How Many Nights Does Teething Pain Last?

Updated on April 17, 2009
M.A. asks from Cranston, RI
13 answers

Hi ladies,
Just wondering - how many nights does teething pain last? My 5 1/2 month has been giving me a really tough time with her bedtime feeding and I am not sure it is teeting related or not. I am breastfeeding, and she eats for a little while and then starts crying and pulling away, even though I know she is still hungry. She cries on and off for about two hours - this is very unusual for her. I don't know if her cries are teething related. I do see the start of a tooth coming in, this will be her first one. This has been going on for about 4-5 nights now. Just wondering how many nights teeting pain normally lasts? Is it until the tooth actually comes in? And does this happen with each tooth?! thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank you very much everyone for your helpful replies and experiences. It is good to hear what other signs of teething there are and ways to help. To answer some of the questions, she does not seem to cry when lying down or even during feedings during the day. Just the bedtime one. I have tried being more patient with her and comforting her and using a teething ring. The past couple of nights seem to be getting better, hopefully she is on the mend (at least until the next tooth!). We do have a doc appt next week so we'll check on the ear infection too. thanks everyone!!

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answers from New London on

Teething pain lasts on and off for 2 years!!
Seriously- it can take a month or two for that first tooth to finally break through. There is no easy solution.
Motrin is the best for mouth pain. A dose about 1/2 hr before bedtime usually helps them settle down and get some sleep.
Hang in there!

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answers from Burlington on

Hi M. - As with everything else, all kids are different. However, my daughter, now 12 mos, does the same thing when her gums are killing and she's nursing... she will pull away, spit out her paci and wants nothing in her mouth (maybe she'll take a teether, but not always). We used motrin over tylenol generally (once they hit 6 mos, motrin's okay)... It lasts a little longer, so she'll generally get a better stretch of sleep then. I find it helps a ton. My pediatrician said that the first 2 teeth (usually the bottom front) don't hurt as much as the subsequent ones (not the case for us - we've worked hard for all of them), and the molars are even worse (we're working on those now). Also, my experience with both kids is that for some teeth it's quicker, and others it takes a while for them to actually, finally cut through. Throughout the whole process there are good days & bad days. Just hang in there and keep in mind that before you know it, your baby will be a big kid!



answers from Boston on

I second the idea of getting her checked for an ear infection. My son tended to get them when he teethed.

Each kid is different, and each tooth is different. It does get easier on both of you as your baby gets older, though, so hang in there! Ibuprofen is great, and slightly frozen washcloths worked wonders for my son as well. :)


answers from Providence on

I think it happens with each tooth... not too sure. I have an 9 month old and it happened each time for his teeth. He just got both of them within the last month or so.. .and the same thing you are describing happened with us. So my answer is yes, I think it is teething related, especially if you can feel the tooth coming in. I don't know if you usually give you child medicine but motrin or tylenol helps.



answers from Hartford on

While I was working day care, I had 1 child that wouldn't even use a bottle when he was cutting a new tooth. His mom had gotten one of those soft toppped sippy cup/bottle combinations and I had to use the soft sippy cover when he was teething for about a week around the tooth coming though. It was about 3 days before and 4 days after, I think. Others would continue with a bottle regardless. It really depends on the child. Sorry I can't be of more help!



answers from Springfield on

They claim only 2-3 nights but my youngest would cry for a week or 2 before a tooth poked through and with my oldest you didn't know he had a tooth until you saw it they didn't phase him at all. I know my youngest would not eat much anytime he had a tooth coming in. You can try a little tylenol at night it might help I also had luck w/ the all natural teething drops.



answers from Boston on

Sounds familiar to me too, I think my daughter fussed for several days at a time when young & teething. I know several people suggested tylenol or motrin - but I don't think you are allowed to give ibuprofen (motrin) before 6 months so you probably have to stick ith tylenol even if motrin is better. Check with your pediatrician for sure.

good luck.



answers from Boston on


Sorry but there is no way to know for sure if your daughter is crying from teething pain or something else. As her mom you need to be the one who decides if it is bothersome enough to give her Tylenol or not. As for the length again each kid is different and until you see the tooth she could have pain. I would suggest giving her the Tylenol tonight about 1 hour before you would nurse her and she if it helps. Sorry but there really isn't a clear cut answer here.

