Baby Teething Signs – When will that first tooth arrive?
As a new parent there is a mega list of “firsts” that we look forward to, however, teething usually isn’t one of them! For every mother who will boast how they never even knew their child was teething until they found a huge new tooth sitting there on display, you are likely to hear a chorus of despairing moans and tales of weeks or months of cranky babies and sleepless nights. So, when are we likely to spot this “first”, what are the baby teething signs to look for and what can we do to help?
The Common Teething Timeline
As always with small children, there is no hard and fast schedule (some babies are even born with teeth….ouch), but this is a general guide to when your little cherub is likely to start feeling the arrival of teeth:
Around 6-12 months the front teeth (central incisors) come in, usually starting with the bottom two and followed soon by the top two.
Around 9 – 16 months the lateral incisors for top and bottom should come through after the front teeth and that eight toothed munchkin will be wanting to use those teeth!
Around 12-18 months the first molars for top and bottom appear (you will be well familiar with puffy gums by this point)
Around 18 -24 months the canine teeth should be showing up
Sometime between 2 and 3 years the second molars appear…. (Sigh of relief, the worst of teething is over!)
The Usual Baby Teething Signs in your Bub
It may be that your usually cheerful child is cranky and in need of a bit of extra soothing and cuddling. They could be off their food a little. They may even wake from sleep in pain (I’m pretty sure all of these would apply to us if our mouths were hurting….). An urgent need to have as many bibs as you can carry for a suddenly excessively drooling child can also be a good sign that teeth are on their way. You may notice, depending on age, your child trying to grind their gums on their bottle or sippy cup.
If you have a child who suffers significantly when they are teething, it can be difficult trying to gauge whether your precious little darling is sick with a virus or an infection or simply teething. Many of the symptoms can be quite similar. Usually, what will distinguish baby teething signs is the presence of those little red and swollen gums accompanied by copious dribbling, flushed cheeks and sucking/gnawing at their hands or fists.
In the same way we as adults have different pain thresholds, those teeth sawing their way through the gums can cause some babies more pain and distress than others, which means an irritable or restless child who could have a slight fever. Some children may even react to the pain with looser than normal stools. Sometimes your baby may pull at the ear on the same side as an erupting tooth. As these baby teething signs can also be symptoms of a virus or ear infection, monitor these symptoms and contact your doctor if you are at all concerned and never leave diarrhoea untreated in an infant if it lasts longer than 24 hours. See this article for more expert advice.
What can we do to help our teething child?
- Cuddles, cuddles and more cuddles! They are in pain and are looking for comfort. One day they will be all grown up and you won’t get all those cuddles anymore.
- A cold damp flannel, cooled dummy or teething ring to chew on. That sensation of pressure on the gum with a little give in it often provides some relief. You can get baby toothbrushes (some come with no bristles and a base/plate so they can’t go all the way down your child’s throat and choke them) which can be used like a teething ring – particularly helpful as the molars come through and will save your finger no end of grief.
- Using your (clean) finger to rub or massage the swollen gums – you may even find your child really trying to chomp down to help massage their painful gums.
- The temptation may be there to use something frozen. Don’t do it! It can do more harm than good.
- If medication is what you are considering, then there are numbing gels which can be applied to the gums and then there is children’s paracetamol to help you through the night (to be used only as directed and not for a prolonged period).
Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.
We asked Australian parents about their experiences with the first baby teething signs.
You are not alone! If you’re struggling with teething, the Baby Hints and Tips community is standing by to share their experiences and put your mind at ease. We asked our community about their experiences with Baby’s first tooth and here’s what they had to say.
When did your baby get their first tooth? How long were they ‘teething’ before the tooth came through? What symptoms did they have? What helped relieve their symptoms?
See other teething tips here.
- My son’s first tooth came through about 9 months. He showed signs of teething at 3 months, red cheeks and lots of dribble, and really cranky. I used Panadol and amber teething necklace. A lot of people say they don’t work, but I swear by it – made a huge difference once he starting wearing it!
- My son got 2 teeth in the same week at 6 months but had really bad symptoms up to a month before. I used Panadol and Nurofen when he was really upset and in pain for the anti-inflammatory in it. I also used Seda Gel and then found Henleys Homeopathic teething gel and haven’t looked back!
- My first baby got his first tooth at 10 months and they came through 2 at a time. He started showing signs of teething at 8 months, he was a good teether and was just really dribbly. I just used Panadol and Nurofen and teething rings. My second baby got his first tooth at 6 months old – he started showing teething signs at 3 months and, he was dribbly and a little bit restless, I used Panadol and Nurofen again but he seemed to be too little for teething rings he just couldn’t hold them but he did like to suck on wet facewashers.
