Baby Teething Advice

Teething can be a painful but exciting time for you and your baby. Teething involves your baby’s first teeth coming through their gums and it can be a very uncomfortable and often painful process. There are ways you can ease the pain of teething and provide some comfort. Spotting the signs of teething and knowing how to ease the discomfort can help.

 We provide some answers to frequently asked questions around teething to help navigate this tricky time.

When Does Teething Start?

Your baby could start teething anywhere between 3 to 6 months old and in some cases, it might be after 12 months.

Usually by the ages of 2 ½ to 3 years, babies will have a set of about 20 teeth emerge.

There’s no universal time for a baby’s teething to begin, so don’t stress if your little one is early or late.

Teething Signs & Symptoms

Noticing the signs your baby is teething is the first step in helping ease their discomfort. Teething symptoms can include:

  • Chewing fingers or toys
  • Excessive drooling or dribbling
  • Mood changes, soreness and swelling of the gums
  • Refusing to eat or drink
  • Not sleeping very well
  • Biting their mother’s nipple whilst breastfeeding
  • A slight elevation of body temperature

Some babies can be fussier than usual during teething. Their gums are sore and swollen causing discomfort and there can be a spot of bleeding as the teeth come through.

Symptoms usually appear 3-5 days before the first tooth emerge. They should subside once this first tooth has broken through the skin, but in some cases can continue afterwards. Some lucky babies don’t even feel the effects of teething.

These are all mild symptoms that should improve with time. If your baby is extremely distressed, however, contact your doctor for further advice and treatment.

    Teething Myths & Misconceptions

    While swollen or tender gums from teething can cause your baby’s temperature to be a little higher than usual, it shouldn’t result in symptoms such as fever or diarrhoea.

    If your baby begins showing signs of fever, there is likely another cause and you should contact your doctor for advice.

    It’s also a misconception that teething can cause earaches. If your baby is pulling or rubbing their ear, then it is likely an ear infection.

    Teething & Sleeping

    It’s no surprise that getting a teething baby to sleep can be challenging.

    Try giving them a gentle gum massage or a clean and cool washcloth to suck on before bed. You can also try a little white noise to help redirect your baby’s attention from the discomfort in their mouth.

    Adding a white noise machine to your baby’s room can often help them drift off despite the pain.

    Baby Teeth Cleaning & Hygiene

    It’s important to begin taking care of your little one’s teeth the moment the teeth begin emerging. This should be done with care as your baby’s gums could still be swollen and painful. Clean the teeth and gum region using a soft brush, cotton wool or gauze swab and water. Babies do not require toothpaste until 18 months old.

    If your baby isn’t enjoying you brushing their teeth, let them brush yours and make it a little game so they’re distracted.

    Teething is an exciting milestone for your baby and is all part of their development journey!