A conversation we had today at baby massage has reminded me that I’ve never posted anything about teething!
Maybe I never was around babies much, or maybe the ones I did meet had laid-back parents, but from Spain I didn’t grow up with the idea that teething is something terrible and that it causes a myriad of nasty symptoms. So it was indeed a shock to see that in the UK, pretty much anything a baby does is blamed on teething!
Anything from drooling (the salivary glands starting to overproduce, in preparation for solids), to taking hands/toys to their mouth (that’s how they explore the world), to nappy rash, fever, bad sleep, crankiness.. you name it, it’s the teeth’s fault!
So it actually made me laugh when I found an old medical article (say 100 years old?) in which the leading cause of infant death was.. you guessed right! Teething 😬
As much as I’ve looked around, I haven’t found a single study that shows reliably any symptoms related to teething. Some show a couple of symptoms that happen just the day before a tooth comes through (and warns you that any fever should be evaluated, as it’s definitely not caused by teething).
To be fair, I don’t see a problem with blaming things, as long as you still allow your baby to chew on stuff, and as long as you don’t medicate unnecessarily (a pet peeve of mine if you wish).
In Chloe’s case, this is what I’ve noticed: for most teeth, nothing at all. Including having four molars out overnight with me having no idea. And for the four bottom incisors, which are really crammed and wonky, she had one-sided runny nose (see picture) and one night with slightly disturbed sleep.