"They have been teething for weeks!"
A phrase that I commonly hear from parents of young babies.
Parents will notice an increase in drooling and that their baby is chewing on their hands and constantly chomping down on anything that comes near their face.
Naturally, parents think their baby is teething!
The thing is, your baby is most likely not teething at two months of age.
Their salivary glands have kicked into high gear, and your baby can move their hands with more purposeful movements as well. Making it seem like they are teething since there is so much drool and there is constant chewing.
Babies learn and discover the world through their mouths. So they will bring anything they can up towards their face to discover its texture and taste.
This also means that your shirt will be constantly wet when your baby is over your shoulder.
And if this is your first baby, welcome to constantly saying "Don't put that in your mouth" for the next three years.
So now there is more saliva flowing, and your baby hasn't quite figured out how to contain it all yet, and therefore, it flows out of their little mouths, soaking all of their clothing every minute of every day.
(Now is a good time to bust out the cute baby bandanas to help soak it all up!)
Also, saliva has disease-preventing proteins. Nature knew that your baby would want to put everything in their mouth for a few years, so it's designed to help your child learn, and stay healthy.
What does teething look like?
Typically, a baby between the ages of 6-10 months will get their first tooth (usually on the bottom).
They might be fussy for a few days, and you scratch your head trying to figure it out and then all of a sudden, you see it! A perfect little top of a tooth poking through the gums.
Some babies get a mild fever that is short-lived, some will get rosy cheeks, and other mild symptoms.
Or, they will be perfectly fine!
The next thing I hear from parents is that their baby has 'been teething for weeks' with no sign of a tooth, but has poor sleep, and states that it's because of these darn teeth that haven't yet declared themselves.
Let's be real here for a moment.
In the most gentle, caring, loving way, hear this; your baby isn't sleeping well because they are a baby and you might need to help them improve their sleep.
Many babies don't sleep well. Many babies do.
But if your baby isn't sleeping well, chances are you are looking for a reasonable explanation as to 'why'.
*Enter drooling and chewing*
The simplest explanation must be that your baby is teething!
Chances are, that's not the issue.
Instead of going on for weeks, with a sleep-deprived infant, and feeling horribly exhausted and frustrated, reach out for some help to see what can be done.
If your baby is about four months, chances are they are going through the 4-month sleep regression, and guess what?
It's a great time to work on their sleep!
(See blog post on the 4-month regression and what that's all about)
If your baby is a couple of months old and is all of a sudden drooling and chewing on their hands as though they are devouring their last meal, chances are, your baby's salivary glands have developed!
Babies naturally explore the world through their mouths and that includes their hands that they can finally, with purpose, bring to their mouth.
It doesn't necessarily mean your baby is teething, rather going through a very common milestone.
Bust out the cute baby bibs and bandanas (and remember to remove them when they go down for sleep), and enjoy watching your baby explore the world around them!
Do you think you might need some help with your baby's sleep? Let's talk!
Get in touch below!