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The 5 Stages of Teething, An Illustrated Guide


Funny 5 Stages of Teething Cartoonized Guide

Teething is a part of becoming a parent that a lot people dread to one degree or another. Us parents who have made it through the Stages of Teething, know that the people who don’t dread it are either certifiably naive or very drunk. But one can only stay naive and drunk for so long. This guide is for those sober moments.

Remember, you’re less miserable when you know what to expect, and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you can’t see it yet… for a reeeeelly long time… and you’re pretty much just expecting the light in front of you to turn out to be a fast moving train when it does finally come. Buck up, little camper!

The good news is: there is an end, a light at the end of the tunnel. The bad news is: there are two tunnels, baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in.


Baby Teeth & Other Ferocious Fangs
Since we’re on the subject of baby teeth…

Lil’ Chompers Baby Dentures (Bad Product Idea #3)

Again, since we’re on the subject of baby teeth…

Follow us on Facebook. Facebook always seems like it’s teething, doesn’t it?


104 Responses to “The 5 Stages of Teething, An Illustrated Guide”

  1. Stephanie K. says:

    Molars. F***ing molars.

    ^ the reason my sleep was cut in half last night.

    • Andy says:

      Ugh! Hang in there! (deep empathic sigh)

    • Lea says:

      Im experiencing the REVENGE of the Molars. If you think the first set was bad…. just wait!!! I know its bad because before teeth my daughter was an AMAZING sleeper. Each time more teeth were “erupting” forget about it! And the molars were THE WORST! and now that we are on group 2 of molars… she is up every few hours screaming!!! Can’t wait for these suckers to be through!

      • christina says:

        My daughter is 3 and she has a mouth full of teeth. She has been crying in pain all night long like every hour. and we brought her to the doctor and they said she had no strep and her throat was red. I discovered it was her molars coming in. I see they gum is very swollen and when i touched it she cried ouch. Now i know. How long will this go on until they pop through? any luck for any of you mothers. Please tell me anything I want to help my baby

  2. One can stay naive indefinitely, drunk requires maintenance.

    • Andy says:

      Too true. You can’t unsee what you have seen, but you can always pour another glass.

      WARNING: This comment of Andy’s is not intended as an endorsement for parental alcoholism, or the use of alcohol as a sleeping aid. His words are not representative of even his own thoughts and opinions and should not be used against him in a court of law and should be considered insane, incomprehensible and firetruck.

  3. Dena says:

    My cousin was born with three teeth erupted! …poor, poor Auntie Betty…

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha! I’ve seen people cringe and, in contrast, nod in approval about early teeth. On one hand (or nipple) it sucks (or “bites” would be more appropriate), but on the other hand, at least it means the whole process may be done sooner. πŸ˜‰

  4. Julia says:

    To any parents going through teething right now: Baltic amber teething necklaces! They have saved our sanity this time around. I spent so many hours up with my first son. Either my second is just an *unbelievably* easy teether, or this necklace thing is working like a charm. I heartily recommend them. Best money spent on baby besides the mei tai. We just sort of watched his teeth come in slowly. One night (he’s almost a year old now) we were up with him crying, but only for a couple of hours. We’ll see how the molars are, but I have a feeling it won’t be like the first time. I am doing that crazy laugh mentioned above in my head just thinking about it.

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha! Nice. Charlie and Avara are rocking the amber necklace on Finn. They shake their head in wonder but say good things. πŸ˜‰

    • MamaOcean says:

      When did you start having him wear the amber necklace? Did he wear it at night as well? Or did you wrap around his ankle. Seems like it would be find for him to wear it at all times.

    • mihaela says:

      How does it work? can you post an link where to buy this,please?! I live in Sweden,Europe and never heard of it

  5. JeninCanada says:

    My sister was up with her twins aaaall last night thanks to teething. UGH.

    • Andy says:

      Ugh! I feel her pain. Actually its numbness, it’s her numbness that I feel. Tell her to remember the light! There’s an end somewhere.

