Does Teething Affect My Baby’s Sleep?

– Written by JoAnna Inks 

teething baby - JoAnna Inks Sleep Solutions

History is filled with events where things get wrongfully accused. Take the example of Catherine O’Leary’s cow for example, who back in 1871 was blamed for burning down a barn and starting one of the greatest disasters in US history, the great Chicago Fire. The story was reported by the Chicago Tribune who later admitted to fabricating the story, but that didn’t stop the masses from blaming a cow of all things for the Chicago Fire. Why am I talking about this rather than teething? What connection does this have? None, except one commonality; that both of them were used as scapegoats.

Teething is the process where babies grow their teeth and is blamed for just about everything that can be happening with the baby. Does your baby have a fever? Probably because he/she’s teething. Crying more than normal? Teething. Diarrhea? Teething. Runny poop? Teething. Now, these can legitimately be a cause of teething, but chances are they’re not.

Whenever something happens to the baby and they start crying, we look for explanations. Obviously, we’re inclined to ease any discomfort our baby might be facing in the first place, but we also need a solid explanation for the baby’s crying so we can do something about it. So for example, if the baby starts crying every couple of hours at night when you’re sleep training, and you find the smallest semblance of a tooth emerging, it becomes an easy explanation. Eventually you decide to give up on the idea of sleep training for the time being, at least until the teething business is dealt with. Except that the same deal continues even after a year later with you waking up every night rocking and soothing the baby back to sleep, because you think its because of a tooth coming in.

Like I said earlier, it may legitimately be teething, it may also not be, here is how you know:

  • Firstly, the teething symptoms last around 8 days. If the baby is still crying after more than 10 days maximum then the problem is something else and not teething. Check in with the pediatrician to find out what it is. Or it can simply be the baby being a little needy for affection or having trouble sleeping. Again, check in with the doctor to know for sure.
  1. Secondly, teething symptoms are not nearly as uncomfortable as people think they are. When you think about the process, you imagine teeth ripping apart the gums as they emerge in addition to all sorts of gruesome imagery that may be contributing to the discomfort of the baby. But that is not the case, in fact, the gums move out of the way on their own and the whole process is much more gentler than you may imagine.


Bottom line is, majority of the experts agree that teething does not cause a lot of pain. But like I said, it can be a cause and it can’t be. Consult with the doctor to be sure.

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P.S.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about teething & sleep!  Comment below.

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