How Long Does the Teething Symptoms Last?

Updated on March 24, 2008
A.S. asks from Elk Grove, CA
26 answers

I have a beautiful 7 month old little girl. The last 10 days have been awful. She developed a temperature, runny nose, and lost interest in eating solids. I am still nursing, but even that has diminished. I took her to the doctor for her fever and they said she had a virus...keep her hydrated with Pedialyte, (which she hates) and continue nursing. Then a few days later, she got diarrhea and has had it now for 11 days. No more fever, but still not much improvement in apetite. Lots of people tell me she is teething, so I bought the Highland teething tablets to see if this helped the symptoms. I have not seen much improvement. She will only fall asleep while nursing and won't have anything to do with her co-sleeper. So she sleeps right next to me. I am at a loss for what I am doing or not doing. Are these normal symptoms for teething? How long does it last? Should I take her back to the doctor for the loose stools...?? I have purchased teeting rings to help with her gums...but my biggest concern is the diarrhea. When I took her to the doctor last they did a fecal exam...but they have not contacted me with results as of yet...this was almost 4 days ago. The one thing that helps me feel better is that she is still in good spirits. Should I just let this run its course?

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V.V.

answers from San Francisco on

I read somewhere that babies who are teething can get diarrhea because of all the saliva they produce and end up swallowing. It can upset their tummies. My baby ended up puking a bunch.

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J.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I would definitely bring her back to the doctor. 11 days of diarrhea seems pretty extreme. Hope she gets better soon!

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E.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,

The reason people are telling you it's teething is because there is a myth that teething causes fevers, runny noses, diarrhea, and other "sick" symptoms. Your sweet baby has a virus just like the doctor said. The discomfort of teething will cause your baby to put her hands, and other objects, in her mouth more often. This is how she gets exposed to the germs that are making her sick. Teething tablets may help sooth her gums but the only way to help her with her other symptoms is to wait it out patiently, keep her hydrated, keep her hands clean by washing them often with soap and water, sanitize her toys and anything else she might put in her mouth so she doesn't get another virus or bacterial illness from everything that she touches.

Also, be aware of who is touching her. If someone who has a cold wants to hold her you can tell them to please wait until they are better. You can also request others to wash their hands first. Don't worry about people thinking you are being paranoid or overprotective. It is your job as mom to do whatever you can to keep your baby happy and healthy. Kids, especially school-age kids, come full of germs because they are exposed to so many people each day. They should change into clean clothes and wash their hands as soon as they get home. You can't protect her from every germ but you can reduce her exposure through good hygiene.

I hope this is helpful.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Teeth move up and down while they are coming in so, they can cause pain and symptoms and then they can go away for a while and come back. Sometime they can take weeks and months (the "I" teeth) to cut through the skin. It is normal for the baby to revert back to more infant behavior and be especially clingy and want to nurse a whole lot more. According to our MD, pedialyte is a last resort because at that age it is a little hard for them to digest because of all the sugar, which does cause diarrhea. So if you can, stop the pedialyte and drink lots of water and some nursing mother's tea to make more breast milk to keep up with the demand. If you don't like the tea, you can also use fenugreek tablets from the health store. Looser stools than normal are a part of teething, but the addition of the pedialyte may have made it worse. If you can try to remember the timing of the start of it, maybe you will see a correlation. Another thing you can do for the runny nose is use a saline spray tow or three times a day. This will help prevent infections because the bacteria can't live in salty conditions. My daughter doesn't like having it done but it really helps. She's 11 months old and cutting her ninth tooth, but has never had an infection. I hope your daughter feels better soon.

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K.B.

answers from San Francisco on

A.,

every baby differs in their symptoms of teething. My son started at 7.5 weeks old and two of his teeth came out about one month to two weeks ago. He is 6.5 months now. Looser stools are normal due to the excess saliva with drooling, however, diarrhea is not. Also, cold symptoms and fever are not synonymous with teething. Some Moms's report a low-grade fever but I am told medically it is not a sign of teething. You should see a doctor asap to air on the side of precaution. My son is going through painful long episodes of teething, is on solids now and no longer has the loose stools he had pre-solids (pre- 5.5 months). My doctor said if there is diarrhea he should be seen immediately. I hope this helps. As for how long the symptoms last, it also varies. Usually when they first cut teeth it subsides for awhile and then the other teeth come in easier. I am finding the opposite with my son. His top teeth ~ front and lateral will be through very soon and these have caused more discomfort than his two front bottom teeth. Also, i think it is very comforting to let them fall asleep while nursing. It is a very disconcerting time for them. At least your daughter knows you are comforting her. I hope and pray all goes well! Blessings!

