How can I tell if my baby is teething? Teething

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baby chewing on teething ring
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Sometimes it's hard to tell whether your baby's pearly whites are starting to move in or if he just has the sniffles. Experts and moms share what to look for so you know when baby's teething.

The Average Age Is About 6 Months

"The two front teeth, known as the central incisors, are usually the first to appear at around 6 months. Infants who are teething may have excessive drool, be a bit fussy, have a low-grade fever, and want to chew on everything! However, infants who are fussy and inconsolable and have a fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit should see their primary care provider and be evaluated for other illnesses." -- Marceé J. White, MD, FAAP, Children's Health Center at THEARC, within Children's...

"The two front teeth, known as the central incisors, are usually the first to appear at around 6 months. Infants who are teething may have excessive drool, be a bit fussy, have a low-grade fever, and want to chew on everything! However, infants who are fussy and inconsolable and have a fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit should see their primary care provider and be evaluated for other illnesses." -- Marceé J. White, MD, FAAP, Children's Health Center at THEARC, within Children's National Health System, Washington, DC

He Might Resist Feeding

"The pain from teething might cause your baby to reject solids or milk for a couple days, pushing a bottle away or pursing the lips as the spoon approaches. And, unfortunately, teething pain is often worse at night -- not only is there less around to distract your baby, but pressure naturally increases in the head when we lie flat, making inflamed gums more noticeable." -- Steve Silvestro, MD, pediatrician at Georgetown University Hospital and Metropolitan Pediatrics, Bethesda, MD

Swollen Gums

"When a tooth is about to come, you'll see a change -- the gum will be more swollen than usual, or it might even look a little bruised. Sometimes, though, the only visible sign is the obvious one: the top of a tooth poking through."

Chewing and Cheeks

"My baby was chewing and gnawing on everything, very irritable, pushing his food away, and had rosy red cheeks and a nice diaper full of diarrhea before every tooth he cut."

Sharp Bumps

"Rub your index finger on her top and bottom gums. If you feel a hard or sharp bump or more than one, it's most likely a tooth breaking through and she's starting to teethe. Extra drooling is another sign."

Don't Expect It to Happen Right Away

"Sometimes it takes forever for them to pop out and the symptoms will come and go for months with nothing. My son started teething at 13 weeks but didn't pop a tooth until 5 months."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.