Can Teething Make My Baby Fuss All Night?

The Short Answer from a pediatrician

Q: Can teething make my baby fuss all night?

A: Parents attribute lots of symptoms to teething, but babies fuss for many reasons. About 20 teeth erupt in babies’ mouths between the ages of 6 months and 30 months. Trust me, teething won’t keep your child in pain that entire time. Here’s what you should know:

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  • Teething does not cause major sickness or symptoms such as sleepless nights, fever, diarrhea or throwing up. (If serious symptoms persist, call your pediatrician’s office.) Drooling is also unlikely to be a sign of teething. All babies drool at 4 months of age, and we rarely see a first tooth that soon.
  • However, teething does cause minor symptoms: gum discomfort, gum swelling and teething blisters (bloody, bluish blisters that form right before teeth erupt.) Increased biting, mouthing, gum-rubbing and irritability are other signs.

To comfort your teething baby, I would try chilled teething rings. You also can give him acetaminophen (Tylenol®) once or twice per week.

For safety reasons, I would avoid frequent use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen (Motrin®). I would also steer clear of topical medications and teething gels. It’s hard to know how much babies will swallow, and taking too much can cause serious illness.

Pediatrician Svetlana Pomeranets, MD

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