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teething baby

What to Expect When Your Child Is Teething

By Ilana Wiles

My daughter is 4.5 months old and she has just begun some of the telltale signs of teething, such as gnawing on her hands, her blankie, toys, myself and anything else within arms reach of her mouth.

Typically, teething begins anywhere between 3-12 months… which basically says there is nothing typical about teething.

Babies can display many symptoms such as extra irritability due to soreness of the gums as the tooth is trying to poke through. They may try to bite fingers or toys in an effort to relieve pressure from their gums. Some parents report rashes around the mouth which is most likely due to the massive amounts of drool being constantly wiped from their chins.

But babies can also display no symptoms whatsoever. (Lucky parents!)

Teething symptoms usually last from about a week before the tooth makes an appearance and disappear as soon as the tooth pokes through the gums.

Well, until the next tooth tried to enter the scene and the whole symptom cycle starts again. Kids continue to get their baby teeth in up to the age of three, which means, you’re going to be dealing with this teething thing for quite some time. (below is a handy baby Tooth Tracker).

I don’t remember my first daughter being excessively fussy when she started teething but I do remember insane amounts of drool. Like Niagara Falls levels of drool.

Because every parents’ experience with teething is different, I asked a few of my fellow parent blogger friends what they went through when their babies were teething:

1) Ellen from Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms had an especially rough time with teething. She had these words of warning, “You thought you knew miserable? NOW, you know miserable… at both ends. Don’t be surprised if your little one develops a wicked diaper rash to go with those throbbing gums.”

2) Brenna from Suburban Snapshots remembers a little known side effect of teething. “Expect that even if your crib hasn’t been recalled, your child gnawing on its rails will render it unsellable.”

3) Nicole from Ninja Mom was constantly confused as to whether her child was teething or not. “Not until your child gets her first tooth will you ever be so wrong about when something is going to happen. ‘I think I see a tooth poking through! No, wait, that’s just a Cheerio.’ ”

4) Although, most parents report that teething brings a certain amount of misery to their home, Bethany from Bad Parenting Moments looks back on the time fondly. “When a baby is unhappy, you have approximately two years to blame all personality unpleasantries on teething. Runny nose? Teething. Non-stop crying? Teething. Low-grade fever? Teething. Biting friends and neighbors? Teething. After age two, when your child tantrums for no apparent reason, you’ll long for an excuse as all encompassing as this dreaded milestone.”

Baby Teeth Tracker

To make teething more fun (yeah…haha), I designed this printable Tooth Tracker so that you can record the dates of your child’s baby teeth eruptions and losses, along with a handy time table of approximately when you should expect them.


Print the tooth tracker, fill out the dates and put it in a keepsake box. Eventually, you can use it to rehash war stories to your child about what you went through when he was teething.

He’s gonna want to know the truth when he has kids of his own!

source: American Dental Association

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.

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