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Do Babies Sleep More When Teething: What to Expect and How to Help

Published by Chris Riley on June 26, 2023

Teething is a challenging time for both babies and their parents. Whether it’s due to discomfort or irritability, one common question we hear is: do babies sleep more when teething? While there isn’t a definitive answer to this question, we’ve gathered some information about the impact of teething on a baby’s sleep pattern.

do babies sleep more when teething

Some babies may indeed sleep more when they’re teething, as their bodies might require extra rest to cope with the stress and pain associated with cutting new teeth. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for babies to experience disruptions in their sleep during the teething process, making them potentially sleep less. These disturbances can be caused by factors like sore gums or increased fussiness.

Each baby is unique – some might sleep more while others may have a harder time getting their usual rest. Understanding your baby’s individual needs will help you find the best ways to keep them comfortable and ensure they get the rest they need during this trying time.

Understanding Baby Teething

Teething is an important milestone in a baby’s development, and it can be a challenging time for both babies and their parents. In this section, we’ll discuss the various aspects of teething to help provide a better understanding of this natural process.

Most infants start teething between the ages of 4 to 7 months, with the first teeth typically appearing in the front of the mouth (the central incisors). By the time a child is about 3 years old, they should have a full set of 20 primary teeth. Here’s a timeline of when babies’ teeth usually come in:

AgeTeeth
6-10 monthsLower central incisors
8-12 monthsUpper central incisors
9-16 monthsLower and upper lateral incisors
13-19 monthsFirst molars
16-23 monthsCanines
23-33 monthsSecond molars

During the teething period, it’s common for babies to exhibit a variety of symptoms. Some of the most frequently reported signs of teething include:

  • Increased drooling
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Irritability and fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever

It’s important to clarify that not all babies experience the same symptoms or level of discomfort while teething. Some may show only mild signs, while others may seem more distressed.

To alleviate teething-related discomfort, parents can try several remedies:

  • Gently massaging the baby’s gums with a clean finger
  • Offering chilled (not frozen) teething toys or rings
  • Using a cold, damp washcloth for the baby to chew on
  • Administering age-appropriate over-the-counter pain relievers, as directed by a pediatrician

While teething can be a difficult time for little ones and their families, it’s essential to remember that it’s a normal part of a child’s growth and development. If you have concerns about your baby’s teething progress or symptoms, always consult your pediatrician for guidance and advice.

Now that we have a better understanding of teething and its effects on babies, let’s dive deeper into the question of whether babies sleep more or less during this time.

Can teething make baby sleep more?

Yes, teething can sometimes cause babies to sleep more. The discomfort and pain associated with teething can make them more tired and in need of extra rest.

How Teething Affects Sleep Patterns

Teething is a normal developmental milestone that all babies go through, usually between 4 to 7 months of age. It’s widely believed that teething can impact a baby’s sleep patterns, causing them to sleep more or struggle to sleep at all. In this section, we’ll explore how teething affects babies’ sleep and provide insights into adjusting their sleep routines during this phase.

First, it’s essential to understand the symptoms of teething. Typical signs include gum swelling, irritability, fussiness, drooling, and a slight increase in body temperature. While these symptoms might make it seem as though your baby would sleep more during teething, they can also keep your little one awake and uncomfortable. Furthermore, the pain and discomfort of newly emerging teeth may disrupt your baby’s regular sleep routine, potentially leading to sleepless nights.

NumberSymptom
1Gum swelling
2Irritability
3Fussiness
4Drooling
5Slight temperature increase

Here are a few ways that teething can affect sleep patterns:

  • Increased restlessness: Teething can cause your baby to be more restless and uncomfortable at night, making it harder for them to get comfortable in their crib.
  • Trouble falling asleep: The pain and discomfort from teething can make it difficult for your baby to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Night waking: Babies who are teething may wake up more frequently during the night due to pain or irritation from swollen gums.
  • Shortened naps: Daytime sleep may also be affected by teething, resulting in shorter naps or more frequent waking.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to navigate through teething, it’s important to remember that this phase is temporary. To help your baby during teething, consider the following tips:

  • Introduce cold objects, like chilled teething rings or a cold washcloth, to soothe the baby’s gums.
  • Offer a gentle gum massage to provide relief from pain and discomfort.
  • Maintain a consistent bedtime routine to help the baby feel secure and familiar with their sleep environment.
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable, and dark room to create an ideal sleep setting.

