When you think you’ve figured out your baby’s sleep routine, a new phase begins, and you start again. Things may become complex during teething. Teething and baby sleep habits are linked.
Nighttime attempts to calm a fussy infant have left many of us bleary-eyed. Those little new teeth breaking through the gums may upset even the most stable sleep regimens.
This blog will examine this issue in depth, using research and recommendations from experienced parents. Sit back, relax, and explore this interesting area of infant growth, whether you’re a first-time parent, a pro, or just interested.
Table of Contents
Understanding Baby Teething
Teething is when your baby’s first set of teeth emerge from the gums. This process typically starts from six months up to three years, and you may observe various signs. Some of these signs may include irritability and drooling.
During this process, your baby’s gums are sore and achy, making it difficult for them to sleep. The pain can be excruciating, causing your baby to cry and generally fuss at night. The pain is most severe at night, leading to disrupted sleep patterns. You can ease your baby’s discomfort by providing Dr. Talbot’s Teething Tablets: Comfort for Your Baby.
Every baby is different and may show different teething symptoms. The first teeth usually come between 6-10 months, but it can be earlier or later for some children.
Here are other common signs of teething to watch out for:
One of the first signs of teething you might notice is an increase in your baby’s drooling. It might seem like your little one is producing more saliva than they know what to do with. It is because their body is naturally trying to soothe the irritation in their gums. While it can be messy, it’s entirely normal. Keep a soft cloth handy to remove the drool and prevent skin irritation.
Red or swollen gums
Another common symptom of teething is red or swollen gums. As the new tooth tries to push its way through the gum line, it can cause the surrounding area to become inflamed. If you gently run your finger along your baby’s gums, you might even feel the hard ridge of an incoming tooth.
Irritability or fussiness
You might also notice a change in your baby’s mood. They might become irritable or fussy, crying more often or hard to soothe. Remember, this discomfort is new to them, and they express it the only way they know how. Patience and lots of cuddles can go a long way during this time.
Teething can also disrupt your baby’s sleep. The discomfort can make it hard for them to settle down, leading to frequent wake-ups or short naps. A soothing bedtime routine and some comfort measures can help them (and you) get a better night’s sleep.
Teething can also affect your baby’s appetite. The pain and pressure in their mouth can make feeding uncomfortable, decreasing the desire to eat or drink. It’s important to keep offering them meals as usual, but don’t force it if they refuse. Cold or soft foods can help soothe their gums and might be more appealing during this time.
Refusing to drink a bottle
If your baby is bottle-fed, they might start refusing their bottle. The sucking motion can put more pressure on their already sore gums, making feeding time a struggle. Experiment with different feeding methods, or use a sippy cup if they’re old enough.
Chewing on objects
A teething baby often finds relief in chewing on objects. It helps relieve the pressure from below the gums. Provide safe and clean teething toys for them to gnaw on. Avoid anything small to be a choking hazard or hard enough to damage their emerging teeth.
Rubbing their face or pulling their ears
Lastly, you might notice your baby rubbing their face or pulling at their ears. The pain from teething can radiate to other areas of their face, causing them to seek relief through these actions. While it might look concerning, it’s a typical response to teething discomfort.
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Managing Sleep Patterns During Teething
While it can be painful, teething is a normal part of your baby’s development, and, fortunately, there are ways you can help them sleep better during this process. Here are some tips to try:
- Bring down their temperature: A cool or cold teething toy can help reduce swelling and numb their gums, which may help reduce pain and make your child feel more comfortable.
- Pain relief: If your baby is experiencing severe symptoms and sleep disruptions, you can give them infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but only after consulting your pediatrician.
- Provide extra comfort: When your baby is struggling with teething, they may need extra comfort and attention to soothe them to sleep. You can snuggle your baby and rock them to sleep or give them an extra pacifier or a soft blanket.
- Keep routines consistent: Stick to your baby’s bedtime and naptime routine as much as possible. Consistency can provide stability and a sense of comfort for your child.
What to Do If Nothing Works
If your baby’s teething symptoms are severe and nothing seems to be helping, it’s important to consult their pediatrician. They can help rule out any other underlying medical issues and provide you with alternative, safe options for managing the pain.
It’s also crucial to take care of yourself during this period. The lack of sleep and added stress can take a toll on new parents. Take breaks, ask for help when needed, and prioritize self-care to stay refreshed and patient with your little one.
Teething is a normal but painful phase of your baby’s life that can be distressing for both parents and babies. Understanding the signs of teething and the accompanying sleep issues can help you provide your child with the necessary comfort and support, helping them sleep better during this process. Remember that every baby is different, that teething can last for weeks or months, and that, with patience and consistency, sleepless nights will eventually come to an end.