Let’s Talk Teething

If you follow me on twitter, you’ve noticed me on there quite a bit lately, imploring other moms to help me figure out what happened to my good little sleeper.

From Thursday through Saturday nights, Hailey was up all night. Well, more accurately, she kept waking up every couple of hours. She didn’t wake up screaming, but woke up with the saddest whimpers. She looked like she is trying to sleep so badly, but that something was making her uncomfortable enough that sleep wasn’t possible. It was so sad.

After two nights on baby duty, David offered to take Saturday night. I accepted. I walked in early Sunday morning to find this:

Super Dad

Both passed out. And holding hands. I’m hoping he doesn’t kill me for posting this, but how could I not?! Melt. My. Heart.

But what was going on? Hailey has always been a good sleeper. Our 4 month sleep regression lasted a night. Maybe 2. And other than that? She’s a solid snoozer. I’ve heard that sleep can get messy when babies reach a new milestone and she did just learn to sit by herself (!)…

hailey sits

But her sleep never suffered with any other milestones, like rolling or reaching. Hm.

We tried our old swaddle and the sleepsuit and it doesn’t seem to matter what she’s wearing to sleep. Nothing changed in her environment or routine. This leaves me thinking it has to be one thing: Teething. Only, there are absolutely no visible signs of teeth.

no signs of teething

So what are other signs of teething? I’ve done my research…

Drooling. She’s been drooling more, but not buckets.

Low grade fever. No fever.

Excessive chewing to apply counter pressure to the gums. Yes, she loves chewing on everything, but I thought it was just her age?

Bulging gums because the teeth are pushing through. No signs of bulging.

Fussiness. At night, yes, but during the day she’s still pretty happy.

Night waking. Oh yes. Definitely YES.

Diarrhea caused by swallowing extra saliva. Nope. No diaper issues.

Coughing, also caused by excess saliva. Yes, she coughs all the time. It sounds like a fake cough and I thought she just thought it was a fun sound, but maybe it’s more?

Lack of Appetite caused by pain on the gums while nursing. Nope; she seems to be eating normally.

Pulling at ears. Occasionally she’ll bat at an ear, but nothing too noticeable.

She certainly doesn’t fit all the criteria, but since I couldn’t fathom any other possibility, I bought some Hylands Teething Tablets.

Hyland's Teething Tablets

These little dissolvable tablets are homeopathic (all natural). They use microdoses of natural medicines that help ease pain without benzocaine, parabens, artificial dyes or flavors. I had heard wonderful things abut them, but was also cautioned because there was a recall of the tablets in 2010 about worry of the amount of belladonna present in the tablets. I looked further into the recall (the company voluntarily recalled their product and there was a thorough investigation that found no conclusive link). I also read more into the concern of belladonna and found that a 10 pound child would have to consume 1000 tablets (6 full bottles) to even get close to the amount to exhibit the first possible side effect of belladonna. Source

I know there is stigma against products not regulated by the FDA and I think it’s important to do research and pick the option that YOU feel most comfortable with. Personally, something being FDA approved doesn’t calm all my fears. After all, there have been plenty of recalls of FDA-approved medicine and even medicines determined to be ‘safe’ have later been found to have adverse effects. Plus, all methods of easing pain seem to have some warning. For example, Orajel numbs the gums, which sounds great, PLUS it’s only topical, but some worry that it also numbs the infant’s tongue and can lessen their reflexes, which might lead them to choking on saliva. Also, there is concern about the benzocaine in Orajel.

At the end of the day, like all things with parenting, I encourage you to find what works best for you and your child and not simply listen to the good or the bad things that “they” tell you.

Personally, I was most comfortable with the tablets, so yesterday I dissolved 2 pills under Hailey’s tongue 3 times (morning, afternoon and right before bed). This is under the recommended dosage, but I started small.

And guess what.

She slept all night long.

It was a challenge to get her to sleep at first, but I could blame the time change, restless nights or teething for that. However, once she fell asleep at 8:15, she slept solidly until… well, now (7:30am) and she’s still snoozing.

