Has your baby started getting teeth? Amazing! This is a big developmental leap. However, this change can be uncomfortable and even painful for little ones. Because of this, it’s common for their sleeping patterns to be disrupted. So much so that sleep regression can occur.
There are steps you can take to soothe the teething pain your baby is going through and get them back to sleeping through the night.
The Process And Signs Of Teething
The teething process is made up of five stages which starts at about six months of age and lasts for around two years. Usually, the bottom front two teeth come up first, followed by the top two front teeth.
During this time, parents may consistently experience more difficulty than normal with their baby, with fussiness and irritability being common.
Some other signs of teething include:
- Sore gums
- Chewing on hard objects
Research has disproved that fever and diarrhea are signs of teething, so if this is happening to your baby, don’t downplay it as teething symptoms.
What Is Sleep Regression?
Finally! Your baby is sleeping through the night. You never thought it would happen again, but you’re once more having full nights of rest.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, your little one is waking up every few hours during the night again.
This is known as sleep regression – a baby falling back on old sleeping patterns.
There are many reasons for sleep regression, including mental developmental leaps, growth spurts, a shift in sleep needs, routine disruptions, and, of course, teething.
The eight month sleep regression is often because of teething pain.
Sleep regression can last for a few weeks to months.
Luckily, there are ways to help with teething pain so they can get back to full nights of rest, and you can too!
Tips To Soothe Teething Pain
- White Noise
A bit of soothing background noise can assist with creating an optimal sleep environment for your baby. Happiest Baby explains, “White noise is like a soothing teddy bear…in audio form. White noise can help distract babies from internal discomforts (like throbbing gums) and mask outside disturbances, like passing planes and trucks.”
- Give Them Something To Chew On
Your baby’s natural instinct is to chew on things when they’re teething. Cold therapy will help relieve tender gums. Take a washcloth and dip it into water or even some juice, then freeze it. Once frozen, take it out and give it to your little one to chew on.
- Stick With Their Routine
Don’t let your little one’s bedtime routine fall by the wayside. Stick with the relaxing activities your baby responds to, such as bathtime, massages, and lullabies. Dr Jeannie Beauchamp, a pediatric dentist in Clarksville, Tennessee, recommended in Parents to apply some light pressure to your baby’s gums. This can soothe the tenderness. During your baby’s wind down routine, rub your finger along their gums.
- Wipe Away Drool
Excessive drool can be a symptom of teething. Healthline says, “…letting your baby sit around with a wet face all day can contribute to rashes, which adds to the discomfort at night.” As much as possible try and keep your baby’s face dry, and clean them before bed to make them more comfortable.
When Do You Need To Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth?
Plaque starts building up as soon as babies begin getting teeth, so the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends brushing your child’s teeth from the first tooth.
Use a soft bristled toothbrush with a small head, specially for infants, and a tiny smear of toothpaste.
If your baby doesn’t seem to be responding to any soothing technique and they’re struggling with teething pain, there are medicines available such as ibuprofen. However, you should always consult with your healthcare provider before giving your baby medicine.
Sleep regression is no picnic! For both you and your baby. Teething is an uncomfortable time for your little one. Patience, understanding, and lots of extra cuddles can go a long way. Soon your baby will be back on track and sleeping through the night.
There are so many things that can impact your baby’s sleep quality and quantity. To learn more about sleep and how feeding has an effect on how your little one sleeps, get my book Baby Settler: It’s Not Just About Sleep.