The Teething Monster


By Good Night Consultant

Is your baby not sleeping through the night because of teething?

Teething babies: The good, the bad and the ugly

Often these words are heard: “My baby cannot sleep through the night because he is teething really badly!” Most moms want to smack me around a little when I mention that my son took teething in his stride. The sore gums, the drooling, the runny nose, the horrible nappies – all the usual “teething symptoms” were horror stories that I only read about in books. AND my little guy was sleeping brilliantly. Remember that teething and sleeping are two different processes.

The good news: The child is getting teeth! Fantastic, he will no longer look like a toothless little shark.

The bad news: Teething might come with some sleeping problems.

The ugly news: Some parents choose to blame teething for everything that is not going well them or their baby.

Baby Sleep Training and Teething – Could it actually work together?

The question that perplexes most parents is whether their little teething bundle of saliva can actually sleep, or be trained to sleep better, whilst teething. The answer is a resounding “YES!” If parents choose to wait for their baby to stop teething before they actually train or teach him/her to sleep, they are going to wait more than 2.5 years. Since sleep is a skill that needs to be taught to children, the faster they receive the gift of a Good Night’s sleep the better. Watch this video by Dana Obleman on Sleeping and Teething.

Helping your baby sleep through the night

If parents want to help their baby sleep through the night, take restful naps, be healthy, happy and STILL be excited about them cutting their teeth, it is important for those parents to help the baby or toddler by teaching him/her how to sleep unaided. Consider the value of your little one being able to put him/herself to sleep without your help so that he won’t wake you up during the night; EVEN with sore gums. In my experience, I have found that children who have learned the skill of sleeping are able to handle teething and other illness much better.

Teething causes baby sleep problems

Teething can cause a slight regression in a child’s sleeping habits. HOWEVER, parents should be careful that they are not regressing, using “teething” as an excuse. If the child wakes you up because of teething, go to him/her, provide some comfort, give the necessary medication and then allow your little one to fall asleep without any props: no dummy, no bottle, no rocking.

Lastly, a good way to test whether your child is restless because of teething is to think about whether he/she is showing other signs of teething, and whether these symptoms disgruntle your child during the day. If your child is truly teething, teething symptoms will be present at all times, not only at night!