The elusive “teething”

Parents of babies everywhere blame EVERYTHING on teething.

Baby has a cold?  Must be teething.

Baby’s drooling a lot?  Must be teething.

Baby’s putting everything (especially their hands) in their mouth?  Must be teething.

And yet, as with most “milestones,” there’s a HUGE range for when babies get teeth.  Some get teeth as early as 3 months and some don’t get their first tooth until 15 or 16 months.  Julia is over 11 months old now and still has no teeth.  Yet I, like many parents, have convinced myself multiple times that she’s been teething.  I think it’s nice to have something to blame the fussiness or the fever or the middle-of-the-night wakeups on, so teething is the #1 culprit.  Yet I have a feeling it rarely is actually to blame.

Until a few nights ago, Julia was doing great with night-time sleeping.  She was generally getting 11 hours of sleep at night from about 7:30 PM to 6:30 AM but for the past several nights, she’s been waking up at about 3:30 or 3:45 AM.  My normal routine when she cries in the middle of the night is to give her 30 minutes to settle down herself and hope that she’ll get back to sleep.  Usually she falls back asleep on her own and I don’t have to even go in to check on her.  The past few nights though, she’s been still crying at the end of the 30 minutes so I’ve been going in to check on her.  She has been sitting up in the crib, crying and rubbing her eyes indicating that she’s still very sleepy.  The past few nights she has also had a poopy diaper.  So I’ve been nursing her back to sleep and she’s been sleeping in until 7:30 or 8 to make up for the middle of the night wake-up.  I have convinced myself that this night-time waking up (and the increased drool) must be because she’s teething but there is no sign in her mouth that there are teeth ready to make an appearance.  I’m hoping she’ll go back to sleeping through the night regularly since I’m starting to feel like a zombie! Oh teeth, where are you?!?!


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