Prev Next
signs your baby is teething

Is My Baby Teething?

By Ilana Wiles

My daughter Harlow, is three and a half months now which means I am at the miraculous time when the so-called “fourth trimester” ends, and all things baby begin to fall into place.

Not only is Harlow starting to sleep through the night, she’s napping during the day more routinely.  Her acid reflux, which caused her to spit-up constantly, appears to be dissipating, since three months is when your baby’s digestive track is more fully developed.

I’ve also gotten to know Harlow pretty well at this point. When she’s upset, I know which cry means she’s hungry and which cry means her diaper needs changing. I know the cry that means she’s fighting sleep and the whimper that means she just wants to be held.

If I’m not careful, I might think I’ve got this “baby thing” DOWN.

But I’m not going to get ahead of myself, because if memory serves from my first child, Harlow is about to throw me for a loop.

Anywhere from three to seven months old, babies start teething, and while this means Harlow will one day eat solid food and smile with pearly whites, it also means that my routine, my confidence and my solid’s night sleep might all be in jeopardy.

My first daughter went through Frank Costanza levels of irritability when her first teeth started coming in, but I’ve heard varied accounts from friends, some of who’s kids experienced no symptoms at all.

So, how do you know if your baby is teething?

Take this simple Yes or No quiz to help you find out.

1. Does your baby have a slightly elevated temperature?

2. Is your baby currently sitting in a pool of his/her own saliva?

3. Is your baby showing little interest in eating?

4. Have you recently nicknamed your baby Cranky McCrankerstein?

5. Is your baby gnawing on anything and everything within arm’s reach?

6. Have you forgotten what your baby’s hands look like because they are constantly shoved into his/her own mouth?

8. Is your baby waking up way more often throughout the night than he/she does normally?

9. Is your baby crying for no particular reason?

10. Did your baby just take a bite out of your boob?

11. Is your baby doing none or all of the above?

If you answered yes to three or more of the questions above, chances are your baby is teething.

Buy some teethers and be prepared for some long nights.

If you answered yes to three or less questions, your baby still might be teething— you just might be one of those lucky parents who’s baby doesn’t experience as many symptoms or pain. Just do me a favor and keep your symptom-free baby to yourself, because those of us living on very little sleep with a baby that won’t stop crying, don’t really want to hear about it.

About the Author

Ilana Wiles

Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a popular NYC humor blog geared towards new parents. In addition to blogging, Ilana has worked as a creative in advertisin...

Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a popular NYC humor blog geared towards new parents. In addition to blogging, Ilana has worked as a creative in advertising for the past 15 years. She lives in the East Village of NYC with her husband, her two-year-old daughter and a rapidly growing pile of stuffed animals.

icon icon
chat bubble icon


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Ha, I love this list. Both of our sons were very late teethers (9+ months), and we spent about the preceding six months trying to gauge their teething status. In particular, our first had a lot of baby crankypants blamed on teething that were just… his baby personality.


Oh lol, teething. I think my kids teethe forever, but they don’t actually produce a tooth until after they learned how to walk! My son got his 1st four teeth a week before he turned 1, and my daughter got 2 teeth (the top ones, weirdo) at 13 months.

At 2 years (technically 27 months now) she still only has 10 teeth. Where in the world are they?

I don’t know whether to credit her fussy behavior to teething or to the fact that she’s 2. Whatever!!


Both my nieces got two bottom teeth at four months and then their next ones at eight months. My older niece was definitely cranky and had trouble sleeping during her teething. When she was eight months old, she got six teeth within the month. None of us slept much that month!


There must be no consistency with teething. My daughter got her first bottom tooth the day after her first birthday. She now has three teeth at 14 months. She never did get her other bottom tooth in. But she eats steak like a boss.


Uh oh… We’ve been wondering about Ru… hands in mouth, cranky, refuses to be set down, doesn’t want to play, generally unhappy, slurpy saliva everywhere… thanks for this list! I’ll go stock up on tylenol and orajel.


My son (oldest) had no symptoms except the excessive, and I do mean excessive drool. My daughter (youngest) had every single symptom – we joke that she is the “delicate flower” of the family apparently. Our pediatrician said a daily dose of baby motrin/ibuprofen is safe while teething and recommends it over other remedies – well, that and cold teething rings and cloths.