Teething symptoms in your baby

Red cheeks, drooling, lots of chewing and grizzly baby - sound familiar? Are these signs of teething or something else?


A wide range of signs and symptoms are linked with teething babies. Not all experts agree that these symptoms are actually caused by your baby’s teeth breaking through, but if you have a heavily teething baby, you’re likely to see one or more of these symptoms…


Dribbling – this can lead to redness and dryness around your baby’s mouth and chin

Red cheeks – these can vary from a mild rosiness to bright beacon-like cheeks or a flushed rash

Grizzliness and fussiness a previously chilled baby may suddenly start crying more frequently

Biting and chewing on everything and anything that fits in your baby’s mouth – hands are great (and always available), toys and even the sides of cots or sofas!

Red, swollen or sensitive gums

Disturbed sleep – especially galling if you’ve just got your baby into a great sleeping pattern

Fussiness around food – your baby may suddenly start getting irritable at mealtimes

Some parents believe that the following symptoms are also linked with their baby teething:

Runny nose

Soft or runny poos

Slightly raised temperature – especially just before a tooth breaks through

These last symptoms are more controversial with many experts believing that these are not caused by teething, but just happen coincidentally. Your baby may be in the throes of teething over many months, and so at some point your baby is likely to experience these.

Another theory is that during teething your baby may be more susceptible to infections and bugs.

There are a number of ways to soothe and treat these teething symptoms, which can give immediate if short term relief. Remember, teething will last over several months, and slowly your baby will learn to become more used to the discomfort or changes in his mouth.  

When could these symptoms not be teething?

During teething, don’t be tempted to see all symptoms of illness as due to those pesky teeth breaking through the gums.

If your baby develops a fever (100.4F or above) then you should monitor your baby and take him to a doctor if you’re unable to reduce the fever with infant paracetamol.

While mild, loose stools are likely to clear up without medical help, if your baby has continued diarrhoea, you should seek medical attention. In particular, look out for signs of dehydration, such as drier than normal nappies, dry lips, dry skin, strong smelling wee or listlessness.


Trust your instincts – if your baby’s behaviour changes significantly for the worse, don’t hesitate to visit your GP.

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