    • twin momma says:

      I am right there with her because I have twins! I haven’t slept the 1 1/2yrs they have been alive. Just remind myself it could be worse.

  6. Christina says:

    Great diagram! If only the babies could be naive or drunk during the whole process. Poor beans!

    The only part of little people-hood that is worse than teething is … toilet training.

    Excuse me. I have to go and wash my own mouth out with soap.

  7. Steve says:

    My 4-month-old reached Stage 2 a month ago. We’ve only had two nights that he’s been fussy because of the teeth, but I’m not looking forward to the rest of the process.

    • Andy says:

      It’s probably not going to be that bad. This diagram is hyperbole, an exaggeration for humor’s sake. I’m not sure if it would have be very entertaining to make an Instructional Diagram for a uneventful easy teething process. Yeah, not a whole lot of knee slaps there. πŸ˜‰

  8. Damn. I think I’ll just stay away from other parents from now on… Because it really wasn’t that bad for us. Sucked, no doubt. But TheBoy was a trooper. Scared us often with a fever that accompanied several teeth, but other than that… meh.

    • Andy says:

      Yeah, not everyone has much trouble. But let me ask you out of a creator’s curiosity, was this funny for you at all even though you didn’t really experience any of it?

  9. Manda says:

    I must be one of the lucky ones. Two kids and no teething misery that a little whiske…..I mean Orajel couldn’t fix.

    Really, though, it didn’t faze them much. We’ll see what this one is like.

    • Karen H. says:

      Our experience is similar to Manda’s. Our 9-month-old, up until the last two teeth, wasn’t really phased by it. Tooth #6 & 7, however was met with a lot of whining and some funky poo.

    • Andy says:

      Good for you! My three boys weren’t that bad, but we had our moments. It’s just funnier to talk about it in extremes.

      • mo says:

        This diagram isn’t even half as bad as my boys were. It was pure hell, for essentially 4 solids years as one finished teething the next one started. I’m pregnant with #3, I’m dreading teething. The countless nights of them up in the middle of the night screaming their heads off. I don’t hate parents who didn’t have rough teethers, I envy them and I’m happy that their little guys didn’t have to go through what mine did. Nothing makes you feel so helpless for so long as teething does.

        • Andy says:

          I’m showing my wife this quote “Nothing makes you feel so helpless for so long as teething does.” so she can breath a deep sigh of shared understanding and bask in the glow of pure Truth.

  10. Christina says:

    Now…you could be as lucky as me and end up with a kid where the worst symptom of teething was the oblivious pull on the ear that had me freaking out over an ear infection…

    Unfortunately, those only happen one in a million. His sister gnaws on me, drools, cries, whimpers, and sticks her entire fist in her mouth.

    At least she’s cute! As are your pictures…in a scary, wet kind of way…

  11. Fran says:

    I guess I’d be the parent that gets shot. Neither of my kids were bothered the least bit by teething.

    • Andy says:

      I guess so. You might want to keep that one under your hat rather than publishing the fact on a website swarming with half-crazed parents that are only about a day and one more missing sippy cup away from homicide. Ha ha! πŸ˜‰

  12. Russ says:

    Nothing quite like jagged bones ripping through a toddlers gums. I’m glad we are through with the teething. Now on to YANKING THEM OUT and making room for round two!

    • Andy says:

      Nothing. There is nothing like it. Ever.

      I was lucky on the second round with Cody and Max, with their teeth falling out. We had not real troubles and occasionally had some hilarious fun with the yanking of some of them.

  13. Part of the unexpected fun occurs when the child that’s teething decides to spontaneously bite his or her sibling or Mommy or Daddy’s shoulder when getting a hug.

  14. Mimi says:

    My son was REALLY drooly and had weird poo, but he didn’t seemed too concerned about it. Lest you think I got away easily, my son has been a biter from day one. Let’s just say nursing+ blisters/cuts= one really sad mommy. Yeah, just imagine the feeling of burning shards of glass coming through your nipples… accompanied by the occasional chomp-and-pull.
    Let’s hope this next one is better behaved. I honestly would rather have crazy teething than bleeding nipples.

