Some babies are born with some of their teeth already intact while others don’t begin teething until they are more than a year old. The average baby begins teething at about six months old, though. Understanding the signs that your baby is teething and how you can help them will be important for their happiness as well as your own.
What Are the Signs That Your Baby Is Teething?
Teething and sleep go hand in hand, so if your baby suddenly stops sleeping as well as they normally do, teeth may be the culprit. Some babies develop flushed cheeks, get a small rash on their face, or begin rubbing their ears. Others drool more than usual, start to chew on items more than they used to, and generally act moody. Other signs may include red gums or a mild temperature.
How Long Do Sleepless Teething Nights Last?
Teething is a long process that typically begins when babies are about six months old and can last until they are almost three years old. While there may be periods of time during these years that teething isn’t happening, it’s still likely that your child will have a lot of trouble sleeping throughout the teething experience. Knowing which teeth come in when can help you determine where your baby is at in the process.
- Bottom Front Teeth – These usually come through first and begin to do so at 5-7 months.
- Top Front Teeth – The top front teeth often start to come in at 6-8 months.
- Sides of the Top Front Teeth – These incisors start to sprout through the gums at 9-11 months old.
- Sides of the Bottom Front Teeth – These teeth are up next on the schedule at 10-12 months.
- Molars – Molars begin to make their appearance somewhere between 12-16 months.
- Canines – Canines start to appear at around 16-20 months.
- Second Molars – Last but not least, these teeth often show up when your baby is 1-2 years old.
Most children have all of their baby teeth by three years old, but you can talk to your pediatrician or a pediatric dentist if you have concerns.
How Can I Help My Teething Baby Get the Sleep They Need?
Use clean hands to gently massage your baby’s gums. Some parents even find that doing this at bedtime will help their baby sleep better, especially if used in combination with a product such as sleepy time spray. If your baby is feeling especially pained, try a pediatrician-approved over-the-counter pain medication as well.
It’s also very helpful to provide your baby with a lot of different sensory items that are safe to chew on. Common examples include cold washcloths, refrigerated teething toys or pacifiers, and milk popsicles. Be sure to wipe away any excess drool as much as possible, as it can lead to further irritation, such as a rash.
Whether your baby is already teething or will begin the process soon, it helps to be prepared. Create a list of what you’ll need, such as new baby bundles, to help your baby’s teething experience go as smoothly as possible.
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