L. M



answers from Portland on

Hi M.,

The pain does stop when the tooth comes in, and yes, it does happen for every tooth. I think that the first few times seem like the worst, though, at least in my experience. (Maybe because its new to you and the baby...)

Have you heard about allspice necklaces (to use when baby is awake and attended)? I didn't hear about them until it was too late for my girls (just heard about it from some savvy moms). The allspice has tannins in them that make the gums more brittle, and the teeth pop through. The necklaces smell great, too, and can be soothing for babies.

My daughters never chewed on the cooling pacifiers for long, but loved little washcloths lightly wet, and stuck in the freezer for a little while. I also thought the Nyland's Homeopathy teething tablets helped a little, but not on a regular basis. We tried frozen waffles and teething biscuits, too, but I was too worried about them choking on the little pieces that inevitably break off.

As stated above by others, all babies are a little different.(My second wanted to nurse MORE when she was teething, because it soothed her, although she would occasionally try to teeth on me). I like the recommendation to be sure she doesn't have an ear infection, too, although given your babies age and what you said, it sounds like teething. They can run a little low grade fever, and be miserable with teething, but shouldn't be as sick as with an ear infection. Like another mom said, if she is miserable when she lies down, consistently seems to have some kind of pain when she's nursing, shakes her head a bit, and has a fever, best to rule out an ear infection. (That being said, one of my daughters would present with ear infections after having nothing much more than a fever, no "classic" symptoms. They're different!)

Be patient and as empathic as you can- sometimes teething lasts a long time (or seems to when one tooth is coming in right after another). Take heart- it won't last forever. :)



answers from Portland on

Oh my dear, your teething woes are barely beginning !!!
That being said, has she had a cold or allergies?
Ear pain will act that very same way and there little tubes become plugged up quite easily.
Teething pain goes on as long as it lasts.
Can be days, weeks, sometimes a month or more. Depends on the tooth and the babies sensitivity.
Sometimes stops with the emergence of the tooth barely through the gum....sometimes until the tooth is up quite a bit.
One way to tell if it is teething before a tooth is anywhere near visible is to feel the will be soft if the tooth is right there and ready.
There are many comforters for teething these days..orajel has a good ointment to apply to gums.
The teething rings that can be frozen work well for some babies, they chew on them.
At night I would even give childrens tylenol and keep the gum ointment beside your bed.
Sorry, yes, it happens with every tooth ( wait til you get to the two year old molars!!! Or eye teeth!!!)
Five nights is just a token beginning.
There is not much to be done except comfort her as best you can.
Tincture of time and this , too, shall pass.
Best wishes and God bless
Grandmother Lowell



answers from Boston on

It happens off and on until the tooth breaks through the skin. It probably will happen with each tooth, but some seem to be more painful then others. Each child has their own set of symptoms with it too. My son ends up with a very runny nose, almost like a strong cold. It is all from the teeth. My girlfriends daughter has a fever. The symptoms and pain are worst at night. There are less distractions and more opportunity to focus on the pain. It is like being an adult, we have trouble sleeping at night when we are sick or in pain.

Have you tried giving some tylenol to see if it eases the pain (and crying) and see if she will finish nursing? You can also try the teethers (my son did not understand the concept, but my gf's daughter did). The more chance they have to chew on something, the faster they can get the tooth to break through. My son's appetite also decreased during the high point of the teeth coming in and we have had trouble sleeping, so don't be surprised! Good Luck. Our first two teeth came in last July 4th (at 4 months) and we have been non-stop since last August. We are up to tooth number 15 and 16 working their way in.



answers from Boston on

does she also cry when lying down? She might be brewing an ear infection. The pressure of nursing/sucking increases the pressure in the ear and causes pain. Any congestion or fever? sometimes it is worth a trip to the ped. to check it out. My kids got ear infections/colds with each incoming tooth. They say it isn't related, but they did, whether it is connected or not. good luck! (try and nap during the day since you must be exhausted!!!) K.



answers from Springfield on

My husband still tells all his buddies about "Humprey's Teething Pellets" #3.. cheap at Target's pharmacy.

They are homeopathic. They can be eaten or dissolved. If you dissolve them, you can either have them drink it or rub it on their gums.

But, for us it really soothed our baby and made her less fussy.

(They were about $3.00 for a bottle..)

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