PS...Be aware of topical gels as they can interfere with breastfeeding. Infants tylenol is safe and works great! 1x every fours hours if needed, max 4x daily. It also comes dye free. I use this with my son and it is the ONLY thing that gives him relief when the pain is really severe.

PPSS...If you have to, pump your milk and keep giving her breastmilk regularly through the day through food or cup if she will not take the nipple. I had to do that today with my son as he went on a morning nursing strike.

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M.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I would get oral gel for the teeth it works great.

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E.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,

My son at 4 months had a cold until he was about 7 months! He had a terrible time with it so I did everything humanly possible to help him since there was no medicines to give him. I propped his crib matress up with a long pillow and that really helped his breathing! also did the vix vapor rub on the bottom of the feet (make sure you put p,j's on that cover the feet so she can't touch the rub. This helps settle the cough within 5 min.'s and really helps with sleeping. Also I used a humidifier every night. But with just water don't add anything (except 5 pinches of salt.)This will help with her runny nose. As far as the stools, my doctor told me when my son had a virus that it could last up to 10 days, so it should be going away soon. If not definitely take her to the doctor again. Also you can try the pedialyte popsicles! This will not only help with dehydration but also her teething! (since she doesn't like to drink it.) Just some suggestions! Good luck! :)

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R.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I work for a Pediatric Dentist. Teething can be very uncomfortable. Not sure about the diarhhea but to ease the discomfort put a wet washcloth in the freezer for a few minutes and rub it on her gums. If it is too cold just try a cold wet cloth. A low grade temp under 102 can be normal and can last for a few days. Usually once the teeth break through the gum tissue the discomfort is lessened. Rubbing the cloth is soothing. Baby orajel is very temporary and will not give you lasting results. It sounds like she could have something viral with the long lasting loose stool but every child is different. The antibiotics can do that too.
Tylenol or motrin for the discomfort is fine.
Good luck.

R.

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A.W.

answers from Modesto on

Well I know what your going through both my kids are teething at the same time I have a two year old and a one year old. As far as pain I would give them tylenol or motrin for pain it would help. Have you tryed a frozen waffal for her to bite on it worked for me it helps the pain for the gums.
I hope I was helpful.

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T.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I am not a health professional, but from what you describe it sounds like she is more than teething and is sick. The diarrhea doesn't sound great. Is she getting enough fluids? Have you tried just water?

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M.C.

answers from Fresno on

A.,
I will tell you the diarreha is not a normal effect of teething. Teething does last until they are over one years of age since this is the time when the molars are coming through. But 11 days of diarreha is not normal and she should be seen for medical evaluation, and you should ask them about the fecas exam. She could have rotovirus which will need medication. But definitely, it is not related to teething.

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S.H.

answers from San Francisco on

People like to tell others with babies that it is teething. Since all symptoms of teething are lso symptoms of emotional and physical problems, I think this is counter intuitive. Has she had teeth coming in? I was told my daughter was teething from the time she was 3 months old for everything that ever happened. She didn't get her first teeth til she was 11 months old. People tend to say "oh she must be teething" when they don't really know what is going on. You daughter has definately had diarrhea for a long time, and you should be calling your doctor daily to ask about the results of the test. You should keep you pediatrician updated on her condition. SO you went 4 days ago and they didnt tell you anything? You should have a pediatrician that you really trust too. It is an amazing relief to have complete faith in your pediatrician.

When my daighter was teething, she nursed constantly, as it was comforting and the light pressure of the nursing made her teeth feel better. I gave her infant tylenol drops, but only 1 mL about twice at day MAX (I think these drugs are not the best thing for babies). I also used the hyland tablets, which worked a little. The tylenol was for when it was really bad. Also when my daughter was teething she was not in good spirits at all. She was grumpy cause she had a constant tooth ache. I think if you daughter is in good spirits is isn't teething.

Haveyou added anything to your or her diet in the days before the diarrhea started? Acid food like oranges, not ripe mangos and too many tomatoes gives my daughter diarrhea.

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J.R.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is six months old and just got over a virus that fits this description exactly. When she broke out in a rash the doctor was able to confirm it was roseola although she said not everyone gets the rash. She was infected from her cousins who had the runny nose and loose stool combination but were rash free. It lasted for almost two weeks and she lost a half pound. I tried teething tablets as well at first before we went to the doctor and she got no relief. The only thing that seemed to help her was motrin around the clock and benadryl at night.

As long as she is still having wet diapers you know she is drinking so I would let this run its course. Maybe try a little motrin or tylenol when she is grumpy to see if that helps her sleep.

Hope she gets better soon.

