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Baby Teething Symptoms

How to Identify When Your Baby is Teething

Teething is a natural part of human development, but it can be a trying time for you and your child. The best way to handle this milestone is to stay calm and stay on top of the signs and symptoms of baby teething because they vary from child to child. Even twins can teethe differently.

Baby teething can begin as early as 3 months to as late as 12 months and beyond. While some or all of the following symptoms can occur around the time of teething, we still recommend that you consult with your pediatrician to rule out other possible causes.

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Baby Teething Symptoms to Look for:

Gum Sensitivity:

Your baby's gums may appear swollen, red or even bruised as teeth prepare to erupt through the surface. You may see little white dots or small openings where a tooth will be.

Gumming & Gnawing:

This is a classic sign. A teething baby will gum down on anything it can get its mouth around because it helps relieve the pressure from under the gums.

Drooling:

Another classic baby teething symptom. Teething babies drool more often than normal because teething stimulates drooling, which can be worse with some babies than others.

Chin Rash:

Constant contact with drool can cause the skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated. Gently wipe your baby's mouth and chin periodically throughout the day. Consult with your pediatrician should the rash persist.

Fussiness, Irritability & Crying:

Babies can be irritable when they are tired, hungry, wet and gassy, but even more so as teeth approach the surface of the gums, especially first teeth and larger molars later on. Babies can become accustomed to teething pain and learn to live with it, but you may discover your baby is fussy every time a tooth comes in.

Trouble Sleeping:

Teething pain can strike any time of day or night, which means it can strike when your child is sleeping. The pain is often worse with first teeth and molars, so prepare for your child to wake more often during these times.

Mild to Low-Grade Fever:

Doctors and parents often disagree on this one, but many moms say their babies get a slight fever while teething. And who are we to disagree with mom? Even so, notify your pediatrician of any fever - no matter what the cause.

Ear Tugging & Cheek Rubbing:

Discomfort in the gums can move to the ears and cheeks particularly when back molars come in. However, keep in mind that tugging at an ear can also be a sign of an ear infection, so consult your pediatrician.

Diarrhea:

This is another baby teething symptom that physicians, researchers and parents disagree on. But as you can see, there are so many signs and symptoms of teething, why take chances? Swallowing extra saliva when drooling may cause stool to loosen. Either way, be sure and report any diarrhea to your pediatrician.

Coughing:

Extra saliva may also cause your baby to occasionally cough or gag. This is often nothing to worry about as long as your baby shows no signs of cold or flu and does not run a high fever.

Cold-Like Symptoms:

A teething baby will put anything in its mouth. So it's no surprise that teething tots are more prone to runny noses, coughing and other common cold symptoms. Always notify your pediatrician if these symptoms occur.