I’m so grateful that my baby girl is able to sleep finally, but am still confused as to what was/is going on. I feel like it must be teething, but there are no signs of teeth. And if it isn’t teething, what the heck is going on? Hailey is almost 6 months old, so I know teething is possible… Hm.

Did your child exhibit obvious signs of teething?

What did you do to help them ease the pain?

If it’s not teething, what else could it be?



  1. says

    We had the same 3 nights of HELL last wknd but it went away & still no teeth. But I do see two bulging white spots. After talking w/ some other moms I found out that teething comes & goes. Meaning we could be at this for a long, long time. :(

  2. says

    Poor Hailey! Wyatt has the same exact symptoms- and lack of symptoms as H- but we finally feel/see a pointy area in his bottom gum. I hate that he’s teething so young bc all the teething rings are too big for his tiny mouth. I’m definitely looking into those drops!

  3. says

    In the gums of that photo of your little girl’s mouth, you can see how the teeth is sitting in the gums. So she is obviously teething. Glad you finally got a good night’s rest.
    Teething was also a nightmare for us. My children used to get 3-4 teeth at once. Fever, drooling and sleepless nights was the thing. We used mostly paracetamol syrup for the pain.

  4. says

    Aside from massive drooling G didn’t really exhibit many signs of teething with his bottom two. They came back in early December. But now he is cutting his two top teeth and is in so much pain. Gnawing on everything,fussy, restless, and a low grade fever plus a runny nose. We use Hylands tablets and they seem to provide some relief but we’ve also used Tylenol once or twice. Just five her lots of teething toys to help those teeth come through! Hope it’s over quickly!

  5. says

    First of all, that photo of them holding hands is the sweetest thing EVER! Second, we’ve been very lucky with the Mini Athlete. He had two teeth by the time he turned six months, but neither one gave us too much grief. We used baby Tylenol and he chewed on the teething rings, but that’s about it. I hope this passes quickly for you!

  6. says

    Oh this sucks but I definitely want to get those tablets! My little girl had similar symptoms and then the day she turned 6mo a stuffy nose which we thought was her first cold but nope two little teethers were cutting through!

    Ps adorable photo

  7. erin says

    Teething is a tough one to call. I thought my son was teething for months because he was drooling a ton. We use to keep a bib on him at all tiems because otherwise he would soak his clothing. Still he didn’t get his first tooth until almost 8 month I believe. I know most kids wake up a lot when they are teething, but I can honestly say that at 2.5 my son had never once woken up or been bothered by teething. Part of it may be that he was always a very slow teether. He always got one tooth at a time so he wasn’t dealing with 4 at once or anything like that.

    I have heard great things about the teething tablets. Weren’t they recalled at one point? It was for a stupid reason ike one of the ingredient in excess isn’t good, but your kids ouwl have to eat a few bottle at once for it to be an issue. Did they change the ingredients?

  8. Kaley says

    I hope this isn’t the case for you, but my daughter started with the teething symptoms around 4 months but didn’t get her first tooth til 10 months! It definitely comes and goes. Now she is almost 14 months and we are only at 5 teeth. For her, she gets super clingy and fussy, usually a low grade fever, and nasty blow out diapers-the smell is awfullll. We usually use some baby tylenol if she isn’t sleeping well and seems uncomfortable. She hasn’t been interested in teething rings- she preferred her crib railing :/ Hope this passes quickly for you guys!!

  9. Paulina says

    Sometimes babies will teeth for weeks, or even months, before teeth actually show up. In fact, once the tooth pushes through the gums, the pain mostly goes away so if you see a tooth, the teething has technically ended. (unless of course more teeth are making their way through). My 5 mo old has been teething on and off for about 3 weeks, and no signs of teeth yet. I bought those same Hyland’s tabs and left them with her daycare provider because she gets cranky when the gums start hurting. I’ve had luck with the “Naturals” baby orajel when she is really hurting. Most of the time, I just give her a wet, cool washcloth to suck on, or her sophie-teether.

