Teething Symptoms

The symptoms of teething can vary depending on when your child is cutting her or his first tooth. The vast majority of babies start teething between four and nine months while some babies cut their first tooth as early as three months, while others may start teething as late as one year of age.

Did you know? Teeth start developing while the baby is still in the womb with tooth buds forming in the gums. Some babies are even born with teeth in their mouth!

The individual and very different teething experiences that babies go through mean experts often disagree about the symptoms of teething. However most parents notice some of the following:

Teething stimulates the excessive production of saliva resulting in drooling.

Tip: If the constant dribbling of saliva is causing the skin around your baby’s mouth to become sore and red this may cause a rash to develop.  Try to keep the area dry and apply a barrier cream to protect and soothe the skin.

Note: Because your baby is likely to swallow more saliva her or his stool is prone to become looser.

If your baby is experiencing diarrhoea consult your doctor.


A teething baby is known to bite on anything he or she can get his or her gums around. The pressure experienced from biting is believed to help babies relieve the painful pressure on their gums. At the same time parents may find that their baby refuses to eat or only eats very little.

If the eating behaviour of your baby starts worrying you consult your doctor.


Your baby’s gums are becoming increasingly sore and painful as the little teeth rise closer to the surface. Teething gums may be swollen and red and you might even see little white dots or small openings where the next tooth is about to cut through (if your baby keeps its mouth open long enough for you to have a glimpse that is!)
Your baby may be extra fussy when it cuts his or her first tooth and later when the molars come through due to their bigger size. In many cases babies become accustomed to the sensation of teething and parents find ways to ease the pain of their little ones using a variety of methods.

Note: Sore gums may in severe cases cause fever and are even prone to bleed.

If your baby has a temperature or if you detect bleeding of the gums, consult your doctor.

Ear pulling

Painful gums may evoke an aching sensation in cheeks and ears especially when the big molars start cutting through.
You may see your baby rubbing their cheeks or pulling their ears in order to help relieve the unpleasant sensation.

Remember if you are at all concerned about your baby pulling their ears always seek medical attention, especially if you are not sure that your child’s symptoms are related to teething.


The pain of teething is likely to have an effect on your baby’s sleeping quality and pattern. Babies who suffer from teething pain are more likely to wake up at night when the pain becomes too much. Sleepless nights occur most often when your baby cuts his or her very first tooth and towards the end when the bigger molars come out.


Teething Tips

Here is a quick Checklist to recognise the signs of teething

Teething can be a tricky time, particularly for first-time parents who may be unfamiliar with the symptoms. Run through our handy checklist to help recognise the signs;

Run a clean finger gently around the inside of your baby’s mouth, can you feel a tooth bud at the surface of the gum? Or can you see a tooth pushing through?

Does your baby have sore and tender gums and/or flushed cheeks?

Is your baby showing signs of excessive dribbling and an urge to chew or bite?


If your little one is teething;

Give them something to chew on: a clean teething ring or a teething toy that has been sterilised is ideal.

Try offering the baby a cold bottle of water or milk. This can also help replenish their fluid levels when dribbling is excessive.

If the constant dribbling is causing sore skin, redness or a rash, try to keep the area dry and apply a barrier cream to protect and soothe the skin.

Massage the gums with a clean, cool finger.

As the teething process can go on for up to 18 months, many parents favour products that are gentle – just like Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules and Gel; the natural choice for mums.