  15. Laura says:

    My son didn’t get his first tooth until a week before his first birthday—and it took two weeks for it to fully come in. I likened the nursing pains to being attacked with a wire stripper. Chomp and pull, indeed.

    He’s still being nursed at 15 months and we’re getting into the first of the molars right now… Plus No. 2 is due on July 10th and I’m dreading the thought of dealing with two nursers at once (especially if No. 2 is less like myself and more like my sister or husband who got their first teeth at 6 months in).

  16. Erich says:

    Nature shows curelty when it comes to teething but also provided a respite: Hyland’s Homeopathic teething drops. Yes, it’s homeopathic so most people are like, Won’t work dude, it’s all in your head.” I disagree! When my daughter was getting like 3,000 teeth at once (she started at 4 months, done at one year) we popped 3 tiny tabs in her already foaming mouth and she calmed down in literally 10 seconds.

    • stacey says:

      My wife and I live by those things. That and Momsicles (frozen breast milk pops FTW!) Our wonderful 15 month old has 16 of her baby teeth already. She was a very efficient teether cutting four at a time. That process felt much like having your face shoved into a wood chipper, but at least it was over fast…

    • Andy says:

      I think we used those as well as the Camilia teething thingies. We never had to use the numbing ointments… or whiskey. Ha ha! πŸ˜‰

    • erika says:

      They are absolutely amazing. The only thing outside of the massaging teething ring that helps my 5 month old. She’s already getting her canine teeth. First ones to come through. The tablets work WONDERS!

  17. Ryan H. says:

    Ok, I didn’t know about this stuff, thanks for the info guys!

    • Andy says:

      Uh oh! That sounds like you’re taking this post seriously. Beware, this is an entertainment website, not an actually educational website. Have fun, but don’t try to get smart here. πŸ˜‰

  18. Andrea says:

    My son wasn’t to bad as far as being too whinny or drooly or getting fevers, but man you can tell by his attitude, he gets very nasty when he is getting a tooth. Just kinda mean, acts out a lot more during hese times, and I often feel like pulling my hair out, but it didnt seem like it lasts too long thank god! Othe than that I have the best little man in the world!

  19. Tasha says:

    My son, 5 today, and my daughter, 9 mo, are vampires! Both got their two bottom teeth then their canines (daughter’s is coming in now). My son’s was timed perfectly for Halloween. We shall see if the girl will. πŸ˜‰

  20. RadDad says:

    I never had a problem with the our three boys teething at night…my wife on the other hand? That’s the beauty of working nights. Hah!

  21. kitsunerina says:

    At least we can all be grateful that when Round 2 of teething (2 grade and Junior High) happens, the kid is old enough to try chewing gum or their pencils rather than their siblings.

  22. Chris says:

    My only child is turning 1 on the 21st and he is already working on his 13th tooth. Four molars, four front teeth on both top and bottom, and a canine I believe. We didn’t even realize he had molars until I randomly checked and two were completely out already when he was 9 months old. Then again….he has been standing, with help, since he was 2 months old. I swear he is a freak lol

  23. Ricky Adams says:

    I’m a dentist came across this site looking for resources to recommend to patients, loved the little illustrations here so funny but useful aswell πŸ˜‰

  24. Jacci M says:

    Super random how I got to this post, but I’m glad I did.
    Cracked me up, especially all the comments. Funny people!

    I have to ask though, because no one mentioned it. Does
    Anyone give their babies Tylenol for teething pain anymore?
    I know you wouldn’t want to give it for an extended time, but for
    2-3 nights? Anyone? Anyone?

