“My baby wakes up 5 times a night….I think it’s teeth”.
“I know my baby is teething, so I’m going to nurse him to sleep”.
“My baby has been teething for WEEKS! When does it ever stop?”
Does any of this sound familiar? Then this episode is for you. I’m going to give you MY take on teething and its impact on sleep (or lack thereof!) as well as my strategies to maintain your little one’s awesome sleep while they’re teething.
Want to get your little one consistently sleeping 11-12 hours at night so you can be a functioning human? Join my FREE training HERE!
Hey there, you’re listening to the, My Sleeping baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep. And if you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.
All right, let’s talk about teeth because this is a really popular topic. There’s a lot of talk amongst sleep deprived moms about how their little ones are not sleeping that well because they think that they’re teething. And so, I want to address that claim head on, and I’ll be totally honest with you guys. In my opinion, teeth get significantly more credit than they deserve. They are not responsible for the vast majority of sleep challenges that exhausted parents are typically experiencing. They get way, way, way more credit than they deserve. Here’s the deal with teeth. Is it possible that when your infants or older infant or toddler is cutting a new tooth or a molar, is it possible that that causes some discomfort? Absolutely. But it is never a reason to start feeding your little one to sleep or rocking your little one to sleep or to avoid sleep training completely because the reality is that it might be a slight discomfort at most more often than not.
It’s really absolutely nothing. And the last thing that you would want to do is hold off on your sleep training plan because. Let’s face it, your little one is always growing in teeth. I mean, teething is something that happens on and off for the first two years or so of your little one’s life. And then let’s also remember that when your little ones are older and they start to get adult teeth, and that can also take a number of years before all their adult teeth are in. And, for you to have to wait for all your little one’s teeth to come in. It literally means that you are never going to sleep for the first 10 years plus of your life. If you wanted to wait for even the baby teeth to all come in, you would be waiting for a solid two plus years for that to actually happen.
And I want to the one to tell you that it’s not necessary. And I would strongly advise against avoiding sleep training until, you know, with 100% certainty that your little one isn’t cutting a tooth. Look, if you see an actual tooth in their gum coming through, that will likely the process will likely complete itself within one or two days. And then you can begin. But, you know, I see a lot of families, a lot of parents they think that their little one is teething. And as a result of that, they will resort to helping their little ones fall asleep, thinking that they must be in absolute excruciating pain. And I want to tell you it’s really not necessary because the last thing that you want to be doing is resorting back to these habits that remember our sleep crutches. If you don’t know much about sleep crutch, sleep crutches, make sure to watch, to listen to that episode.
Um, it’s going to end up creating a whole slew of habitual behavioral sleep challenges that you don’t want in the grand scheme of things. So I just want to put it on the record that I don’t think that teething is responsible for the vast majority of people’s sleep woes that at the end of the day, when you have a baby who may be teething, but also isn’t falling asleep independently, isn’t napping. When he needs to be napping, isn’t on the right kind of schedule. Doesn’t have solid sleep hygiene and sleep habits. Like I teach step by step in my online sleep coaching program, the sleep Bible, then all bets are off in terms of what your little one’s night is like. And I can tell you that whatever night wakings you end up experiencing have absolutely nothing to do with teething whatsoever. And I just also want to mention that for a baby to get a fever or diarrhea or get very sick from or very unwell for that matter from teething is actually very, very rare. And so it’s not a normal occurrence for a baby to get sick from cutting a tooth. And so it’s really just important to recognize that the teething, the effects that teething have on babies are actually really not so huge. And what I do find is that when you’ve got a wickedly awesome sleeper, who is, you know, a 10 out of 10 in terms of sleep falls asleep independently, either sleeps through the night on a regular basis, or maybe wakes up once to eat. If he’s younger naps beautifully during the day,
Cutting a tooth
Is not going to make that all go down. The toilet babies that are wickedly awesome sleepers tend to coast through teething without much of a fuss. And I can tell you, I remember when my son was about 13 or 14 months, I kid you not. He was cutting six molars at one time, and I will admit he was definitely a little bit fussier and crankier, not substantially. It wasn’t, you know, crazy, but I did notice that he was a little bit needier, you know, wanted to be held more, just wasn’t as happy as he usually was. But let me tell you something. Do you know what kind of effect it had on his nights? Nothing. It did not affect his nights whatsoever. And that is the norm. That’s the norm versus when you have a baby that isn’t a great sleeper to begin with. Maybe he just doesn’t have the ability to get into that really deep sleep because his sleep skills are just not that strong.
He doesn’t know how to fall asleep and stay asleep independently. And that type of scenario, even a slight discomfort from teething does have the potential to cause extra night wakings because your little one’s sleep skills, weren’t that great to begin with. And so it’s just like, it’s kind of easy for something like for something like teeth to cause a bit of a commotion, but as long as your little one is a solid sleeper to begin with, it makes the effect of teeth on sleep, go down. It just has less and less of an impact. And so if you are finding that your little one’s sleep may be impacted by teething and your little one is just never been a great sleeper to begin with. My biggest piece of advice for you would be to make your little one into a champion sleeper, teach him how to fall asleep independently, put together a sleep plan, get him onto a wickedly awesome schedule so that when he starts to cut a tooth again, he will be able to weather that storm way more easily.
I think the best analogy that I can give for you guys, let’s say that you’ve got to people who know how to swim. One person is a really strong swimmer. And then the other person, you know, may have just learned how to swim, but isn’t, you know, the greatest swimmer. And then you find yourself in an ocean. Two of these two swimmers find themselves in an ocean and there’s, you know, these big, massive waves coming, right? The experienced swimmer is naturally going to fare better in that challenge than the guy that just learned how to swim, that isn’t that great to begin with. But if that other guy was a stronger swimmer, he would have done much better. And so with sleep, it’s no different sleep is also a skill. And so when you’ve got really strong sleep skills and solid sleep habits, the effects of teething, the effect that teething can have on your little one’s sleep is naturally going to go down.
So my advice for you all who are really worried to be making any changes to your little one sleep, because you’re afraid that your little one is just constantly teething and how can you possibly make any changes and how can you possibly explore sleep trading? If your little one’s teething, I want to assure you that teeth never need to get in the way of your little one sleeping. Well, in fact, if teeth are getting in the way of your little one sleeping, well, it probably means that there is a lot of room for improvement in the sleep department, without the involvement of your little one’s teeth. And so there is no better time like the presence to get your little one’s sleep under control, to get yourself a sleep plan. Just like what I provide in my online coaching program, the sleep Bible that will take you through step by step, exactly what you need to do to get your little one sleeping with my day to day support along the way. So I hope that this provides you with the encouragement that you need to know, and the validity that you need to know that teeth do not need to be a Trump card. That teeth are not as big of an issue around sleep, as you might think that they are. And that it’s never a reason to begin helping your little one fall asleep or delay sleep training him. So I hope that this was helpful and you all have a great day.
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listeners. So feel free to DM me on Instagram @myseleepingbaby, or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org until next time have a wonderful restful night.
Want to get your little one consistently sleeping 11-12 hours at night so you can be a functioning human?