- Excessive ear rubbing
- High fever
- Rejecting milk feeds
- Sleep regressions
I remember closely inspecting my son's mouth for signs of a new tooth every day from around 3 months, convinced that his crankiness was a result of teething. Of course, his first tooth didn't emerge for another few months.
While it’s nice to have something to blame for their mood swings, it's crucial to be able to recognize what are, and what aren’t, teething symptoms to avoid overlooking any potential medical concerns.
A prospective study by the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that “increased biting, drooling, gum-rubbing, sucking, irritability, wakefulness, ear-rubbing, facial rash, decreased appetite for solid foods, and mild temperature elevation were all statistically associated with teething”.
However, “congestion, sleep disturbance, stool looseness, increased stool number, decreased appetite for liquids, cough, rashes other than facial rashes, fever over 102 degrees F, and vomiting were NOT significantly associated with tooth emergence.”
Which is why, if you notice these signs in your child, it's important to take them to your GP or pediatrician for a thorough checkup to rule out any medical issues that need treatment.
And, while ear-rubbing can be attributed to teething, it's worth noting that it could also be a symptom of an ear infection.
This study also showed that teething irritation will only occur for a max 8 day period; a few days before the tooth erupts, and a few days after. So if you’ve been dealing with a major sleep regression for more than a week and there’s still no tooth, you can probably rule out teething.
👉🏼 In the middle of a sleep regression? Read our blog on handling sleep regressions.