    • Liz says:

      I give my son paracetamol (I think its the New Zealand Equivalent of Tylenol) He didn’t start teething until after his first birthday and cuts like two at a time, six months on and he’s cutting molars and fangs at the same time, nothing works he just walks around whimpering sometimes with his fingers in his mouth but being like me, he is ‘tough’ and doesn’t want comfort to the point where he hid under his bed to ensure I would leave him to it until he wanted a cuddle πŸ™

  25. nikki says:

    Love this and the accompanying and appropriate drooling and suffering depictions. We are on the fang section and I am just waiting for those little vampire points to descend already.

  26. Erin says:

    This is hilarious! Better to laugh than to cry (if you’re the parent, that is). Advil helps, so do amber/hazelwood teething necklaces (worked for both my boys). But the best way to get through it is patience, easier said than done but I found that to be true.

  27. We’re in the tail end of stage 5. I can nearly see the light at the end…It will be a very happy day.

  28. Mrs M says:

    I LOVE your work!! It’s one of the only websites I actually read when I have time and as parents you know how precious any free time is. Just wanted to say thanks for being so funny!

  29. Kerstin says:

    Omg ! We’re between Stage 4 and 5!

  30. Joy says:

    hahahaha Holy Molars indeed! This is when I? Check OUT!

  31. Elizabeth says:

    Little dude is working on all four top front teeth. It’s been fantastic. Poor guy:(

  32. lyn says:

    1st molars : 18 months old, it’s been about 4 weeks of no sleep, 2 weeks of no solid food, 3 lbs lighter (scary), 2 doctor visits (scarier), 2 blistered index fingers, 4 molars peeking, countless crying. Name it, I’ve tried it. I was blindsided by this one since my sons first 8 teeth came out without problems. May the force be with you. Hang in there parents! This tooth shall pass.

  33. Tessie says:

    Since I am expecting, I am so glad car seat material has changed since my brother’s time. His was vinyl with yellow foam inside. When he started teething, he chewed through the vinyl and began eating the foam.

    As for relief, I saw a post that suggested getting one of those plastic caps that covers bottle nipples, pouring in breast milk or formula, inserting a pacifier, then freezing it all until solid.

  34. Jodi says:

    I am sad/happy to say that I am the mom who is being murdered by other parents as my 2nd son is getting his 2nd set of molars and I had no idea. He also got 3-4 teeth at a time while going though this whole teething process with little grumpiness.

  35. Jennifer says:

    The reason we haven’t slept in 3 months…

  36. Nicole says:

    My daughter had all her teeth (except second molars) by 14 months. She started teething about 4 months. In addition to reflux, which teething exacerbates, it’s been awful. At almost 18 months she just started sleeping through the night. She was screaming so bad one night we called the after hours number for her ped. We were very close to taking her to the er. Took her to the doc the next day and surprise nothing wrong! When he checked her throat I noticed a new tooth had erupted. But now she’s starting to show signs of teething again, so revenge of the molars here we go!

  37. Lisa says:

    Stage 6: Loose teeth, where every apple is a gamble and the wiggle is a very cool (and creepy) party trick.

  38. Benjamin says:

    My sons a 14 months and tonight has been the worst night of the Molars I’m a Father this is my first born I had to hold back my tears it’s so hard when you see you child in so much pain & agony sucks I gave him children’s moltrin he spit some up that kind of scared me but I got my self together and help my boy calm down he’s finally asleep anyone have any instant home remides that help quicker then children’s moltrin

    • Keesha says:

      Both of my lil men have there 1st set of teeth coming in. the werent real criers ever unless a little backed up gas but now i have one screaming with his fist in his mouth and the other like trying to pull his bottom jaw off.But what i found myself using is ground clove on a cotton ball. let them chew on it until it goes numb. Tastes terrible but works so much better the orajel.

