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The Truth About Teething & Sleep

First teeth can look super cute on your gummy bub, but for many parents teething is not a laughing matter!

  • Are you struggling with sleepless nights and cranky babies because of teeth?

  • I’m here to teach you how to keep sleeping whilst your baby’s teeth are moving.

Quick fact about Teeth….

Did you know your baby’s teeth have been hidden under the gum since life in the womb! All 20 teeth sit there until 3-6 months when teething can start. Expect all those pearly whites to be out by the age of 2-3 years. Yes you heard me right, that could be three years of teething! Before we freak out, breathe, pop the kettle on and follow these top tips to get you (and bub) sleeping through teething.

Signs of teething

  • Excessive dribbling

  • Sore, red, inflamed gums

  • Visible white pearls under the gums

  • Cranky behaviour

  • Increased whinge

  • Rubbing/pulling at ears

  • Flushed cheeks

  • Not sleeping well

  • Low grade fever


There is no denying teeth hurt. There are an awful lot of disturbed nights blamed on teething. Treat sore teeth during the day, not just at night. I recommend considering the 4 C’s

  1. CHILL - iced teething toys, chilled wet face washers for them to suck on, dummies filled with iced water. Avoid frozen items as the freezer burn could cause more issues. Teething gels kept in the fridge (use only as directed on the packet)

  2. CHEW - Chewing helps soothe sore gums. Let them chew on hands, toys, and chilled toys.

  3. CUDDLE - we all need a little extra TLC when in pain. Fevers and runny noses are often a symptom of teething. Treat them with love and extra snuggles in their awake time.

  4. CREAM - Teething often causes a nappy rash - treat the nappy rash with THICK barrier cream. (don't use it delicately!)

Analgesia is used as a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory, both will benefit your child during acute teething episodes. Offer a dose at bedtime to give 6-8 hours of relief.


It may surprise you to hear not all babies struggle with teeth.

Teething doesn’t usually wake your baby but it can make resettling a challenge.

If your baby already struggles with night waking, early rising or short naps your disturbed sleep may be intensified. The best way to stop teeth causing issues? Gently ease your baby into independent sleep.

What to do when I can see baby’s gums are sore?

On days baby is extra fussy, drooly or chewing excessively, gently check inside the baby's mouth. It is usually easy to see a sore, swollen gum or a pearly white already poking out. Instead of freaking out, spend your day ticking the boxes of the 4C’s as above.

What do I do at bedtime when teething is a problem?

When it comes to bedtime, try not to overplay the impact of teeth on sleep. Most babies will fall asleep as normal and cope well.

My top tip is to follow your normal routine and place the baby to sleep as normal. If they need extra support they will let you know. Here at Enhance Sleep I encourage responsive settling - so go to your baby whenever they need you. But don’t jump straight into doing ALL the work. Slowly intervene to meet their upset and once calm try to return to the cot before they are asleep. I like to think of this as offering support, not trying to fix and stop all crying.

Just remember, teething doesn't necessarily wake your baby. But it can make resettling harder. Using the 4C’s and analgesia can reduce the impact of teeth on your sleep.

My top tip was to work on independence in sleep. If you are looking for support I can help you, and baby sleep better day and night. Book a free call and see how we could work together.

Want to know more…. Here’s some research.

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