  10. Danielle says

    I’m sure every baby is different. Charlie cut his teeth really early, but never had any signs other than chewing and night wakings. We chose to give him Tylenol because he was so miserable and sad. Within minutes he was back to sleep and happily medicated. I know it’s tough to make the decison to give your baby medicine, but when they’re so pitiful, you’ll do about anything to give them relief. Those first few are the toughest too. This is a sensation they’ve never felt before and it hurts :-(

  11. says

    She sounds just like my daughter did when she was teething. There were no real visible signs, but she did the whining, moaning at night and couldn’t sleep. This was probably about 3 weeks or so before actual indentations of teeth started to appear and then after they sprouted through she didn’t wake up anymore. She didn’t show any tell-tale signs of teething either, which sounds like Hailey.
    Every baby is differnt, trust your gut instinct! Momma’s usually know best!

  12. says

    Just so you know CK teethed for MONTHS without any signs of teeth popping through besides drooling and being cranky and chewing on everything. And he’s doing it again with his top teeth, no sign what so ever but I had to give him Camilia (also natural) before bed for like a week. It’s almost like it goes in waves. One week he’ll be hurting like crazy the next he won’t need anything. So, to me sounds like it’s for sure teeth! Can’t believe she’s sitting all by herself, what a big girl!!

  13. Michelle says

    My daughter has been doing the same thing, I though for sure she was teething. Perfect angel during the day and up off and on all night long. :-( We took her for her 6 month checkup today and she has an ear infection. I feel like an awful mom. The doctor says she must just be tough because she doesn’t show any of the typical symptoms. So no teething yet!(now I am kind of dreading it when it actually does start) I hope you figure out whats going on with Hailey :-) No sleep is no fun for both baby and mom and dad.

  14. Meghan says

    Hey Brit,
    At 6 months, babies tend to go through a growth spurt (so my doctor says) and maybe it could be that. L has for the most part been a good sleeper as well but there are just some days when they are just off their game. It could totally be teething though because L got his first two teeth at about 6 1/2 months and it kept him up for a few nights. The doctor suggested tylenol and plenty of chew toys or frozen wash cloths. I too had heard nothing but great reviews about the teething tablets from my mommy friends but for some reason every doctor and pharmacist i asked was so against them so I chose not to use them. Let me know how it goes! Glad you got some sleep last night!

    • Katie says

      I was going to say the same thing about a 6 months growth spurt. My pediatrician doesn’t recommend any tablets because they (some??) are derived from opiates? I don’t know. I haven’t done my own research yet, but probably should look into it since my daughter is almost 5 months!

  15. says

    Wow I could have written this post!! Kherie has been doing the same thing this week…totally restless at night and waking up in fits every couple of hours and wanting to nurse a lot more. And it doesn’t help that she and I had to make an impromptu trip to Dallas and last night wouldn’t sleep until I put her in bed with me. If she is in fact teething I have a feeling it’s going to be a long road :)

  16. Rachael says

    Symptoms galore here, but alas, no teeth seem to be sprouting for us either. On recommendation from a friend, I’ve been putting a little clove oil on my daughter’s gums at night, and it seems to soothe her – she was waking up every hour or so with uncomfortable cries. Might try those teething tablets!

  17. Stacey says

    We swore by those teething tablets for months! Until my doctor told us to stop using them. There is an ingredient in them that he is not comfortable with–Belladonna. Obvi it’s only in the smallest dose but if you read about it, it might change your mind. It changed ours and we immediately stopped. It’s the Belladonna that soothes the baby and it makes sense why it makes some doctors nervous. Just wanted to let you know!

  18. Rebekah says

    I would venture she’s definitely teething. My little girl Amaré is just a bit younger than Hailey (she’ll be 6 months on April 6), but she started all the things you’re describing probably a month or so ago. They got very intense about 2 weeks ago and finally popped through 2 bottom teeth. I did not see a huge amount of bulging, but suddenly one day I was rubbing her gums and felt sharp edges! They were clear at first but are not pearly white and coming up. She immediately improved w/ sleep (although she never has really slept through a complete night like your Haily–you are lucky!), and felt so much better. THEN it started again about a week later. This time she even had a fever. Then calmed down again. I’m expecting a few more rounds of this before the top ones even begin to budge.

