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Baby Teething Guide: Learn Signs, Stages, & Symptoms

Crawling, walking, and talking are baby milestones that most parents celebrate. Other milestones come with extra stress. For example, noticing your baby’s first tooth often elicits excitement until your teething baby won’t sleep!

Teething is inevitable and necessary to your child’s development, but comforting a teething baby can be challenging. Luckily, learning the most common signs and baby teething symptoms can help you settle your baby. This baby teething guide will help you understand the signs of teething while offering helpful ways to soothe your baby when teething becomes uncomfortable.

When Do Babies Start Teething? 

There’s no set answer to when babies start teething because it varies from one child to another. In fact, some babies are born with their first teeth! Others start teething before four months and some as late as after their first year. That said, more often than not, it’s most common for babies to start teething around six months. 

What Are the Baby Teething Stages? 

While there’s no definitive answer to the question of when exactly babies start teething, there are five baby teething stages most parents follow:

  • Stage 1: (0-6 months) Babies are born with a full sweet of twenty teeth hidden beneath the gums. 
  • Stage 2: (6 months) The upper and lower front teeth typically begin to show at around six months. 
  • Stage 3: (10-14 months) During stage three, the primary molars erupt. 
  • Stage 4: (16-22 months) The four canine teeth erupt in stage four. 
  • Stage 5: (25-33 months) Finally, the large molars erupt. 

Since each baby’s actual teething timeline will vary from one child to another, some parents worry when their child’s development doesn’t match up perfectly with these teething stages. While most baby teeth will naturally come in as they’re ready, you can always talk to a pediatric dentist about any larger concerns. 

What Are Signs Baby Is Teething? 

Signs your baby is teething also vary. Some babies go through the baby teething stages with no apparent signs or symptoms aside from emerging teeth. Unfortunately, others experience baby teething symptoms that become incredibly uncomfortable. The earliest signs your baby is teething may include:

  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Gum inflammation
  • Excessive drooling
  • Mild temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rash around the mouth
  • Diarrhea

If you notice these baby teeth symptoms, feel around their gums with clean hands. You should be able to find a sharp, rigid edge of the emerging tooth to confirm your baby is teething.  

What Is the Best Thing to Do for a Teething Baby? 

There is nothing worse than watching a teething baby suffer. Luckily, there are several ways to soothe their discomfort. It’s crucial to follow pediatrician-approved baby teething remedies to avoid injury or illness. Here are some practical ways to offer your teething baby relief:

  • Teething Toys- Teething toys can be incredibly helpful when it comes to comforting your baby’s gums while teething. Still, you need to find plastic or rubber toys approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Some teething necklaces and bracelets on the market are choking and strangulation hazards. 
  • Cold Items- Giving your baby a cold, damp or frozen washcloth can reduce inflammation and numb your baby’s gums when teething. You can even tie one end of the cloth before putting it in the freezer to make it better for gnawing. 
  • Massage- Gently massaging your little one’s gums offers a lot of relief. Massage the sore areas of your baby’s mouth with your fingers or knuckles, but don’t forget to wash your hands! 
  • Medication- While several over-the-counter baby teething pain relievers are available, most are ineffective because they are rubbed on the gums and washed away with your baby’s drool. If you’re having trouble finding your baby's teething relief, talk to your pediatrician about using acetaminophen to treat discomfort.

Do Babies Want to Feed More When Teething? 

Some babies want to feed more when teething. If you notice your baby feeding more when teething, it’s because they find it soothing, not because their appetite has increased.  

Do Babies Drink Less Formula When Teething? 

As with any illness, a decrease in appetite is one of the common signs your baby is teething. Appetite loss can be a symptom of teething, and your little one may not want to drink as much formula. If bottle-feeding increases discomfort on your baby’s gums when teething, you may also notice they stop and start again when feeding. 

Do Babies Breastfeed Less When Teething?

Similarly, many babies eat less when breastfeeding because of the discomfort and pain of teething. Appetite suppression or a decreased desire to feed will subside for most babies once the tooth has cut through the surface. 

When Should We Start Brushing Baby’s Baby Teeth?

With all these new teeth emerging, many parents wonder when to start brushing baby teeth. Ideally, you should start brushing baby teeth at three to six months. However, brushing your baby’s gums can be incredibly helpful during the baby's teething stages. Not only does this encourage tooth eruption, it also helps relieve teething pain.  

Do Babies Have Trouble Sleeping When Teething? 

Have you noticed your teething baby won’t sleep? Teething can affect sleep in the one to three days leading up to your child’s tooth cutting through the surface. This is because pain and discomfort can increase significantly during this time. The good news is that there are several tools and tips for baby teething relief. 

What Helps Teething Babies Go to Sleep? 

If your teething baby won’t sleep, it’s probably because they are uncomfortable. Sleep schedules are tricky with all babies, even when they aren’t teething. To get your baby to fall and stay asleep, you need to create the perfect sleeping environment. Shopping for tools like a soothing sleep mat can provide extra comfort and help your teething baby sleep soundly. The first of its kind, this vibrating mat helps soothe baby to sleep in no time by mimicking the gentle sounds and motions of a mother’s womb. 

Additionally, other calming products like the 2-in-1 Swaddle Transition suit can help baby sleep comfortably, all year long. Made with breathable mesh panels, the Swaddle Transition suit will hug your baby all night long, and can help them still feel cozy as they transition away from swaddling. 

While baby teething is a stressful milestone for most families, several baby teething remedies can help. Although you may need to try a few different baby teething remedies, putting in the time and effort will be worth it when you see your baby smile with that first baby tooth peeking through!

Sleep & Soothing

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