When babies that sleep fairly well, suddenly don’t, many families often point the finger at teething as the reason for the change. While it’s true that teething can disrupt your child’s sleep, it shouldn’t completely derail your baby’s sleep.
Let’s talk through the tell-tale signs of teething, how to soothe your little one when teething, and what to do when teething is affecting your baby’s sleep!
Signs Your Baby Is Teething
While it can vary for different babies, teething often begins between 4-7 months, but it can certainly happen later for some babies. The signs of teething may be different from one baby to the next, but there are some pretty big indicators that your baby may be teething that are not limited to, but include the following:
- Fussiness and crying
- Swollen gums or tenderness
- Excessive drooling
- Low grade temperature
- Refusing to eat
- Ear pulling and cheek rubbing
If you’ve noticed that your baby is showing signs of teething, the actual pain from teething can last from 24-72 hours prior to the tooth breaking through (tooth eruption), but once the tooth does come through, there is hardly any pain at all for the child.
How To Soothe Your Little One While Teething
If you’ve noticed that baby is showing one or more of the signs of teething, you can help soothe your child by:
- Putting water on a wash cloth and freezing it so that baby can gnaw on it to bring comfort.
- Providing teething toys or teething rings
- Massaging baby’s gums
- Try baby wearing to bring comfort
- Administer pain medication if needed. Babies under 6 months can usually take Tylenol and babies over 6 months can oftentimes take Ibuprofen. Consult with your child’s pediatrician before providing baby with any medication for formal instruction.
When Teething Seems To Affect Sleep
If you’re starting to notice that teething is affecting your child’s sleep, it’s important to go back and reassess your child’s sleep foundations and take a gentler approach to sleep. I would suggest treating teething the same as you would if your baby was sick. During sickness or teething, it’s important to avoid any form of sleep training until there is tooth eruption and baby is feeling better.
While sleep training isn’t recommended during teething, ensuring solid sleep foundations is still essential during this time. Even though teething can provide some discomfort, as I mentioned earlier, it shouldn’t completely derail your child’s sleep habits. Babies with a strong foundation typically do well, even while teething.
Setting and maintaining solid sleep foundations for your child can start from the very beginning when a baby is first born. If you’d like support making sure your little one has solid foundations, you can schedule a free call with me here, and we can work on it together!
If It Seems There Is A Big Impact On Sleep
Teething typically does not result in waking baby from a deep sleep, so if you’re finding that this is happening with your little one, it may NOT be teething alone. If your baby is crying excessively, or waking all during the night, it’s important to be sure there isn’t something else going on.
The biggest takeaway here is if your baby is experiencing teething, make sure your baby has really great foundations. If you can establish solid foundations BEFORE your child has began teething, it will certainly help when teething starts.
If your child has already reached an age where teething has begun, but sleep seems impacted, STILL revisit your child’s sleep foundations!