How To Recognize the Early Signs of Teething

Latest update: September 14, 2018

Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD

Use the symptom checklists below to recognize the signs of teething early on. The signs are usually easy to spot but also easily confused with other issues. Most symptoms are mild and typically concur with other common baby sleep problems.

And not all babies show all symptoms. Some show none at all and will simply surprise you with that shiny first tooth one day.

Baby teething with flushed cheeks photo courtesy by

You may only notice that your baby suddenly stops sleeping through the night with no obvious reason. Then one day you discover the first tooth ... and she goes right back to sleeping well.

Or ... your baby may be the classroom example and suffer from all possible teething symptoms.

In any case, once you know when and what to look for, you will be better prepared ... and manage to avoid sleep troubles.

When can you expect the first signs of teething?

And once it's happening, which remedies are efficient?

Teething signs to look out for

There are three types of symptoms:

1. In and near baby's mouth - most typical of teething

  • Dribbling
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Skin rash or chapped skin around the mouth
  • Urge to put fingers in her mouth
  • Urge to bite or chew on everything around
  • Sore red gums
  • Whitish gum spots
  • You can feel a tooth (gently touch with a clean finger)

2. Body

  • Runny nose
  • Slightly raised temperature (but no fever)
  • Diaper rash

3. Mood

  • Cranky, irritable
  • Restless
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Unexplained crying
  • Less appetite

The in and near baby's mouth ones are clearly the most typical signs of teething. The other symptoms can also occur when your baby has a cold, a viral infection, suffers from fungal infection, etc. But if they happen in combination with some discomfort around the mouth they can point to teething.

Now that you know when and what to look for, you're well prepared to face this important milestone in your baby's development using effective teething remedies.