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What Can I Do When Teething Is Affecting Baby's Sleep?

Thankfully, our child is usually a good sleeper, but now that she’s teething, her nights are totally thrown off. What should we do?

Re: Thankfully, our child is usually a good sleeper, but now that she’s teething, her nights are totally thrown off. What should we do?

The Bump Expert

Cutting an entire mouthful of teeth is a long process -- two to three years -- and the experience of teething varies from child to child. Some babies are very sensitive teethers while others pop out tooth after tooth without any evidence of pain and suffering.

For a sensitive teether, typically the most painful teething period lasts two to three days. During this time, make baby more comfortable. During the day, cool teething toys are helpful. For nighttime, sleep experts Conner Herman and Kira Ryan recommend Infants' Motrin for babies older than six months. Check with baby's pediatrician before giving your child any medication.

If you decide to use a pain reliever, give it about 15 minutes before bedtime, say Herman and Ryan. Then, if baby wakes up at night and lets you know she’s uncomfortable, you can give her another dose if at least 6 to 8 hours has passed since bedtime. Keep these nighttime visits as quiet and unexciting as possible. And if she’s inconsolable at night, do whatever you need to do to make her feel better. She’s naturally a good sleeper, so assume she’ll fall back into that routine after this intense teething period passes.

This heightened pain should subside in a couple of days. But, as always, trust your instincts. Each child is different and you know your daughter best. Here's what worked for Bumpies:

"At night we use Motrin -- it seems to work much better for baby than Tylenol." -- lpinman

"I put baby's teething toys in the fridge. That cold really helps." -- 12105mrsmon

"We tried an amber teething necklace and it didn't help at all, even though some moms swear by them. A frozen washcloth was her favorite. I put several washcloths in water and then ball them up individually and wring them out and freeze them on a cookie sheet. She will chew and slurp on one for almost an hour." -- Tina206

"My daughter has a teether that vibrates when she chews on it. It's the only teether she'll take." -- MJK8

"I had a bag with about an ounce of frozen breast milk in it. I'd break off a little chunk with a spoon and give it to baby to eat." -- lisab612

"Every time baby is done teething, her sleep habits go back to normal without us doing anything different." -- mamaL

Experts: Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, cofounders of Dream Team Baby and coauthors of The Dream Sleeper: A Three-Part Plan for Getting Your Baby to Love Sleep

sleep experts conner herman and kira ryan Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, cofounders of Dream Team Baby

Q&A: Teething affecting baby's sleep?

Or little one is fighting his naps like crazy, but sleeping through the night fine, could this be a side-effect of teething as well?

dreamingforJesus |

Q&A: Teething affecting baby's sleep?

Sounds like your little one is too curious and stimulated for those day time naps. We had the same issue. At first we continued to try and force a sleep schedule. But we ended up kind of letting him decide for himself when it was time for a nap. I don't know if that's the recommended thing to do. But we feel like now at 7mos he's learned that when he is. sleepy he should go to sleep. And he still takes two naps a day on his own. And he sleeps well.

nqualls77 |

Q&A: Teething affecting baby's sleep?

My 8 mo old son was horrible at sleeping, He had his nights and days completly mixed up! He would sleep on and off during the day - but at night he would want to be up. Since I went back to work my fiance has made sure our son only takes 2 or 3 naps during the day and we make sure that we keep him up and busy until he is really tired, That has been working to where he'll go to bed around 8 or 9 and sleep basically through the night and only up twice for bottles. So far so good! :)

Heavenly5243 |

Q&A: Teething affecting baby's sleep?

My baby is crying every night and he sleeps just four hours.I was worried about this and I went to Dentists Tucson center where a doctor told me that my baby is in the teething period and this is why he can't sleep as he has pains.He recomended me to buy some special teething toys in order to calm him.

AidaRoRo |

Q&A: Teething affecting baby's sleep?

Make her chamomile tea. Use her distill water and chamomile with a pinch of sugar and it should do the trick. The chamomile is a perfect agent to make her sleepy as well as an anti-flamatory so it helps with her teething. And you do not have to give much, two ounces before her milk should do the trick. Make sure not to buy the packed tea as though may come with other ingredients just buy plain chamomile.

flordaliza |