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Signs of Teething & How to Ease The Pain

Danielle Haines |16, June 2008


Signs of Teething & How to Ease The Pain

Many parents maintain that their teething babies are feeling discomfort (though some babies might not show any discomfort at all). The symptoms most likely trouble a teething baby includes:

What are the Signs of Teething?

  • Drooling(which can lead to a facial rash)
  • Gum swelling and sensitivity
  • Irrability and fussiness
  • Biting behavior or chewing/sucking on hands and fingers
  • Refusing food
  • Sleep problems

Though many parents report their babies have loose stools, a slight fever, or a runny nose just before the tooth arrives, most experts do not think teething is to blame for these symptoms. One who does is William Sears, pediatrician and author of The Baby Book. Sears believes that teething can cause diarrhea and a mild diaper rash due to the excessive saliva that is swallowed. Inflammation in the gums, he thinks, may cause a low fever.

Teeth break through one at a time over a period of months, and often but not always in this order: First the bottom two middle teeth, then the top two middle ones, then the ones along the sides and back.

How Can I Help my Baby's Discomfort of Teething?

Give your baby something to chew on, such as a teething ring or a cold washcloth (put it in the freezer to make it extra cold). If your baby is old enough for solids try cold applesauce or yogurt. Give your baby a hard, unsweetened teething cracker, such as zwieback to gnaw on. Simply rubbing a clean finger gently but firmly over your baby's sore gums can ease the pain temporarily, too.

If these methods are not working, a small dose of children's pain reliever, such as infants acetaminophen. Please check with your baby's pediatrician before giving your baby any medication.

Rubbing the gums with pain relief gel may also ease your baby's discomfort, but you may want to ask your baby's pediatrician before trying it. If you use too much, it can numb the back of the baby's throat and weaken his gag reflux. The gels are generally safe to use, but in rare cases can cause an allergic reaction.

If drool causes a rash on your baby's face, wipe, but don't rub, the drool away with a soft cotton cloth. You can also smooth petroleum jelly on his chin before a nap or bedtime to protect the skin from further irritation.

Teething and Breastfeeding: Will He Bite Me?

Your baby has a tooth; do you have to give up breastfeeding? Answer: No!!

By the time your baby is getting teeth, you will have watched him nurse enough to sense when his attention changes from eating to something else. Then...he might bite. Teething is probably the main reason for nipple biting. Your baby is looking for something to comfort and soothe its gums. You can help them transition during this sensitive time by gently and firmly telling them no. Then, remove the breast from them briefly and reinsert the nipple. This can help to stop the biting as your baby realizes that you will remove their food when they do.

If you think your baby is teething, be alert and end the feed without that lingering finish up time. This way, you can continue breastfeeding beyond this tender time.

Danielle Haines is a freelance writer for Baby Corner. She is currently married and has 2 girls, a 3 year old and a 1 year old, who is currently going through this teething stage.

Related Articles

Ease the Pain of Teething

Is Baby Teething? Signs You Can't Miss


16 Safe Teething Remedies For Your Baby

FDA Warns Parents About Teething Gels


Showing 1 - 7 out of 7 Comments
Add Comment or question.

jill Mar 7, 2015 05:44:24 AM ET

I know my baby right now is five months and has no teeth. But I don't know if the teething is what bothers her? She started to not want to be put down to sleep. She has me carry and soothe her to sleep in my arms. For the most part, she just needs comfort from me. Please help out.

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tejas Oct 31, 2014 06:47:25 AM ET

My baby is 21 months, and suffers from loose teeth.

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Tiffany Jan 2, 2013 02:10:38 AM ET

My sons 4months drooling, fingers always in his mouth, doesnt wanna eat, extremly fussy, change in stool, doesnt sleep much. Could he be teething?

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emz Dec 6, 2012 03:50:36 AM ET

My baby is teething on her 2months and 2wks..saliva drooling,fever and doesnt want her milk with diarrhea too..she just like her soother

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amanda Jun 10, 2012 11:16:58 PM ET

My baby started teething at 4 months old she is very restless

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Yasmin Apr 6, 2011 10:07:05 AM ET

My baby now 6 month old and not have theth

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Misbah Nov 16, 2009 09:02:57 AM ET

This article is really nice. It helped me alot. Thanks

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