Do Babies Sleep More When Teething? | A Guide for Parents

do babies sleep more when teething

When your baby is cutting their first teeth, it’s uncomfortable. It’s no wonder they’re fussy and their regular schedule, including sleep, has gone out the window. If your baby is sleepier than usual as all this is happening, you might be wondering: do babies sleep more when teething?

In this article, we’ll dive into how teething affects sleep and give you ways to cope with all of the changes. Soon enough the pain of teething will be over and they’ll be smiling bright and sleeping tight!

Table of contents

Teething basics: What to expect the first year

You won’t see them for a little while yet, but when your baby is born they’ll have about 20 teeth under their gums. One by one the teeth will break through until, by the age of three, all of their “milk teeth” will be on display.

That’s a lot of activity in a short time and, as we said, it’s sure to affect your baby’s moods and routines, including sleep. But before we answer the question, “Do babies sleep more when teething,” let’s take a look at when to expect their first teeth.

Central incisors

The lower central incisors (the two teeth in the center at the bottom) will appear between six and ten months. Their counterparts on top follow quickly behind between eight and 10 months.

Lateral incisors

Next up are the lateral incisors — the teeth that flank the central incisors. The top lateral incisors will appear between nine and 13 months and the bottom between 10 to 16 months.

First molars

The molars will come soon after the lateral incisors, both top and bottom breaking through between 13 and 19 months.

For all of these new teeth, the timing is just an estimate, meaning your little one could see their pearly whites a bit earlier or later.

First dental appointment

As soon as that first tooth breaks through, or by your little one’s first birthday — whichever comes first — it’s a good idea to visit your dentist. They’ll examine your baby’s jaws, teeth, bite, and gums to make sure everything is developing as expected.

Symptoms of teething

teething baby crying

Although your baby can’t yet tell you what’s going on, there are a number of signs to look out for that will indicate they’re teething.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Chewing
  • Drooling
  • Fussiness
  • Coughing
  • Swollen gums
  • Mild fever
  • Rash on cheek
  • Cheek rubbing
  • Ear pulling
  • Refusing to eat
  • Whining

Of course, not every baby is going to experience all of these things — in fact, some babies escape this period of development with little to no symptoms at all.

Do babies sleep more when teething: Rule of thumb

Now, let’s talk about the gorilla in the room: do babies sleep more when teething? The short answer is generally not.

The reason is pretty intuitive. If they’re experiencing pain in their mouth, it’s going to be harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Do babies sleep more when teething: Anecdotal evidence

But for some families, the answer to, “Do babies sleep more when teething,” is yes. If you scrape the internet, you’ll see people who swear that when their babies got new teeth, they suddenly became better sleepers.

There are no scientific studies that back this exception to the rule, so you probably should expect some sleep disruption while your little one is teething. But there’s always hope!

Other reasons your baby may be sleeping more

Sometimes you might think your baby is sleeping more when teething but their extra shut-eye has to do with something else entirely. Let’s take a look at a few things that may account for their sleepiness.

Growth spurts

First, your baby may be having a growth spurt. When growing, it’s common for babies to sleep more throughout the day — in both frequency and duration.

The more sleep, the more growth, so if you’re seeing a lot of sleep, it just might be that your little one is destined to be a basketball player.


Another reason your baby might be sleeping more is that they’re under the weather. While your little one is fighting an illness, they might get extra tired.

There are some simple signs that baby might be sick rather than teething, such as:

  • High fever
  • Runny nose
  • Extra ear-pulling and fussiness
  • Symptoms getting worse

Change in routine

Changing your baby’s routine can also affect their sleeping patterns — for better and for worse.


If your baby was just vaccinated, this can make them more tired, especially for the first 24 hours after immunization.

Tips for dealing with teething

The good news is that if your little one is teething, there are things you can do to make it easier for them (and for you).

1) Relieve the pain.

The first order of business is to relieve their pain. One way of doing this is by applying pressure to their gums.

teething baby

Another option is to give them something cold. Just be sure it’s not frozen as this can make matters worse. You could also introduce a teething ring because chewing often helps soothe the pain.

2) Keep baby’s face clean of drool.

Your little one is probably drooling up a storm with all their teething, so it’s important to wipe the drool away and clean their skin regularly.

3) Keep baby’s regular sleep routine.

While it’s tempting to adjust your little one’s nap schedule as a result of their newfound irritability, this can throw them off even more. Try to stick to the regular routine as much as possible.

4) Optimize baby’s sleep environment.

Take another look at your baby’s room to ensure that everything is conducive to a good night’s sleep. Even if they’re not sleeping as well while they’re teething, you’ll want them to have the best shot at clocking the hours with their eyes closed.

Here are some good rules of thumb:

Aim for cool but not cold.

Set the temperature to 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit so their sleep area is cool but not cold.

Keep it dark.

You’ll want your baby’s room to be as dark as possible, even when it’s light outside. Blackout shades can help.

Bring down the noise.

Keep your little one’s room quiet. If there’s too much noise around you — either inside or outside the house — consider using a white noise machine.

Check the mattress.

Your baby should have a firm and breathable mattress for a safe night’s rest. Newton Baby’s Essential Crib Mattress is firm, breathable, and even washable. The GREENGUARD Gold Certified mattress features Wovenaire® technology for the ultimate in comfort and safety.

5) Follow safe sleep practices.

Of course, whenever your baby nods off, teething or not, you’ll want to ensure that you’re adhering to safe sleep practices.

Always put baby to bed on their back.

Sleeping on their back is the safest way for your baby to catch their zzzs, as it lowers the risk of SIDS. Put your little one to bed on their back until their first birthday.

A bare crib is best.

When your little one goes to bed, be sure that the crib is empty of everything but the mattress, fitted sheet, and them. No blankets or toys should be in the crib, as these pose a safety hazard.

Only put baby to bed in a crib, travel crib, or bassinet.

You only want to let baby get their shuteye in a place that is safe-sleep approved — which includes a crib, travel crib, and bassinet. If they nod off in a bouncer, car seat, or any other non-approved space, pick them up and move them to their crib.

Never bed share.

Although you want your baby close to you, especially as they’re going through all of this teething business, you never want to let your baby sleep in your bed.

Try room sharing instead.

Just because bed-sharing is out doesn’t mean that you have to be far from your little one. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sleeping in the same room (room sharing) for at least the first six months and, better yet, the first year.

Sleep tight, baby!

sleeping baby

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Do babies sleep more when teething,” is generally no, you can get to the root of why your baby is sleeping so much. Or, if they’re like most little ones, discover how you can help them sleep more.

Newton Baby mattresses provide the foundation for a good night’s sleep. Our Original Mattress, Essential Crib Mattress, and Waterproof Mattress are all firm, breathable, and washable so that your little one can get a safe, comfortable sleep — whether teething or not.

Once your baby gets over their teething pain, they’ll be back to sleeping soundly, which means that, with any luck, you will too!