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It must be the teething…..

Teething baby

Teething!!  Have you ever found yourself blaming just about anything you can’t figure out with your baby or toddler on teething?  He didn’t eat well today, it must be teething?  He is really grumpy today, his gums must be sore?  He didn’t sleep well last night because he is teething.  I don’t know what is wrong with my baby….teething???

In my line of work, teething often gets blamed for sleep issues, sleep regressions, you name it, if it has to due with poor sleep, it’s because the baby is teething.   I am not saying that teething doesn’t cause any issues.  I have seen enough babies to know that some babies don’t handle teething well.  I had that baby!  When our daughter was 7 months old, I was convinced that we were going to have to endure the horrors of teething for what seemed like an eternity of months and years.   It felt like our world came crashing down when she was teething!  But there was something else was going on with her besides the teething, she never slept well!  Ever!!

Research has found that teething doesn’t really cause significant pain, at the most some discomfort for a day or two while the tooth is coming through the gums.  According to an article from Science Based Medicine, it is a myth that the new tooth cuts its way through the bone and gum.  In reality a pathway emerges because of the remodeling of the tissue.  So essentially, the gums give way for the tooth to come in.

So I would encourage you to take a look at how well and independent your baby sleeps before you blame teething on the next change in your baby’s behavior.  An overtired baby who doesn’t have independent and healthy sleep habits tends to struggle with everything and anything from travel to illness to milestone development to teething.  If your baby isn’t sleeping well and seems to be struggling with teething, its likely time to implement some changes to teach your baby independent and healthy sleep habits.   I can tell you with first hand knowledge with our daughter, once we taught her healthy sleep habits, teething became a non-issue! While we saw a little bit of grumpiness for a couple days when a tooth was coming in and possibly a shorter nap here and there, it was nothing like what we saw when she was sleep deprived.  She became a happier and healthier well rest baby and teething was just a blip on the radar.

Thank you for reading!  Sleep Well!

About the author

Shannon Glenn

Shannon Glenn is the owner and founder of Sleep Well Children Consulting and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist. She is dedicated to helping parents assist their children and babies in developing healthy sleep habits. With a B.A. in Psychology, Shannon has worked extensively with children and their families for over 15 years in a variety of settings.  She has been offering sleep solutions for over six years.  

Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.

Karianne Wanggaard

Sleep Well Sleep Specialists

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Working with Shannon, I went from 2-3 wake ups every night to 1 or 0. She aligned the plan with my preferred sleep cycle. She was always coaching, never judging. Shannon was great, I have referred MANY people to her! That's the best testament to her work that I can give.

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