“Teething bites!” – I think all parents (and babies) can agree on this. There is no worse feeling in the world, than watching your child in discomfort or pain – and feel completely helpless. Teething is definitely a milestone I deem as a necessary evil. Your otherwise sweet and wiggly cuddle-bear turns into a drooling cranky baby from one minute to the next – especially at night, right as you have established an otherwise predictable and mutually comfortable routine. Learn to recognize the eight signs of teething, so you can get your happy baby back in no time. (This article contains affiliate links)
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Teething gets blamed for a lot of sleepless nights and trips to the pediatrician – and rightfully so. The process of having those pearly whites erupt through otherwise intact gums sounds as uncomfortable, especially for little babies who are thankfully new to any type of pain.
Signs of teething:
- Drooling: One of the first signs of teething is the increase in saliva, causing your precious little bundle to resemble a rabid dog more than the Gerber baby, whom your mom swore he looked like just the other day. Be prepared to add a bib to the daily wardrobe. The drooling may start several weeks, even months before the first tooth appears.
- Nasal Congestion: With the extra saliva in the mouth and the tooth pushing its way through comes also a slightly runny nose.
- Coughing: This runny nose can easily cause a post-nasal drip cough, which simply means that the mucus from the nose drips and pools in the back of the throat. This irritant is cleared with a quick cough, the sound of which is the equivalent of scraping your nails on a chalk board for any parent.
- Loose Stool: The added waterworks in the mouth can surprisingly enough also cause the baby’s stool to become loose. The saliva affects the pH balance in the intestines, which in turn changes the final product. Who knew that all these things were connected in such a delicate balance.
- Rash on Face & Diaper Area: Let’s not forget that all this drool may also cause a slight rash around the mouth and diaper area – taking your baby from “picture perfect” to “rashy and snotty”.
- Ear Infection: And the domino effect doesn’t end here, of course the runny nose is also to blame for the dreaded ear infection. While the baby has not been caught any viruses that could cause an ear infection, the mere presence of extra fluid in the sinuses and inner-ear can lead to an ear infection – or two!
- Fever, Low Grade Temperature: There is much debate whether or not teething causes fevers. Many medical professionals say they do not, yet mothers across generations report that their child had an increase in temperature right before or during the time when a tooth erupted. Our pediatrician explained that a low grade temp (100.4 or less) could be a sign of teething. However, anything higher is more than likely bacterial or viral. The reason why kids seem to catch more viruses while they are teething is because they tend to put their hands – or rather ANY object in their mouth to relieve the discomfort, thereby exposing themselves to more germs than normal.
- Cranky, restless sleep: There are obviously a lot of uncomfortable symptoms associated with teething, which cause crankiness and a disrupted sleep schedule. Once the fun and games of the day time activities come to an end, your poor little baby is no longer distracted by the outside world, so his teething discomfort seems multiplied causing the sleep problems.
With a list that long of symptoms and reasons for tears, (yours as well as baby’s), it is a wonder that we make it through the first year getting any rest at all. Somehow we all manage to find a way to calm our babies, relieve their pain and distract them just long enough to get a smile before they doze off.
Read our next teething post to learn how we relieved teething pain for all four of our boys – times have changed and we have improved our ways. We finally found a way to relieve teething pain ONCE AND FOR ALL! There is hope and relief to be found!
While we are treading through the trenches of parenthood together, I want to share my favorite parenting book with you: “The Danish Way of Parenting: A Guide To Raising The Happiest Kids in the World.” This is the # 1 book that I give to all my new mommy-friends – and they rave about it! You will love it too!
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