J. R.

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B.S.

answers from Salinas on

Have you taken a pregnancy test? Moms who are nursing their babes often see diarrhea and loose stools when they get pregnant. Also, it could be loose stools because she's nursing more and eating less solid food...The fewer solids that go in...
Good luck! Try Calendula for her gums, it works wonders! We just got through a huge molar battle with our toddler and the Weleda Calendula toothpaste really helps.

Keep up the nursing! It's the best thing for her right now!!

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S.D.

answers from San Francisco on

In my experience with teething with both my kids the symptoms were diarrhea, severe diaper rash, drooling, and fussiness and discomfort. I don't remember loss of appetite or change in eating habits. But it does go on for months and months with no sign of teeth. One thing I would caution you against though is the teething rings. It seems a lot of these plastic products contain chemicals that are harmful to our children and are associated with early puberty.

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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

11 days is a long time to have diarrhea and a loss in appetite, especially for a 7 month old. I would make an appt with her doctor and ask to be seen asap.

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T.M.

answers from San Francisco on

A.,

I have a 20 month old daughter and she experienced much of the same symptoms eery time she teethed. She is actually getting the last four of her teeth and going through this again. When she teethes, she gets watery, yellow stool and this often turns into a diaper rash. Also, she gets a temperature and cold like symptoms. I give her baby medication for that addresses the cold, fever and cough associated with teething. for her,it can last from a couple of days to about 10-14 days. It is painful to watch, bit as long as your daughter remains in good spirits, it will likely pass. Has your daughter been drooling a lot? This is a real tell-tell sign of teething.
Best of look!
- T.

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T.F.

answers from Stockton on

I can't see the other responses. But, if no one else has said this, go to the doctor!!!!! That's not teething. Diarrhea for 11 days is not okay. Hope all is well.

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T.T.

answers from Yuba City on

My son is 5 months and has been cutting teeth for the last 3 weeks. Infant tylenol is wonderful; orajel is great for the gums as well, wet wash cloth, and if all else fails, dip his binking or your finger in ice cold beer or whiskey and rub it on his gums. That works wonders. As for the Pedialyte, mix them, a plain one with a flavored one and make it warm. This was the only way my son would drink it. He doesn't drink his formula cold or luke warm either. There are several viruses going around so it is very possible like my doctor to us, he'll get them back to back for til about April or May.

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N.P.

answers from Modesto on

Hi A.!

Gosh!!! Teething can seem to last forever! As soon as you think it's over, they are teething again. I feel like my boys teethed until they were 2 1/2 years old!

My nephew is your son's age, and teething NON-stop! Oh my...the drool coming out of that sweet little one is all over the place! It reminds me of my boys when they were teething.

Teething toys were "boring" for my boys. They were never interested in them at all! I used to keep a wet washcloth in the fridge and let them chew on it. They loved it! At one point I had 3 at a time in the fridge to use as often as needed.

Also, if you don't have one of those "food nets"...get one! They are new since you've been a mom last :o) They look like a rattle (sort of), but they have a net on top of the handle! A wonderful thing for a baby! You can put new foods inside the net, which is perfect for his age. When my boys were teething, I would put cold, cut up apples inside the net...THAT was a favorite for teething. But, any cold fruit that's allowed can work.

Between the washcloth and the foodnet, my boys were set with "teething comfort". I would use these "tricks" in between the Teething Tablets that they sell now. The dosage is very safe, but doesn't work on really bad days. I remember giving my boys 1-2 tablets every hour, as needed, but only in a 24 hour period. It goes over the recommended dosage, but they survived :o) Tylenol, Motrin were not enough some days, so I used those Teething Tablets very often on bad days. My sister follows the dosage EXACTLY as written on the bottle. Her son hardly gets comfort from them, poor thing.

Someone wrote in about teething not too long ago, and there was some great advice given to that new mom. I'm sure you'll get some other great "tricks" for you to try.

God Luck, A.! Congratualtions on being a "new mom" again :o) I'm 42, and have been re-thinking a new baby lately! Yikes!!! You have been put on the "pro" side of my list :o)

Oh yeah, I wouldn't be too alarmed about diarreah. My boys had it for a week at a time during teething. As long as you make sure he gets fluids, then you won't have a dehydrated son on your hands. Some kids DO have regular sysmtems of teething, and that's one of them!

N.

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L.S.

answers from Stockton on

Dear A.:
Fever and diarrhea can mean infection. Did the dr. check her ears?
Diarrhea alone sometimes is due to the mercury (from dental amalgams) that the baby is receiving via breastmilk.
Do you have any dental amalgams in your mouth ?(the silver or mercury fillings); if you do, you may need to stop nursing.
Tylenol is a bad, bad option prescribed to babies and children; pediatricians and drs. prescribe this choice because they don't know that it weakeness the immune system. When they are vaccinated, or they are sick, you want them to have a strong immune system to fight the viruses right? Drs. who specialize in treating autistic kids, recommend to stop using Tylenol (in any child, autistic or not).
Please let us any update.
Blessings
L.

