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Signs and Symptoms of Teething

Posted Mar 21 2010 11:20am

By Colleen Hurley, RD, Certified Kid’s Nutrition Specialist

So you have finally gotten your baby to sleep through the night then – wham! For some inexplicable reason you feel back to square one as your baby starts waking up in the middle of the night.  One good explanation, especially at around 6 months, is teething.  Teething presents with a myriad of symptoms and varies from baby to baby.  Some babies breeze through teething while for others it is a rather miserable experience.

The first rule of teething symptoms is to be sure its not something else. Lots of fussy, sleepless, whining behaviors just get chalked up to teething when it could be something else.  Some teething symptoms include fever, pulling at the ears or cheeks, runny nose, or diarrhea could also be signs of a cold or infection.  Don’t hang up the towel yet, just check with your doctor to make sure your child doesn’t have a cold, the flu, or something else going on before assuming those are teething symptoms.  While teething can be trying, it usually doesn’t account for hours of screaming, weeks of not sleeping, high fevers, or severe rashes (both facial and diaper) so be sure to check with your pediatrician first.

Teething Signs – Physical

The first place to start your investigation is the obvious – check your baby’s gums.  Red, swollen, and puffy gums are signs the first teeth are trying to break through.  You may even see a little spec of the tooth, and if this is the case you can’t deny it even looks painful so no wonder she isn’t her cheerful self right now! Another obvious symptom is that he probably gnawing on anything he can get his hands on and chewing away with reckless abandon.  From the side of the crib, to toys, to even a sibling or parent; this when babies begin putting everything in their mouths only at this stage they bite – hard.

This is also when babies tend to drool quite a bit, leaving slobber on all of the above things they try to chew on, and could result a small rash around the mouth or chin.

Teething Signs – Behavioral

Some behavioral signs of teething include:teethingsymptoms

  • Irritability
  • Sleeplessness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased ‘clinginess’ to parents
  • Refusal of breast or bottle

If you’ve read the Teething Timeline , you may be thinking – this is going to last for 1.5 years? The answer is no.  Most parents who’ve survived the process (yes, that means you will too) agree that the symptoms are worst when the first teeth break through and then when the molars arrive.  Babies learn to tolerate or get used to the sensation of cutting teeth.  Also, many of the teething symptoms disappear within a few days.

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