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Teething and sleep

Ask any parent, and teething seems to be the most common plague impacting a solid night's sleep. But I have news for you...teething actually doesn't impact sleep long term.


While teething definitely can cause a short term sleep disruption due to minor discomfort (1-2 days max), it typically does not affect nighttime sleep, nor does it cause prolonged sleep disruptions.



Let's look at the facts

Teething CAN cause:

  • a slight rise in body temperature (aka a low grade fever)

  • a fussy, clingy baby

  • temporary avoidance of solid foods

  • a 1-2 day minor sleep regression


Teething DOES NOT cause:

  • a severe fever

  • a hysterically crying baby or toddler

  • refusal of the breast or bottle

  • major or prolonged sleep issues

If your child experiences any of the above health of feeding symptoms, please contact your health care professional.



What this means for sleep

You guessed it - your child's sleep challenges are more than likely not related to teething. The good news is, this means you have some control over how well your child sleeps. In fact, you have a lot of control over how well they sleep! Because it's all about empowering your little one with the skills they need to sleep confidently and independently.



How to handle sleep when teething

View teething as any other development related sleep regression. If your already independent sleeper has a rough day or two of teething, and it does impact naps or nighttime sleep, my first rule of thumb is to stay consistent. Your child continues to sleep in their crib for all naps and nighttime sleep because this is where they will get the best sleep, and safest sleep. Extra snuggles are always encouraged.


Teething is most painful when the tooth is cutting through the gum (a 1-2 day period of time). That's when you may notice your child becomes more fussy, exhibits a low grade, is clingy, may seem lethargic, and sometimes can cause a short 1-2 night sleep disruption. Contact your pediatrician for a pain management recommendation if needed.




How I can help

If you feel like your infant or toddler's sleep is a constant struggle, let's chat! I have support packages to help set up a healthy sleep foundation so that, even when those teeth are cutting through, a full night's sleep isn't at stake.


Set up a free 15-minute consultation with me to learn more about how I can help you take charge of your child's sleep again.