Your baby’s first teeth can come in anytime between four to 12 months of age. The first to emerge are usually the lower front teeth.

It’s exciting to see his first pearly whites erupting, but the teething period may also be a time of discomfort.

How to Know Your Baby's Teething

Grouchy baby

Has your bundle of joy been extra irritable and cranky lately or whining more than usual? This could be a sign that his teeth are ready to come in. The crux is to spot changes in behaviour. For example, he cries more easily or is more short-tempered than usual.

He may also be fussier and more restless at night when there are fewer distractions from the discomfort. This could disrupt his (and your) sleep. Soothe your little one by cuddling and playing with him, or comfort him by shushing, hugging, or rocking him.

Drooling baby

Babies drool—it’s normal but if your little one seems to be drooling excessively, it could mean he’s starting to teeth.

Gently wipe the drool off with a clean, soft towel to prevent drool rash and further discomfort. Bibs also help to catch the drool and keep your baby’s clothes clean, so pack extra in the baby bag!

Bitey baby

Your baby’s unerupted teeth might cause his gums to be more sensitive. Look closely and you might even spot tiny bumps where the teeth will eventually emerge!

Your baby might want to bite and chew anything he can get his little mouth on.

Other signs? He might even refuse to eat because his gums hurt.

  1. Give your little one something to chew on, like teething rings, chilled rubber teething toys, and hard biscuits or rusks. Make sure the rings/toys are clean before passing them to him!

  2. Rubbing or massaging his gums with clean fingers or a cold towel can also help.

  3. Done everything you can do and still can’t soothe your baby? Talk to your paediatrician about pain-relief meds. Avoid giving your baby over the counter teething gels.

Related: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

3 Teething Myths

Your baby will get a fever and diarrhoea when he’s teething.

Teething isn’t often tied to fever and diarrhoea. If your baby is feeling feverish or having diarrhoea, do take him to a doctor.

Rubbing brandy on your baby’s gums will soothe the ache.

You might have heard this “old wives' tale” from your grandparents, but don’t try this! Any amount of alcohol is unsafe for your little one.

Teething is always a terrible experience.

Not true: some babies breeze through the teething period with hardly any fuss. You might not even spot any signs before tiny teeth start erupting.

Related: Tooth Anatomy and Decay

When to Bring Baby to Your Doctor

If your baby has fever, diarrhoea, and/or loss of appetite, do visit your paediatrician for peace of mind—especially if the symptoms do not get better over the next few days. And if your baby hasn’t had his first tooth by 18 months, take him to a dentist.

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.

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  5. Teething: Your Baby's First Teeth. (2017, February). Retrieved November 2018 from
  6. Celia Shatzman. (2018, April 4). Everything You Need to Know About Teething. Retrieved November 2018 from