It wasn’t planned this way, but as timing has it, I am currently writing this blog post just as we have gone through our 15-month-old daughter cutting 3 teeth all at once over the course of one week! And guess what…we didn’t have one sleepless night. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying it because it disproves the belief that I had with our first baby!
When we had our first baby, if we had a bit of a rough patch, or anything happened that didn’t seem ‘normal’ I would blame teething.
Grizzly in the afternoon…teething
Woke early from a nap…teething
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that we used far more Pamol (similar to Tylenol), natural teething powders and teething gels than we should have. We also constantly had teething rings in the freezer. The reality was that because my baby couldn’t yet talk to me to tell me what was wrong, I always blamed teething. It was only through talking to other mothers in my antenatal group and through other mother groups that I found out I was not alone! Turns out it is an easy culprit to blame things on when we can’t explain why things are happening. In a funny way, it’s almost satisfying to be able to blame something when we can’t explain the unexplainable.
The truth about teething
The truth is that so often, when sleep issues are resolved, often “teething symptoms” miraculously disappear! Studies show that discomfort from teething is not present in all babies. If however it does bother them, it commonly only occurs 4 days before the tooth erupts and up to 3 days after the tooth has cut through. It is not weeks (or months!) like parents usually claim.
Many babies cut their teeth without any disruptions as all (Exhibit A…the week we have just experienced). How many times have you found a new tooth that has just popped through and you thought “Oh, where did that come from?!”
That’s not to say that babies are not impacted from teething as of course some are affected more than others. It is however not always the culprit like we think it is and the actual pain from the teeth coming through is much shorter lived than what may seem months at a time.
When do babies start teething?
As advised by the American Dental Association, most commonly the first teeth start coming from around 6 months of age until up to 33 months of age. Of course there are babies as young as 3 months old that are known to start teething, however most babies won’t get any teeth until around 6 months.
What are the signs and symptoms that your baby is teething?
What are NOT signs of teething?
Please note that teething does not make your baby sick. If your baby is showing signs of sickness, you need to take your baby to your doctor for a check-up.
Most common misconceptions that parents blame teething for:
What can you do for your baby to help relieve teething:
So, what is the good news?
Teething is not the main contributor to sleep problems! Yahooooooo!
Most importantly, many parents have the misconception of certain sickness symptoms being attributed to teething. This is simply not the case. We had wanted to emphasize the fact that if your baby has a fever or diarrhoea, please seek medical advice.