Babies grind their teeth for a variety of reasons. This behavior is known as “nighttime tooth grinding” “baby teeth grinding” or “bruxism.” It happens when they are sleeping or relaxed and is completely normal behavior, though it can be unsettling to parents who aren’t expecting it. Wracking your teeth is a natural process and indicates that the jawbone and its muscles are growing correctly. A baby’s jaw will grow and develop as they get older. Until then, this weird habit helps strengthen their jaw muscles and gives them a head start on developing strong bite patterns for the future. Here are some great tips to help stop your baby from grinding their teeth at night.
Why Do Babies Grind Their Teeth?
Well, it’s not certain why babies grind their teeth, but there are a few reasons why this might occur. One reason is that baby teeth are sometimes loose and they can become very painful, especially at night. The grinding motion may help to relieve some of the pain and provide relief. Another reason may be that babies tend to suck on their pacifiers or their fingers while they are sleeping, sometimes resulting in teeth grinding.
What To Do If Your Baby Grunts And Grinds Their Teeth At Night
Stop the Routine
The first thing to do is to stop the routine of putting your baby to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup. These things can cause them to be more sleepy than usual and will make it easier for them to fall asleep. Instead, give your baby something that will keep their attention in their hand, like a toy or a small piece of fruit. If they are still hungry after that, give them a snack before bedtime.
Switch Their Sleep Position at Night
If you have been putting your baby down on his back with his head turned so he can’t see what is happening on the other side of the room, you need to change this position at night. This will make it harder for him to sleep on his back, which is when he tends to grind his teeth and snore, so put him down instead in another position that he is comfortable with: laying on his stomach with his head turned towards you, or even sitting up in bed with pillows under him and hands under his head as a sort of “cushion” for support. This way he can sleep without having any difficulty falling asleep and having issues with grinding teeth at night because he will be sleeping in a more comfortable position than usual. It might also help if you put some stuffed animals around the room, especially if they are smaller than your baby (since babies tend not to like touching large objects). You could also add some soothing music or the sound of crickets to help your baby relax and fall asleep.
Make Sure Your Baby Gets Enough Sleep
It’s important that your baby gets enough sleep to allow him to grow and develop properly. If he isn’t getting enough sleep, his body will be working harder than it should be and that can have negative effects on his muscles, bones, and brain. If you have been putting him down for a nap at naptime, try to stop this practice so he can get the rest he needs in his regular bedtime routine. This is especially important if you are going through a stressful period in your life. He will need it more than ever now! If you know that your baby is starting to get overtired, try taking them out of their crib at night or try letting them take a short nap before bedtime so they can get some rest and don’t look like they are falling asleep while they are awake.
Try Different Bedtimes
If you have been putting your baby down for a long stretch of time every night (at least 1-2 hours), try switching their bedtime from one time of the day to another; for example, if you normally let him go to bed at 7 pm, try putting him down for his first nap at 6 pm and then put him back down again after lunch at 12 pm instead of 7 pm. This will give them less time in between naps and will allow them to get used to the new bedtime schedule easier. If you are going through a stressful period in your life, try switching up their bedtimes so they can have their morning nap at different times of the day as well. This will allow them to be more organized with their sleep schedule and not be so overtired during the day.
Make Sure Your Baby Gets Enough Exercise
Don’t forget that babies need exercise! If your baby isn’t getting enough movement, they may get overtired, which can lead to bad behavior and being cranky. Try taking him outside for walks or car rides every day (or even every other day if you don’t live close by). Try having him play with his toys for 5-10 minutes before putting him down for a nap or bedtime routine so he continues to burn off some of his energy instead of being overtired from staying still at night! If you are going through a stressful period in your life, try doing some simple exercises with your baby like bouncing on one foot or playing peek-a-boo so that he stays entertained and doesn’t get too tired during the day!
Talk To Your Pediatrician
If Your Baby Is Running a Fever
If your baby is running a fever, it is best to have them checked out by their pediatrician right away. This can be a sign of something more serious like meningitis or appendicitis. If they are still under 6 months old, they may need to be seen by their pediatrician twice a week (once in the morning and once at night) so that they get enough rest if they have an infection. If your baby has been under 6 months old and has started having trouble sleeping, try taking them to the doctor so they can get some medicine to help them sleep better!
If Your Baby Has Been Sick for a Long Time
If your baby seems to be having trouble sleeping for an extended period of time, this could be a sign of an illness or infection that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Try taking them in for an appointment with their pediatrician so that you can work together on figuring out what is wrong with your child and how best to treat it!
If Your Baby Is Constantly Crying
This could mean that your baby might not be able to sleep well because he is overtired or because he is dealing with another type of illness like gastroenteritis or ear infection. Try putting him down for his naps at different times of the day instead of making him nap when he feels tired so that he doesn’t fall asleep while awake!
If Your Baby Is Constantly Sucking on Her Thumb
This can be a sign of a serious medical problem like a thumb-sucking habit. Try taking her to see their pediatrician so that they can figure out the cause of this habit and how to get it under control!
If Your Baby Is Constantly Running His Hand Over His Eyes
This could be a sign of an illness like conjunctivitis or pink eye. Try takinghim to see their pediatrician so that they can figure out what is causing this and how best to treat it!
Install A Grinding Band
- The first step is to stop the nighttime grinding. This is easier said than done as babies are not always predictable. You can try putting a towel over your baby’s mouth, but this may not work. Try a baby-approved “grinding band” or “bruxism guard” that fits over the teeth and gums. These come with instructions that show you how to fit it correctly around your baby’s mouth to prevent any damage.
- The second step is to take away any pacifiers or dummies that may be in the room at night and place your baby on their back in their crib without any toys or blankets for comfort.
- The third step is to get rid of as much light as possible so that your little one does not become too stimulated from being awake and alert all night long. Even dim lights can be a big help in keeping them calm and asleep so try turning on some dim, yellow lights instead of bright ones for a few nights until they adjust to sleeping in complete darkness instead of being able to see what’s going on outside their room at night time.
- The fourth step is to allow them some time alone each day when you put them down for bedtime, whether it be just 15 minutes or 1 hour at a time depending on how much they need downtime each day (and this will vary from child to child). They could even go into another room with a book and a blanket for a little bit and come back to you when they’re ready to sleep. This alone can help them get the rest that they need for the night
Babies grinding their teeth in their sleep is completely normal behavior, even if it is a little unsettling for parents to witness. Babies grind their teeth for a variety of reasons, such as teething, gassiness, or being constipated. It’s important to talk to your pediatrician if you notice your baby grinding their teeth. You can also try using a training toothpaste, giving your baby a bath, or using an elderflower remedy.