Growth & Skill Development
Your baby’s first tooth
Your baby’s first tiny tooth may show up as early as 3 months and as late as a year. The timing may be influenced by genetics, so if you or your partner sprouted teeth at 4 months, your baby may do the same.
On average, baby teeth—also called primary teeth—usually pop up in a specific order: The two bottom front teeth show up first, followed by the four upper teeth. Then the rest of the teeth start filling in until your baby has a full set around age 2 years.
What to watch for
Your baby may show signs of teething for several weeks, or even months, before the first tooth shows up. Teething symptoms occur more often about four days before and three days after a new tooth emerges. Your baby may experience:
- Excessive drooling: All babies drool, but it may really increase when your baby starts teething. Keep a clean cloth handy, because all that drool may cause a rash around your baby’s mouth.
- Fussiness: With achy and inflamed gums, who wouldn’t be fussy? Your baby will be most upset right before the tooth emerges. This can happen any time of the day, so if your baby usually sleeps through the night, that may change once teething begins.
- Tender gums: Teeth breaking through may cause sensitive gums to become inflamed, which may cause discomfort. Some babies aren’t bothered by the pain, but if they are, they’ll let you know! The first couple of teeth will probably be the most uncomfortable for your baby. Things should get better after that.
- Low-grade temperature: There’s debate about whether teething causes a low-grade fever or if it’s caused by an infection unrelated to teething. Be sure to rule out other causes for a fever before attributing it to teething. If your baby is fussy or has a fever higher than 101° F, you should call your pediatrician.
Feeding your teething baby
During teething your baby may reject the breast or bottle because the sucking action can add to her pain. Once your baby starts eating solid foods, she may refuse to eat when her gums hurt. This should only be temporary. If your baby has missed several feedings, talk with her doctor.
Learn more about soothing tips for your teething baby