    I think it’s just a long process and it takes some longer than others. Amaré got her bottom teeth just before turning 5 months, while some kids don’t get any for a year or more! It’s a little comforting that they’re all so different so that we don’t feel bad when they’re not doing something the other kid down the street is. :)

    I haven’t tired Hyland’s yet. Since you said it worked, I’m going to give it a go on the next round of sleepless nights, I think. So far my baby girl likes my finger best, then wet washcloths, cold teethers, and orajel when I’m desperate.

    Good luck and go back to sleeping when you can.

  19. Debbie says

    They definately teeth a while before you will notice any teeth. My son is 2 and every time he has new teeth coming in he wakes up the same sad way at night. I tried the tablets and they did help. Now that he is older I give him some tylenol before bed and that seems to work also. Interesting about the pulling the ears…he has been doing that lately and night waking, I keep thinking he has an ear infection but maybe it is his 2 yr molars.

  20. says

    Poor little girl! I hope you have continued success with the teething tablets, I’m totally going to look for those tomorrow! Good luck and keep us posted!

  21. says

    Poor H! Julia really started drooling BUCKETS and her gums got white right before she cut her first two teeth. I could tell she was in pain, so I have her (at the rec of a pediatric nurse) some infants’ Motrin. I followed the dosing suggestions. It seemed to help…or at least help her nap better. Her nighttime sleep was never disrupted (knock on wood!!). As soon as she cut the teeth, she was much, much better.

  22. says

    That might be the sweetest photo ever. I hope her sleep continues to be good, but I think it might be worth it just because you got that photo…..but this coming from a mom whose baby still wakes up 2 – 4 times a night (he’s only 2 months!)

  23. Tara says

    Blurg! Teething! We have a 4.5 month old and you just never know if it’s general crankiness or teeth. I was excited to hear your thoughts on the tablets but then I looked into the ingredients and decided to forgo. Looking up belladonna had me the most concerned. Sounds like it’s a sedative so that could explain why H slept thru the night. However NIH says there is no measure of what’s a safe dose so that’s worrisome. Sounds like overall you’ve been lucky with sleep. Our baby boy is not such a fan and I’ve only had 1 full night. It was incredible! I wish for more soon!

  24. Eli says

    I agree that it might be teething but it could also be a growth spurt. My LO will be 6 months next week and he drools a bunch, chews on everything but I see no sign of teeth either. Hope she feels better soon

  25. says

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for writing this post, my lil guy is the same exact way! I just gave him 2 teething tablets after reading this post and am going to try to do this again tonight at bed time. How long did it take her teeth to come in after she started this?
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  26. Ksenia Harper says

    Thank you for sharing your story. My little one is having most of the signs but sleeping well (so far) but likes to get really upset from time to time while eating. There is drooling/chewing but i cant see anything yet. Any one else having trouble with feeds? We are just taking breast milk from the bottle, no solid foodies yet. Thanks!

  27. Ashley says

    This sounds EXACTLY like what i am going through right now. Can you please let me know if it was in fact teething for you?? We are on day 4!!

    • Brittany Dixon says

      Hey Ashley! If I remember correctly, it was still a month or two before she popped her first tooth! Supposedly symptoms can start early and stick around for a length of time. With Kaitlyn,I’m going to try an amber teething necklace. Good luck!

  28. Trish says

    Loved reading your personal experience. All I can mention is and add to this is that you should definitely check out The Sleeping Baby Trendy Teether’s. My L.O lovesssssss it. She’s chewing on it allll the time. Also, you should def. check out The Sleeping Baby Swaddle Transition Blanket, the Zipadee-Zip. It was such a blessing for me when my girl would sleep through the night.


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