severe cold symptoms.
If your baby is experiencing these symptoms, consult your pediatrician.
How long will teething symptoms last?
Teething symptoms can last for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the baby and the tooth that is emerging. Typically, symptoms are most severe just before the tooth breaks through the gum and improve once the tooth has emerged fully.
How long do babies lose appetite when teething?
Babies may lose their appetite when teething due to gum discomfort or pain. This loss of appetite can last for a few days to a week. However, it’s important to continue offering your teething child baby food, and fluids to ensure your baby remains well-nourished.
What can I feed my teething baby with no appetite?
If your teething baby has no appetite, try offering soft, easy-to-eat soft foods like whole food purees, yogurt, mashed bananas, applesauce, whole green beans or oatmeal.
Cold foods such as chilled fruit purees or baby teething biscuits can also help soothe sore gums and encourage your baby to eat. Soft fruits can be served in a mesh feeder.
When should I worry if baby’s gums are putting them off solid foods?
If your baby’s appetite loss persists for more than a week, they are not gaining weight, or they appear dehydrated, it’s essential to consult your pediatrician. Prolonged appetite loss could indicate an underlying issue that requires medical attention, for example an ear infection can resemble teething symptoms.