One of the most exciting parts of a child's development is when his teeth appear, which can take place as early as 4 months of age. However, teething can be an uncomfortable stage for babies; while they can't tell you they are teething, there are several signs that may indicate the process is underway.
All babies drool. The amount of drool from one that is teething, however, will be noticeably more; sometimes, the drool will seem to run from the baby's month in a never-ending stream.
Another sign that a baby is teething will be fussing and an increase in irritability. Even the most angelic of babies may cry and fuss when teething.
Awake at Night
Even if a baby isn't fussing because he or she is teething, the irritation may be enough to change sleep patterns. Babies who formerly slept much of the night may abruptly start waking up at odd hours. The disrupted sleep can last as long as teeth are coming in.
One of the most obvious signs that a baby is teething can be seen on the inside of the gums. The incoming teeth may make the gums bulge out, especially on the bottom teeth.
A teething baby often will bite and chew on anything within reach --- fingers, hands, washcloths or toys. A mother who is breastfeeding will find herself a particularly favorite object for biting by a teething baby.
It sometimes is claimed that teething can cause loose stools, a lack of appetite or diarrhea in teething babies, but Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a well-known and respected pediatrician, said teething at best is an indirect cause of such symptoms. According to Brazelton, an infection likely is the cause of such symptoms, with teething possibly making a child more susceptible to infection.
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