It seems like teething and being sick go hand in hand, but can’t you have one without the other? Check out 4 ways how to find out if your baby is really sick or just teething!
One of our readers recently came to us with a teething question. She wants to know if it’s a given that when a baby is teething, he or she will be sick. We’ve all been there – your little one is in pain from cutting a tooth, and a monster of a cold comes along just to add insult to injury. Does it always have to happen this way?
It doesn’t. In fact, it’s not unusual for parents to blame teething for symptoms that could actually be something else. If you have any concerns regarding your baby’s symptoms, please visit your pediatrician. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to determining if your baby is simply teething or if he is sick.
4 Ways to Tell the Difference Between a Teething Baby and A Sick Baby
- A low-grade fever with teething isn’t unusual, but it shouldn’t persist. A 2016 study documented by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that a fever (generally considered to be a temperature over 100.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is not caused by teething. An elevated body temperature is normal, however, so if your baby has a low-grade fever, don’t be alarmed. If the fever is higher than 100.6 or doesn’t seem to be going away, it’s time to see the doctor.
- Drooling, loss of appetite, and a runny nose often accompany teething. The first tooth usually shows up between 4 and 7 months, and the day before it erupts through a day or two after, your baby may drool excessively, have a runny nose, and not be as interested in eating (sucking tends to be painful for those sore gums). You’ll also notice that she’s a little on the cranky side. If these symptoms show up out of nowhere, take a peek inside her mouth. Swollen gums are a clear indicator of a tooth on its way.
- Vomiting and diarrhea are not symptoms of teething. While there are symptoms of teething that could also be indicators of illness, there are others that definitely aren’t. If your baby is vomiting or has diarrhea, he definitely has a bug of some sort. Make sure he stays hydrated, and if either symptom persists for longer than a day, a visit to the pediatrician is in order.
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen should help relieve teething discomfort. If you give your baby the appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen (talk with your pediatrician for age and weight recommendations for proper dosing) and it doesn’t seem to help with the pain and discomfort, it is likely there is an underlying virus or other bug your little one is fighting.
Sickness and teething are not mutually exclusive. If your baby has more than the usual teething symptoms, it can’t hurt to call the pediatrician and get a consultation. Fortunately, if it is teething, the discomfort and other symptoms should go away in just a couple of days and your baby will be back to his normal self. In the meantime, offer a wet washcloth or cold teether and soak up plenty of snuggles.
What do you think? Do teething and being sick seem to come together with your baby? Share your thoughts and experiences below!