Teething can indeed impact a baby’s sleep patterns, making sleep more challenging during this time. However, with patience and the right approach, both you and your baby will be able to get through this developmental milestone and return to a more peaceful slumber.

Should I let my teething baby sleep?

Absolutely! It’s important to let your teething baby sleep as much as they need. Sleep is crucial for their overall development and helps them cope with the discomfort of teething. Ensure they have a safe and comfortable sleep environment.

Do babies eat less and sleep more when teething?

While every baby is different, some babies may experience a decrease in appetite and increased sleepiness during teething. The discomfort and pain can affect their desire to eat, but it’s important to monitor their overall nutrition and ensure they are getting adequate nourishment.

Helping Your Baby Sleep During Teething

Teething is a natural phase in a baby’s life, and it can make sleep a challenge. As parents, we understand that sleep is essential for a baby’s health and development. Here are some tips to help your baby sleep better during teething.

Keep a consistent bedtime routine: By maintaining a regular sleep schedule, we can help our child feel more secure and comfortable. This routine might include a warm bath, a soothing massage, or reading a bedtime story. Staying consistent will make it easier for your baby to relax and fall asleep.

Offer a teething toy or cold object: It’s important to provide a safe and appropriate way for your baby to relieve their teething discomfort. Offering a cold teething ring or washcloth can help numb the gums and alleviate pain, making it easier for your baby to sleep.

Create a comfortable sleep environment: Making sure the baby’s room is conducive to sleep can go a long way in helping them rest easier. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet. Additionally, consider using a white noise machine or a fan to help drown out any distracting noises.

Pain relief options:

  • Teething gel or medication: If your baby is in significant pain, you may want to use an approved teething gel or medication to help them sleep. Make sure to consult your pediatrician before using any remedies.
  • Cold or frozen foods: For older babies who are already eating solids, cold or frozen foods can also provide relief. Examples include chilled fruit purees or frozen breast milk in a mesh feeder.
  • Gentle gum massage: Using a clean finger, gently massage your baby’s gums to provide some relief from teething pain. This gentle touch has the added benefit of helping your baby feel comforted and secure.

Monitor and adjust sleep habits as needed: Remember that teething is a temporary phase, and it’s essential to remain flexible as your baby’s sleep patterns may change during this time. If necessary, adjust naps or bedtime to accommodate your baby’s changing needs.

By following these tips, we can make the teething process a little easier for our little ones and help them get the rest they need. Keep in mind that each baby is different, so what works for one might not work for another. However, the key is to be patient, attentive, and supportive while your baby goes through this challenging time.

Why is my baby sleeping more than usual?

There can be several reasons why your baby is sleeping more than usual. It could be due to growth spurts, developmental changes, illness, or teething. If you have concerns about your baby’s sleeping patterns, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.

In Conclusion

Teething is a natural process babies go through, during which they might experience discomfort and changes in their sleep patterns. Although some parents believe babies tend to sleep more while teething, we want to emphasize that each baby is different, and individual responses to teething can vary.

We want to help you navigate through some common signs of teething and its effect on sleep:

  • Increased drooling: Babies tend to produce more saliva during teething, which can cause them to be fussier and wake more frequently at night.
  • Crankiness: Pain and discomfort from teething might make babies more irritable or restless, impacting their ability to fall and stay asleep.
  • Interrupted sleep patterns: Some babies might sleep more during the day while teething, leading to fewer naps and longer nighttime sleep, while others could experience disrupted sleep schedules.

Although it’s tempting to draw a direct correlation between teething and increased sleep, we advise parents to remember that teething is just one of many factors contributing to a baby’s sleep behavior. Other factors that can alter sleep patterns include:

In order to better understand how teething affects your baby, we recommend observing their sleep patterns and behaviors over time. If you’re concerned about your baby’s sleep during the teething process, consult with your pediatrician or a sleep expert who can provide guidance on strategies for promoting a healthy sleep environment.

Ultimately, finding the right balance and creating a nurturing sleep environment will help both you and your baby get through the teething phase with ease and comfort.

References, Studies and Sources

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/sleep-more-while-teething

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/Teething-4-to-7-Months.aspx

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/teeth-development-in-children

https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/34/5/641/2281493

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387894/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jsr.12414

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