Sprouting that first tooth is a major milestone, but like many of baby's firsts, it doesn't come without some growing pains. Literally. (Hard teeth breaking through soft gums? Ouch!) Besides the discomfort, your kiddo may be dealing with a pile of unpleasant side effects, like interrupted sleep, diaper rash, and Old Faithful–style drooling. Bottom line: Teething can throw your and kiddo's world for a loop. The good news is, this gnarly stretch of time doesn't last forever -- and there are ways to make it more bearable for baby in the meantime.
When does teething start? If baby cuts her first tooth early, you might mistakenly write off teething pain as colic. While both can make your little one extra cranky, colic rears its head in the first few months of life. Teething, on the other hand, typically starts around 3 or 4 months of age or later, says Dr. Rhea Haugseth, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. But don't fret if you don't see any pearly whites for a while; Dr. Haugseth says she's seen a first tooth come in as late as 18 months.