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Teething is one of the most obvious signs of growth and development during your baby’s first few years. But that doesn’t mean it’s without its challenges. For babies and parents, teething also means pain, crying, and lots of drool. And what about sleep? Do babies sleep more when teething?
Let’s check out the facts to determine whether or not a teething baby sleeps more.
Believe it or not, babies usually have 20 teeth that are present under the gums in utero, meaning they’re already under the gums at birth. They just need to make their way to the surface, or “erupt”. And considering that a child’s teeth are usually in by 3, that means a lot of action is happening under the gums for a baby! So, when do baby teeth come in?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the first teeth that grow are the central incisors on the bottom of the mouth. These tend to erupt between 6-10 months. The incisors on the top of the mouth will follow at about 8-12 months.
Then, the lateral incisors will come in on both the top and bottom of the mouth between 9-16 months. First molars will start erupting after 13 months and canine teeth will follow shortly after at around 16 months.
Although babies teeth will grow in at their unique schedule, most if not all teeth should be grown in by the time a child is 3.
According to health experts, the general symptoms of teething include:
Likewise, it’s important to note that although teething can slightly increase the temperature of your baby, teething shouldn’t be causing a fever. Any signs of colds, vomiting, diarrhea or a fever are not normal symptoms. If your baby is displaying any of these signs, you should consult your child’s pediatrician.
By reviewing the symptoms above, this brings us to the main question: do babies sleep a lot when teething? Or do they, in fact, sleep less?
Generally, babies won’t sleep more during teething. If they are sleeping more, the sleepiness might be more related to a symptom instead of the actual process of teething. Acute fevers, for example, tend to make babies a bit sleepier.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics actually suggests the opposite, stating that the level of pain or uncomfortability from teething can be enough to wake a baby from their naps or from overall sleep. Also, if parents start to change their baby's daytime and bedtime routines to accommodate changes due to teething, that can inadvertently lead to less sleep.
If you’re wondering whether it’s normal for your baby to either be getting more sleep, or losing sleep, it’s also important to remember that every baby is unique in their growth and development. This is especially true when it comes to teething. Some babies will experience much more discomfort, while others might not even be fazed at all. The impact of teething generally depends on which teeth are erupting along with how many teeth are coming in at a time.
Also, it’s believed that genetics plays another role in terms of how a baby is affected by teething. If an older sibling is hardly bothered by teething, for example, it’s likely that you’ll see those same patterns in younger siblings.
Regardless of your baby’s tolerance for teething, it can still be a painful and uncomfortable experience for babies and parents alike. Here are some of the top tips for relieving discomfort:
Teething can be a frustrating experience for both parents and babies, but by helping to alleviate pain and discomfort, the worst will soon be behind you. Your baby will be flashing their full-toothed smiles in no time!