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Night waking and teething

Time and time again I hear the reason for a baby waking at night is from Teething.

Many parents falsely believe that teething is the cause of the sudden onset of night-waking behaviour in a baby of around six months, but in most cases the real cause is the start of night-time sleep cycles.

Find below some information on how you can tackle teething with your child.  

Teething tips

I believe that if you put your baby to bed at 7 pm and she goes to sleep in her normal way but wakes again within the hour crying an emotional cry, teething could be to blame, but this is only if it is a one-off waking and not a habit. If this is the case I suggest you get your baby up and give her whatever you normally would for pain; a homeopathic rescue remedy for teething, some baby paracetamol or whatever you usually use for her. Then keep your baby up for twenty minutes before putting her back to bed. 

Don’t give your baby any new medications at night-time in case she has an allergic reaction.

If your baby wakes more than an hour after going to sleep then I am less likely to believe that movement of teeth is causing the problem because sleep decreases blood pressure, which causes pain tolerance to increase. While you are awake your blood pressure gets higher which causes your pain tolerance to get lower; this is why you can go to bed with a headache and sleep well all night, then wake in the morning and think it has gone only to realise it is back about an hour later as your blood pressure rises.

Teething is also blamed for nappy rash and diarrhoea by a lot of parents. I too have seen first-hand a baby with nappy rash or diarrhoea one day and no symptoms but a new tooth the next, however a medical connection between these events has never been found. I have also seen some babies repeatedly get an ear infection before they get a tooth but this is very rare and there is no evidence the two are connected either.

So please tread very carefully before going down the track of giving your baby reassuring cuddles and walks around the house based upon beliefs that teething causes night waking. These actions are often instead the start of an ongoing sleep problem.

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