When Will My Baby Start Teething? An Essential Guide for Parents

Teething is a significant developmental milestone for every child. As a parent, you may find yourself anxiously anticipating this stage. But, when does it typically begin? Let’s delve into what the process looks like, and what you can expect.

“Explore our comprehensive guide to understanding baby teething. Find out when most babies start teething, recognize the signs of teething, and learn how to soothe your teething baby. Plus, know when to consult a doctor during this developmental milestone.”

Understanding Teething

Teething is the process during which an infant’s first teeth, often referred to as “baby teeth” or “primary teeth,” begin to emerge through the gums. This period can be challenging for both the baby and parents, as it can cause discomfort and crankiness.

When Does Teething Start?

Most babies start teething around 6 months of age. However, like any developmental milestone, there is a range. It’s entirely normal for teething to begin anytime between 3 and 12 months. Rarely, a baby might even be born with a tooth! Remember, each child is unique and will reach milestones at their own pace.

Sequence of Teething

The sequence of teething typically follows a particular pattern

  1. Central incisors (middle front teeth) usually emerge first, around 6-10 months.
  2. Lateral incisors (next to the central incisors) break through next, between 10-16 months.
  3. Canine teeth (located between the incisors and first molars) appear around 17-23 months.
  4. First molars (the back teeth used for grinding food) come in around 14-18 months.
  5. Second molars usually appear last, around 23-33 months.

Note: The timeline can vary, and teeth usually appear earlier in girls than in boys.

Signs of Teething

Teething babies may show several signs of their discomfort. Here are some typical symptoms:

  • Drooling: Teething stimulates drooling, which may start as early as a few weeks before the first tooth appears.
  • Chewing, biting, and sucking: Babies may attempt to alleviate the pressure by chewing on their fingers or toys.
  • Irritability and fussiness: The discomfort can lead to crankiness, especially in the week leading up to the tooth’s arrival.
  • Trouble sleeping: Discomfort might disrupt your baby’s sleep.
  • Decreased appetite: Babies might eat less due to the pain in their gums.

Remember: If your baby has a fever, diarrhea, or a runny nose, don’t dismiss it as a sign of teething. These are not typical teething symptoms and could be a sign of illness.

How to Soothe a Teething Baby

Here are some common and effective methods to soothe your teething baby:

  1. Chew Toys: Teething toys or rings provide a safe object for your baby to chew on.
  2. Cold Items: A cold washcloth, spoon, or a chilled teething ring can be soothing. Be careful not to freeze toys as it can be too hard and cold for your baby’s gums.
  3. Teething Biscuits or Other Food: If your baby is eating solids, offering something hard like a teething biscuit can help. Always monitor your baby when they’re eating or chewing on items to prevent choking.
  4. Rubbing Your Baby’s Gums: Using a clean finger or moistened gauze pad to rub your baby’s gums can provide relief.
  5. Over-the-Counter Remedies: Pain relievers and medications that are rubbed on the gums are available. Always consult your doctor before using these.

When to Consult a Doctor

If your baby’s symptoms are causing you concern, or they have a fever or diarrhea, consult your pediatrician right away. While teething can be a challenging time for babies and their parents, it’s also an exciting milestone. Remember that these difficulties are temporary, and soon your baby will flash a toothy smile that’ll make it all worthwhile!

Teething is a crucial phase in your baby’s life. Understanding this process can help you provide the best care for your child during this challenging time. For more information, consult with your pediatrician or a pediatric dentist.

Q1: At what age do most babies start teething? 

A1: Most babies start teething around 6 months of age. However, teething can begin anytime between 3 and 12 months.

Q2: What is the typical sequence of teething in babies? 

A2: Typically, the central incisors emerge first, followed by the lateral incisors, the canine teeth, first molars, and finally, the second molars.

Q3: What are the common signs of teething? 

A3: Common signs of teething include drooling, a desire to chew or bite on things, irritability and fussiness, trouble sleeping, and a decreased appetite.

Q4: How can I soothe my teething baby? 

A4: There are several ways to soothe a teething baby, including using chew toys, offering cold items like a washcloth or spoon, giving them teething biscuits or other hard food (if they are eating solids), and rubbing their gums with a clean finger or moistened gauze pad. You may also consider over-the-counter remedies, but consult with your doctor before using these.

Q5: Should I consult a doctor if my baby has a fever during teething? 

A5: Yes, a fever is not typically a sign of teething. If your baby has a fever or diarrhea, it’s essential to consult your pediatrician right away.

Q6: Can a baby be born with a tooth? 

A6: Yes, although it’s rare, some babies are born with one or more teeth. These are called natal teeth.

Q7: Do teething symptoms mean that a tooth will appear soon? 

A7: Typically, symptoms like fussiness and drooling increase about three to five days before a tooth emerges, and they disappear once the tooth breaks through the skin.


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