Q. My 18 weeks old baby is becoming irritable, crying, and biting her hands. Could this be teething?

Answered by
Dr. Laurent Hiffler
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 15, 2017

Hello doctor,

My 18 weeks old baby appears to have less interest in her bottles. She is only drinking approximately 20 to 24 ounces of milk instead of the recommended 30 to 35. She has become more irritable, crying, biting her hands and tethers. When I give her a bottle, she drinks a few ounces then chews on it and tries to spit it out of her mouth. She does not seem to have much of an appetite. I took her to my GP, who said she appeared to be teething and that her temperature, ear, nose, and throats were fine. She is also making strange noises and crying when anyone other than me picks her up. She normally has one dirty nappy per day and about six wet ones. She is smiling and follows things with her eyes and picks up things with her hands. She also appears to be sleeping more than before. At 15 weeks, her weight was normal, and her growth was fine. Could this be teething?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your feelings and preoccupations. I might have to ask you a few more questions but here are some attempts to give you a beginning of an answer. Well, I would be dishonest if I would send you the miracle answer. But let us try together.

  1. What was your little daughter's birth weight? You say that at 15 weeks, her weight was normal and growth was fine. Would you be able to scan and send me her growth chart?
  2. What reassures me also is the fact that she is smiling, follows things, and picks up things with hands. Does she roll, lift her head and shoulders? When helped in a sitting position, does she hold her head well?
  3. You mention that she drinks only 20 to 24 ounces a day, but in how many bottles?
  • She is crying, biting her hands, and drooling, so she could be teething. It might be that she is not anymore interested so much in baby bottles. She wants to start solid food.
  • Although theory says they should take 28 to 32 ounces per day, but if she is gaining weight regularly and passing urine normally, then she might just be different and that is enough for her own growth and one should not insist.
  • Some babies want to start diversified food before six months and this is allowed from four months of age. You might want to respect her wish not to drink more bottles and try diversifying as she is 18 weeks.
  • Do not insist, if she takes at least 5 ounces bottles 4 to 5 times, then it is fine as long as her weight gain is normal. Try to introduce gluten-free cereals, fruits, and vegetable according to her age, unless there is a strong family history of food allergies.

Revert with more information to a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Thank you doctor,

Her birth weight was 7 pounds and 13 ounces, and at 15 weeks her weight was 12 pounds and 10 ounces. She holds up her head when sitting and will hold up head and arms when lying on her belly. She does not roll over yet, but has a lot of leg movement and moves a lot on the mat. She now takes 4 to 5 ounces bottles, five times a day. However, after about 3 ounces, she appears to think she has had enough. She had been drinking 5 to 6 ounces.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • I have plotted the weight on a growth chart. Indeed it is very good, and you should not be alarmed as she follows her lines and she is even higher now than at 15 weeks, right?
  • She probably autoregulates herself according to her real needs. Why do not you try to give her only 4 bottles a day? And introduce fruits and vegetables and gluten-free cereals to start with. Gluten can be introduced any time after four months of age, according to recent evidence and recommendations.
  • If your child is happy with 4 ounces or sometimes 3, but starts eating the above and keeps gaining weight regularly, do not worry, just follow what she seems to want, listen to what she is telling you.
  • If her gingiva is red or seems to hurt because of early teething, try one of those rings that you can put in the freezer, so she can chew on it whenever she wants. That helps a bit.
  • But the situation warrants a follow-up. Check her weight every fortnight or so. It would be good to see her length chart as well. Please, do not over consult, but follow it up.

I am happy if I helped you. Best regards.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

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