As a sleep consultant, the number one reason parents give me for their childrens poor sleep, is teething. Many parents claim that teething disrupt their childs sleeping patterns. However research shows that teething doesn´t affect sleep as much as we think it does.

Your child could possibly be suffering from sore gums, she could possibly wake up more often due to discomfort or she could possibly be more irritable and cranky due to some teeth coming out.

BUT she could just as likely be irritable and cranky due to lack of sleep and poor sleeping habits. She could just as likely be waking up at night becuase she has not learnt to be an independent sleeper.

Your baby will be teething for the majority of the first two years of life. If we change the rules/routines every time we see (or think we see) a tooth coming through, there will never any consistency in your baby´s night time routine and your child will end up getting more confused about sleep time. Remember, even just one or two nights of changing the rules can be enough for your baby to start waking up again.

In fact, well-rested children handle their teething discomfort much better than children who are overtired and battling fatigue. If you think your child´s teething may be disrupting her sleep, the most important thing you can do it remain consistent with your routine.

Signs of teething

• Low grade fever
• Increased drooling
• Diaper rash
• Increased sucking
• Increased biting
• Pulling on his ears
• Decreased appetite

My advice

If your baby is waking up a lot at night, or has trouble falling asleep but doesn’t seem to be in pain, stick to your regular sleep routine where possible. If you change her routine, even for a short time, she may have trouble getting back on track.

If you suspect your baby’s gums hurt, you can soothe them by running a cold finger over her gums to ease the pain temporarily. Or you could give her something cold to chew on, such as a teething ring that’s been in the fridge.

Make sure it’s not something else that is upsetting your baby. Ear infections are often mistaken for teething. If your baby has a fever or any other signs of illness, take her to your doctor.