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  • Writer's pictureCandice

Teething Troubles: Is It Really the Cause Behind Your Baby's Sleepless Nights?

Discover the truth about teething and its impact on your baby's sleep. Learn why teething might not be the sole culprit and how other factors play a role.

Ah, the inevitable teething phase - a milestone dreaded by parents the world over. It's often the go-to explanation for everything from inconsolable crying to marathon feeding sessions in the small hours. But before you blame teething on those unsettled nights, let's look a little deeper and uncover the truth about teething and its impact on your baby's sleep.

Average Teething Age and Symptoms:

First off, let's talk timing. While teething typically begins around 6 to 8 months and resurfaces around 12 to 16 months, every baby is unique. My girls didn't get their first tooth until nearly 12 months, and when they finally did, it was their top ones that cut through. Of course they had to be different!  Check out this post for some interesting facts about teeth and when to expect them.

As for symptoms, strap in for a whirlwind of drooling, chewing, crankiness, and yes, disrupted sleep. However, it's crucial to note that these symptoms can also be linked to other factors like growth spurts, illness, or developmental milestones.  

Teething and Sleep:

Now, let's address the elephant in the nursery - how does teething affect sleep? Picture this scenario: your baby's gums are tender, they're drooling profusely, and those budding teeth are itching to break through. Understandably, they're not exactly in the mood for a peaceful night's sleep. Cue the midnight wakings and marathon cuddle sessions.

But...while teething undoubtedly contributes to sleep disturbances, it's not always the sole culprit. Other factors like sleep onset associations, nap frequency and length, and even environmental factors can also impact your little one's sleep patterns. So before you blame all sleep woes on teething, consider the bigger sleep picture.

The Big Picture:

Teething is just one piece of the sleep puzzle. Yes, those little teeth can cause temporary discomfort, but it's usually short-lived. If your baby's sleep troubles persist for weeks on end, something else may be at play, including one or all of the below.

Sleep onset associations: Does your baby rely on rocking, feeding, or a dummy (pacifier) to fall asleep? These associations can make it challenging for them to self-soothe and fall asleep independently when they cycle through light and deep sleep overnight.

Nap frequency and length: Overtiredness and under tiredness can both disrupt nighttime sleep. Finding the right nap balance for your baby's age and developmental stage is crucial.

Developmental leaps: Around 4 months, 8 months, and 12 months, babies undergo periods of accelerated development, which can also lead to temporary sleep disruptions.

Let's not forget that sleep is nature's remedy for discomfort. So, although your little one might be a bit uncomfortable due to teething, sleep is actually one of the ways their bodies heal and recuperate.

So in conclusion, teething may not always be the villain in the sleep saga. If this blog has sparked some "Aha!" moments for you, it might be time to take a closer look at your little one's sleep routine. And if you're feeling overwhelmed and in need of expert guidance, I'm here to help.

Book a free strategy call with me today, and let's work together to uncover the true source of your baby's disrupted sleep. Remember, it's not just about surviving - it's about thriving. Let me help you get your evenings and nights back, and all of you feeling more rested.

Candice x

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