  39. Jordan says:

    Haha love this!! Came across this article when feeling very sorry for myself after yet another sleepless night zzzz!! My little boy is 25 months and started cutting his second molars about 5 days ago and yes like a lot of the parents on here I had him to the out of hours gp I thought there was something seriously wrong! He was screaming, couldn’t eat, cryin and of course no sleep. Such a zombie at the moment and everyone laughs when I mention 2nd molars…oh yeh those are the bad ones and they take mooooonnnths! Noooo!! I am praying this really bad bit ie they’re up every hour is over and done with soon! Plus he’s a massive eater and think finding it a bit frustrating he can’t eat his usual massive portions! Now to go to sleep for 40 mins before the next wake up call πŸ™‚

  40. Mitch says:

    Ever think about putting some of these instructional guides for sale? The stages of teething would be the only bit of literature that my dental patients would actually read, and for once, there would be some info that wasn’t completely dry.

  41. Jo says:

    Yeah, both my kids were fine with the teething. Low grade fevers and drool to fill 20 buckets, but not really all that bad. Chewed on anything that could fit in their mouths, but never really lost much sleep over it. Guess we were just blessed that way… πŸ™‚

  42. Oriol FM says:

    My daughter just turned 8 months, still doesn’t have a single tooth peeking out through her gum. But she’s crankier lately and puts her hand in her mouth and scratches her gums (while whining like a banshee), so I’m guessing that they’re coming pretty soon.

    I need to sleep.

  43. kylynara says:

    My son wasn’t too bad of a teether. He started at 3 months though. But he finished at 18 months. However the bulk of the teething happened during the winter he got a lot of ear infections. And the symptoms for the two were so similar. He was clearly in pain, but we could not tell which was cauaing it for about 4 months straight.

  44. Hillary says:

    There is a second revenge of the molars I am just experiencing. My son never complained about his 6 year molars, unfortunately my daughter has been left in tears because her mouth hurts. No sleep, just as much crying but she is now a 42 pound, 46 inch 5 year old. A lot less fun when they are bigger.

  45. francesca says:

    Funny!!! I remember all that saliva… YACK!

  46. Kari says:

    My son decided to hold off on his first set of molars until he was 21 months old… and Mommy was in the middle of term papers and final exams πŸ™

  47. Debbie says:

    I have 4 children. Two teenagers and a 4 and 1 year old. I know talk about crazy. So going through teething again and I will tell you I would not have survived teething for any of my little monsters ugh angels without Hylands homeopathic teething pills. I would recommend them to everyone. I used them for all four kids and they are perfectly safe and awesome. No I don’t work for hylands but the pills totally work for me.

  48. Eric says:

    I love this post. Found this hilarious despite my much different experience with teething.

    My own son at almost 6 is still teething. Trauma during infancy (being born at 1lb 11oz) can cause the body to shut down the formation of teeth diverting that energy to more life supporting systems. Add to that the fact that my son is fed by a feeding tube and breaths with the aid of a ventilator through a tracheotomy tube which can cause the gums to grow more tough and fibrous, teething has been a lifelong struggle. The dentists and doctors are actually surprised at how straight they are coming in given those conditions but predict that he’ll continue teething his baby teeth right up to the point that his adult teeth start poking them out. It’s possible that the teething will never end.

    Send help.

  49. Kathy says:

    Thank you! Misery loves company and it feels very reassuring to know that at least the h*ll we are going through is normal. My son got his first molars at 20 months. It lasted 13 days and we thought that would be the worst of it. Now at 25 months, 13 days of no sleep feels like a picnic. We are going on two months of 2 year molars coming in and my formally awesome sleep now wakes up screaming all the time. The last molar is finally starting to push through. Pain relievers have not helped; we even bought the amber necklace – $30 we will never get back. And with this last tooth, he’s woken up in pain and with hives (we think due to the stress). So we are a family of 3 zombies. The only thing that has somewhat worked for us is taking my son into the guest bedroom to sleep with one of us. He seems to be able to settle back down through the pain as long as he knows we are there with him. I had no idea molars were going to be like this… fingers crossed the final tooth breaks through soon.

  50. Stuart says:

    Spent too much time in the rabid chipmunk phase of teething…

  51. TobeaDAD says:

    Very nice and great Article. Keep up great work.

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