Could Your Toddler be Teething?


One of the most difficult things about life with a young toddler is that because his vocabulary is so limited, he can’t always tell you in words what is wrong. Blake is almost sixteen months old, and he makes a ton of sounds but he says very few actual words. He’s got the basics – “Mama”, “Dada”, “uh oh”, “ball”, and “mm-mm” accompanied by a  head shake to indicate “no”, but not much else.

For the past four to five days, my usually energetic and bubbly little guy has been rather fussy and clingy, he has not been eating much, and he’s got an occasional junky cough which gets worse at night. He’s also been nursing a lot more than usual. Since Blake can’t tell me in words how he is feeling, I have had to turn into a sort of detective in order to determine what I think might be bothering him. We have not been around anyone who has been sick, and Dylan is not unwell, so those factors lead me to think that it’s something which is isolated to just Blake. That’s all well and good, but of course I need more to go on than just that, because that knowledge does not help Blake to feel any better.

My instinct leads me to believe that he is teething. Even though he did not experience any real issues with teething as an infant, I have heard that the molars that come in during the second and third years can cause considerable pain and suffering for toddlers (and their parents). Some of the symptoms of toddler teething include chewing on everything, excessive drooling, fussiness, night waking, refusal to eat, and pulling at the ears or cheeks. While Blake does not have all of these symptoms, the several symptoms that he does have, taken together, seem to make sense when I think about them as signs that he could be teething. He is not exactly eager to let me poke around in his mouth or even look in there but I did manage to feel his gums and there is definitely some swelling on one side in the back. I can only hope that the molar pops through soon so my sweet little guy can feel better and return to being himself again.