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. Thankfully, teething won’t keep your child in pain that entire time.
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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 the first tooth that soon, although it can happen.
However, teething does cause minor symptoms like 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, try chilled teething rings. You also can give them acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen occasionally for teething discomfort but no more than once a week.
For safety reasons, avoid frequent use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen (Motrin®). Steer clear of topical medications and teething gels, too. It’s hard to know how much babies will swallow and taking too much can cause serious illness.
—Pediatrician Svetlana Pomeranets, MD