Posted in Parenting

7 + Signs Of Teething For Dummies

You’d think that 7.5 months into this motherhood thing I’d start to recognize the signs of teething BEFORE a tooth actually cuts.  I mean, my son’s first tooth cut when he was a week into his fifth month of life and his most recent one cut yesterday meaning that six pearly whites have sprouted in less than three months.

You’d think that I wouldn’t connect the mental dots after the fact.  Fact is, though, it seems that my “ah ha, it’s teething!” moments don’t ever come during the precursor signs.

Because there are signs!  And  I always notice them.  Just…not in time.

So, in an effort to try to give myself a head start for the next round of teeth, I thought I’d list the signs of teething that can be found in our household.

1.  Chewing on EVERYTHING he can get his hands on.  And by chewing, I mean, sticking the object (or adult finger) in his mouth, biting down hard and pulling the object away with his jaw still clamped down.

2.  Constantly putting his hands in his mouth when there’s no food or suitable toy.


3.  Cries his little heart out every time we lie him down on his back.  Seriously.  Every.  Single.  Time.

4.  Clamps down when he nurses.

5.  Wants to nurse all the time.

6.  Fights nighttime sleep as though it was his worst enemy and wakes often during the night.

7.  Will be very whiny unless he is held all the time (but he also wants to play with his toys at the same time).

Of course, this is how things are in our household.  I have, however, heard of other signs of teething which include:

* Excessive drooling (for us, this was a sign for his first teeth, but now that he has more teeth, he doesn’t seem to be drooling as much anymore).

* Fasting (I find that my son wants to nurse more often, not less often.  He also really enjoys eating, notably cold foods).

* Gum swelling and sensitivity (I don’t doubt that my son has this, I just haven’t noticed it).

* Blood blisters

* Tugging on the earlobes

* Loose stools

* Rashes (chin, neck, hands and bum)

Oh!  And for those of you who are wondering, here is a teething timeline.  So far, I’ve found it pretty accurate to determine the order in which the teeth cut (and not the times at which they are supposed to be coming through).


What are the signs of teething that you noticed with your children?


Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

15 thoughts on “7 + Signs Of Teething For Dummies

  1. Number 6 & 7… ugh… my girl right now. The night before last I only got 3 hours of sleep and last night I got 4 hours *combined*. She’s driving mommy batty!!! Oddly enough, her first tooth was lower lateral incisor (not expected until 10-16 months). Now both lower central incisors have come through at the same time.
    I think right now she’s working on her two upper front teeth… they are just waiting to breakthrough any day now.
    I HATE TEETHING!!! I didn’t have to deal with any of these “side effects” with my son as he didn’t get his first tooth until he was 13 months! It was awesome because being that much older, there is much less (hardly noticeable) behavior changes.

    I’m grateful though that she so far she has not clamped down on my nipples yet. Those little teeth are SO SHARP! She’s bitten my thumb when I was feeding her something off my plate and I could feel it for hours! My little piranha!

    1. Yes teething is a killer especially when extreme clingyness and even less sleep is involved. Those teeth are indeed sharp! I actually had to take care of a bite (actually cut through the skin) last time around. Not fun!
      It must be somewhat easier when teething starts later.
      I hope your daughter’s front teeth cut soon!

    1. That’s what I read! Even though the experts don’t agree, we as parents know what we see. Before we started solids, I could use my son’s stools as a diagnostic tool for teething, but not anymore.

  2. With my eldest it was a cough we affectionately came to recognize as the teething cough – excessive saliva gave her a cough! Experts will say loose nappies aren’t a sign but my girl had the, every time she was about the pop a tooth! Wow to 6 teeth!! Im still waiting here at 10 months!! It gets embarrassing when she’s cruising and standing and yet is still toothless! Not much I can do though!!

    1. Not much you can do indeed! I would have done without to be honest, but hey, they’re in and that’s it. Experts can say what they want, but I would trust the word of hundreds of mothers over the words of experts on signs of teething. A teething cough is an interesting sign. It’s good that you came to recognize it for what it was!

  3. Yes.. The chewing, the nursing, the fighting, the poop.. All. Of. The. Above. I’m a huge believer in the amber necklaces tho and make sure Muffin always has hers on! It seems to help and take an edge off for sure.

  4. Thanks for this! We are at about 6.5 months and have some of the signs (slobber! rashes! loose stools! Ear tugging! Putting everything in his mouth including his toes, ha!) but no signs of actual teeth yet…I am bracing myself for many of the other stuff you have listed…yikes. 🙂

    1. Ooooh! How exciting! Looks like everything is in place for the first teeth to cut! I remember finding out about my son’s first teeth when he put my finger in his mouth and bit (not gummed) down on it. Such a surprise! I hope you don’t experience excessive crankyness or multiple night wakings!

  5. #5, 6, and 7 were certainly true for us! And add fever in there for molars. 😦 Just miserable. I hate teething, I really do. They’re just so uncomfortable!

    1. Of course! I knew I was forgetting something. You’re not the first who’s noticed a fever during teething. And I totally agree, I hate it too, I really don’t like to see my son feel miserable. If there were a way for me to feel the pain for him I would in a heart beat.

      1. Definitely! Maggie has said she wishes there were a sensor that we could put on someone so we could feel their pain, that way people would be more compassionate, and so doctors could diagnose. Pretty smart, huh? Now just to invent such a thing… 😉

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