No Need to Google “Exorcism”–Signs Your Baby May be Teething

No Need to Google “Exorcism”: Signs your baby may be teethingTeething is an unpredictable–sometimes painful–part of being a baby. While some don’t get their first tooth until they’re almost one, some babies sprout their first teeth as early as four months and may begin to experience teething symptoms for a good month before that tooth makes an appearance.

You might get lucky and have a child that shows no signs of discomfort but just wakes up with teeth–lucky you! But for most babies, there’s a period of discomfort accompanied with many teething symptoms that you may not recognize as being caused by teething. Knowing the signs will help you understand whether or not the unusual behavior is due to teething.

Here are some of the most common symptoms to keep an eye out for:

Irritability and lack of appetite.  Babies experiencing pain from teething are in pain, cranky and may not want to feed as often. The sucking motion of nursing or bottle feeding can actually make already sore gums feel worse. Babies eating solid food may also refuse to eat because of discomfort.

Drooling. Teething stimulates drooling, so when you notice an increased amount of baby drool or constant bib wearing, chances are that teeth are starting to brew.

Frequent coughing or spitting up. All that drool usually makes babies cough and even gag a little bit. Don’t be surprised if your baby wakes up in the middle of the night to spit up as well; their tummies are just trying to get rid of all the drool they’ve been swallowing.

Face and Chin rash. All the moisture from the drool makes babies prone to developing red bumps, chapping or even dry skin that may even extend down to the neck.

Biting. The counter-pressure of biting often helps relieve the pain of teeth beginning to poke through. If your baby is gumming everything they can find they’re very likely dealing with teething.

Diarrhea. Some babies seem to have loose bowel movements while they’re teething and more frequent diaper rashes. Make sure to keep an eye on frequent diarrhea and report it to your doctor if it seems excessive.

Trouble Sleeping. Unfortunately the pain and irritability of teething may drag on through the night causing them to wakeup due to discomfort.

Low-grade fever. Inflamed gums sometimes produce a low-grade fever (less than 101° F).  If it lasts more than a day or two check with your doctor to rule out anything else that may be causing it.

Cheek rubbing and ear pulling. When gums ache you may notice your baby constantly touching their cheeks in a futile attempt to make their pain go away. Gums, ears and cheeks all share the same nerve pathways so it’s not uncommon to see them pull on their ears due to teething pain as well.

Make sure to keep a close eye on all these symptoms and be on the lookout for red, swollen gums. If you’re looking for some natural remedies for teething pain, checkout our post here. If any of the symptoms seem excessive it’s always best to follow your gut and check with your doctor.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.

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One Response to “No Need to Google “Exorcism”–Signs Your Baby May be Teething”

  1. Michelle T says:

    Thanks for compiling a list of signs! Also, love the title!