How do I Know When My Baby is Teething?
Teething—or, the processes by which an infant’s baby teeth start to break through the gum line—usually happens around six months of age. That said, it can start happening as early as three months, or may not begin until the child is closer to a year old. And, some kids will be bothered a lot more by the teething process than others.
In other words, there is a wide range of variability in each child’s (and parent’s) experience with teething. So, whether you’re a first-time parent or have been through this before, here are some signals and behavioral changes that might tip you off to teething developments. Keep in mind that these “symptoms” can precede the appearance of an actual tooth by a few months.
What are the teething symptoms?
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Drooling + skin rashes
- Loss of appetite
- Biting + gnawing
- Cheek rubbing + ear pulling
This is the main signal, and very common among teething infants. Think about it: your baby has new teeth pressing on (and then through) his or her gums. You’d be cranky too.
Disturbed sleep patterns
Is baby being extra fussy at bedtime, and not sleeping as well as usual? Again, the discomfort of teething may be to blame.
Drooling + skin rashes
The teething process can cause drooling, and lots of it. Excessive drool can also lead to a small rash around baby’s mouth, chin, or chest.
See: drooling. All that excess drool, some of which will run down baby’s throat, can lead to coughing.
Loss of appetite
If your little one’s mouth is hurting due to teething, they may appear to have a decreased appetite because they don’t want to add to the discomfort.
Biting and gnawing
To counteract the pressure of teeth trying to break the gum line, baby may have a sudden urge to bite and gnaw on anything available! (May we suggest our wood rattle teether and teething ears, which are made from untreated Indian hardwood, finished with non-toxic vegetable seed wax, and filled with beans? They’re soft, smooth, and safe for your little one to bite down on as their new teeth grow in. We’ve also got wooden stroller toys if that’s more your speed. Or, for something a little different—but very on-trend—how about a macramé toy that’s hand-knotted from organic cotton rope and great for chewing!)
Cheek rubbing + ear pulling
Achy gums can also cause achy cheeks and ears. So, if baby seems to be doing a lot of uncharacteristic cheek rubbing or ear pulling, teething may be the reason.
Check out our blog on How to Make Teething Less Painful for more helpful advice on how to keep baby as happy as possible during this transition.