- My son got his first two teeth at about 6.5 months – he showed signs of teething from 3 months… drooling & chewing mainly. He is really good with teething except for the day they pop through then he gets really clingy & emotional. I just use Bonjella, Panadol, frozen dummies and cold teething rings and cold hard fruit, like apples and carrots to chew on.
- My daughter got her first 2 teeth together. She was cranky about two weeks before hand. I used Nurofen and purchased gel from the hospital pharmacy – it was excellent, it numbed her mouth completely and almost instantly for 4 hours. SM33 gel also has the same numbing agent as the hospital gel. She was cranky, off her food and really clingy
- My first – at 10 weeks it started but didn’t get one until 8 months. Cold flannels, gel, Panadol, Infants Friend, cold rings, rusks all worked with her! My second – at 8 weeks it started and still no tooth at 5 months. Nothing seems to work accept Panadol. At times he likes chewing things, especially a dummy – but has never had one because he can’t work out how to keep it in his mouth and suck at the same time lol! LEMON, natural juice from a lemon is a good pain reliever and helps the tooth break through the gums apparently? X
- I bought Farrah’s teething necklace when she was 4 months old. She cut her first tooth at 7 months. I didn’t even know, I wasn’t the one to find it. She had been wearing her amber teething necklace the whole time. I was so impressed I started a business to tell everyone I knew (and a lot more people that I didn’t know) all about how they can help families and individuals in need. My business is Farrah Fair.
- DS got his first tooth at 9 months. He had shown signs of teething for months beforehand but it got really bad, I’d say in the 2 weeks leading up to when it popped through. He’d get unexplainable temperatures, severe nappy rash, rosy cheeks, very irritable and grumpy (especially overnight) he’d chew on anything he could get his hands on and constantly pull on his ears. To help him with the pain we used Medijel (it doesn’t have the same nasty crap in it that Bonjella has) & Panadol and we’d also fill the teats of his Avent dummies with water and put them in the freezer till they were ALMOST solid and give them to him to chew and suck on =) We tried an amber teething necklace but for us it turned out to be a waste of money =/
- My 1st daughter got her first 2 teeth at 10.5 months – no symptoms at all, never a problem when she got any of her teeth. My 2nd daughter got her first 2 at 7 months and was a bit more upset about it but still no real bother just really rosy red cheeks.
- My daughter got her bottom two teeth at 5.5mths. She was a good teether so I didn’t need any gels or Panadol for it. I wouldn’t have even known she got them if she hadn’t bitten me.
- My bubba was teething for about 3mths before she got her first tooth at just over 9mths! She got two at once and is now 13mths old and no more!! Hehehe. izzy
- My dd got her first tooth at 4 months, she started teething around 3 months – dribbling lots, trying to chew on everything, bit of a temp and just cranky overall. I used Nurofen for children, and she also loved the Nuby icybite keys that you put in the fridge
- My son first showed signs of teething (slight dribbling, chewing on hands, very irritable) at about 8 weeks and got his first 2 teeth, 5 days apart at 11 weeks old. By 7 months he had 8 teeth and now he’s 13 months he has 13 teeth :). Only ever used Panadol and Nurofen to help relieve as well as teething rings/frozen facewashers. Oh, and we also gave DS frozen blueberries to chew n suck on for relief =) he loved them and they’re good for him so by far they have to be the best natural remedy we’ve had to help with the pain
- With my sons first tooth he was 2 days before 6 months when I noticed he had a tooth that had totally cut through. He was not grumpy or irritable, his second came in 4 days later and there was no symptoms either. He now has 16 teeth and never once had any symptoms.
- My son got his first tooth at about 6 months he was a good teether, never knew he was teething. My daughter got her first tooth at 4 months she is a good teether too, only dribbles a lot and that is it
- My son started ‘Pre teething’ at 4 months! He had swollen gums and irritability, he got his 1st tooth when he was a week shy of being 10 months old! I have found the amber teething necklace great.
- My First baby got his at 3.5 months – started teething at 3 months. My second got his at 4 months, started at 3.5 months. My 9 month old got his at 4 months started teething around 3 months.
- My DS started teething about 4 months and his first tooth came at 5 months. By 12 months he had ALL his teeth
- Drooling is NOT a sign of teething they drool cause they haven’t learnt how to swallow their saliva yet.. Sore red bottoms and rashes down stairs is NOT a sign of teething either.. I thought it was too but it’s not I learnt it from someone that works as a dental nurse / nurse and has been doing it for over 20 yrs.
- My mini monster got his first two teeth at 5.5 months. Not much signs – cheeks were a bit swollen and a little irritable otherwise was good. Used a bit of Bonjella on his teething ring for him to chew on. He started around 4 months.