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J.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I am sorry this has been so difficult for you and your daughter. Teething however does not cause symptoms like this. Diarrhea and fever do sound like possible viral symptoms. I would not expect to see any real change with any kind of teething tablets because of this. I highly recommend natural care to help with your daughter's symptoms. Western medical care is great for helping us with a diagnosis, but unfortunately they often lack in truly safe & effective treatments. If these symptoms persist much longer I recommend natural care- acupuncture (with or without needles), herbs, supplements, etc. I am a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in the treatment of children and see symptoms like this often. Digestive symptoms, flus and colds all respond very well to holistic care.
I also think that is extremely important to keep your baby hydrated if she is having diarrhea. Be sure not to be giving any of the flavored pedialyte as it is just filled with counterproductive sugars that can be hard on her system. Give the unflavored kind or make electrolytes yourself at home (you can google "homemade electrolytes" for different options).
If you have any questions or are interested in natural care to help relieve her symptoms feel free to call or email. Hope this helps.

J. Stevens, L.Ac.
www.yourwholefamilywellness.com

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[email protected]____.com

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

What you're describing does sound normal to me. Teething DOES correspond with low-grade fevers in many kids, as well as loss of appetite/interest in eating, more nursing than usual, more need for close contact and comfort, and changes in bowel movements.

As for the diharrea part, if it's really intensely runny and you see any signs of dehydration, then worry and take action. If it's sick diharrea, then 11 days is way too long. If it's just a different consistency than normal and you see no other signs of illness, then it's plausibly teething. It sounds like you have checked with your doctor and will learn whether it's something more serious. Bear in mind that babies do get dehydrated very quickly, though, and that is always serious.

However, diaharrea is a common part of teething. My son didn't often have truly runny poops like sick diharrea, but he did have the strangest jelly-like consistency poops when he was teething. Really bizarre looking stuff, which we were reassured was normal and which in fact seemed to have no ill-effects other than possibly a bit more redness around the diaper area those weeks than usual. It was consistently that way even through toddlerhood whenever he cut a new tooth.

Have you looked inside her mouth? You may not be able to see the tooth coming in, but you may see that part of her gums are swollen and redder than normal. For some children, the teeth actually move upward but don't break through. Our dentist told me that sometimes they actually move up, begin to break through, and then sink down again. What a torture!

Anyway, have you been using any topical teething treatments in your daughter's mouth? We found that clove oil was very effective for our son, but of course there is also "baby oragel" and that sort of thing. Also we liked the homeopathic remedies for teething (Boiron's is called camelia, I think), as they were very effective for our son. And of course if it's really bad, infant tylenol drops in an appropriate dose. I remember that that helped with the appetite part when our son was really teething hard.

Do keep her hydrated as best you can, and hang in there - giving her comfort and thanking your lucky stars that she is still cheerful through it all.

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T.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I would call the advice nurse at your pediatrician's office. It is not normal for an infant to have loose stools for that long. Diarrhea is not a normal symptom of teething. It sounds like she may still have a virus. The most important thing is to keep her hydrated. There are different flavors of pedialyte, so I would try a different kind. My children liked it better cold than room temperature. It doesn't taste good, so you can't blame them for not liking it. Also popsicles (for her the flavor ice kind in a tube would probably be best) are good at getting liquids in kids. (Also feel good on swollen gums). Our doctor also ok'd gatorade for my son when he wouldn't drink the pedialyte, but he was a bit older, so I would ask before giving her something like that. As far as teething, for both my kids, nothing worked better than motrin. It works quickly and lasts longer than tylenol, so it allows them to get more sleep. The teething tablets didn't work for us at all. Hope she gets better soon. It is really hard having a sick baby.

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C.W.

answers from Bakersfield on

That's so difficult, A., I'm sorry for you. I think your baby probably does have virus. Teething would not cause symptoms so severe. Our doctor insists that teething doesn't cause a fever, maybe just being a little warm, like less than 100. The most important piece of advice I have is that I have found that Pedialyte worsens diarrhea in my children and causes it to continue after an infection is otherwise resolved. Learn the signs of dehydration at Askdrsears.com and try just nursing her for a while and watching her closely. Both my kids' bowels don't "bind up" again until I stop giving them Pedialyte. Good Luck!

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C.U.

answers from Modesto on

I don't think teething is the issue...your daughter is sick with something. She is having extreme symptoms and that does not mix with teething. She might be teething at the same time...that's true. But the diarrhea is a concern...that is not a teething issue. Good luck and hope the bug goes away soon.

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