Teething Troubles: The Truth Behind Babies and Hair Pulling

The arrival of a newborn into a family brings endless joy, love, and new experiences. Along with these joys come the various milestones that parents eagerly anticipate, from rolling over to crawling and eventually taking those first steps. However, one milestone that can cause some concern for parents is teething. Many babies go through the process of teething with little to no discomfort, but others may display unique habits during this time. One common question that many parents have is whether or not their babies pull their hair when teething. In this article, we will explore this behavior and provide insight into what is happening during this stage in a baby’s development.

Understanding the Teething Process

Teething is a natural process that every baby goes through. It occurs when your baby’s teeth start to emerge from their gums, typically between the ages of 6 and 12 months. This can be a painful and uncomfortable experience for some babies, leading them to find ways to ease the discomfort.

During teething, your baby’s first set of teeth, known as primary or baby teeth, are pushing through their gums. This process can take several months, with each tooth taking about a week or two to fully break through the gum tissue. During this time, it is common for babies to experience symptoms such as drooling, swollen gums, irritability, and even loss of appetite.

The Connection Between Teething and Hair Pulling

Many parents wonder if there is a connection between their baby’s teething and hair pulling behavior. And the answer is yes – there can be! Some babies may find relief from teething discomfort by pulling on their hair. This pulling sensation distracts from the pain in their gums and provides temporary relief.

Additionally, many babies may also pull their hair as a way to soothe themselves when they feel overwhelmed or anxious. The act of pulling on something can provide comfort and security for them. However, it is essential to note that not all babies will resort to hair pulling during teething. Each baby is unique and may cope with teething discomfort differently.

Why Do Babies Pull Their Hair When Teething?

As mentioned earlier, hair pulling during teething can be due to the discomfort caused by emerging teeth in your baby’s mouth. The pain in their gums can radiate throughout their face, including the area where their hair follicles are located. By pulling their hair or rubbing against it with their hands or fingers, they may experience temporary relief from this pain.

Another reason why babies may pull their hair during teething is that they are self-soothing. Babies are continually exploring their environment and discovering new ways to soothe themselves. The sensation of pulling their hair can provide comfort and a sense of control for them.

How to Help Your Baby Cope with Teething Discomfort

While pulling their hair may provide temporary relief for your baby, it is essential to find other ways to help them cope with teething discomfort in the long run. Here are some tips to try:

1. Offer cold objects for them to chew on: The cold sensation can help numb the gums and provide relief from soreness. You can try giving them a frozen washcloth or a chilled teething ring.

2. Use over-the-counter remedies: Some parents swear by teething gels or tablets that can be applied directly to the gums. Consult with your pediatrician before using any medication on your baby.

3. Distract them: Sometimes, all your baby needs is a distraction from the pain. Play with them, sing songs, or take them for a walk – anything that will take their mind off of their teething discomfort.

4. Gently massage their gums: Apply light pressure on the affected area using a clean finger or a damp washcloth. This gentle massage can soothe swollen gums and provide relief from pain.

Preventing Hair Pulling During Teething

It is natural for babies to explore different ways to soothe themselves during teething, including pulling their hair. However, if you notice that your baby is excessively pulling their hair or causing harm to themselves, these tips may help prevent this behavior:

1. Keep their hands busy: Give your baby safe objects to play with or chew on, such as soft toys or teething rings.

2. Use distractions: Whenever you notice your baby starting to pull their hair, try to redirect their attention to something else, like a colorful toy or a fun game.

3. Keep calm and soothe: If your baby is pulling their hair out of discomfort, try to soothe them using other methods like offering a snack or applying a cold compress to their gums.

For many babies, hair pulling during teething is a temporary behavior that will eventually stop as they find other ways to cope with the discomfort. However, if you notice that your baby’s hair pulling is becoming excessive or causing harm to themselves, it is important to consult with your pediatrician. They can help determine if there are any underlying issues causing this behavior and provide guidance on how to manage it effectively. Remember, each baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be patient and find methods that work best for your little one during this challenging teething phase.

Understanding Teething in Babies

Teething is a natural process that every child goes through during the first few years of their life. It typically starts around 6 months of age and can continue until the age of 3. This is when the baby’s first set of teeth, known as primary or baby teeth, start to push through the gums. It can be a difficult time for both babies and parents as it comes with a lot of discomfort and pain. One common concern among parents during this time is whether their babies pull their hair when teething.

Why Do Babies Pull Their Hair When Teething?

Teething can be very uncomfortable for babies as their gums become swollen and tender due to the pressure from emerging teeth. This discomfort may also radiate to other parts of the face, including the ears, cheeks, and even scalp. Pulling their hair may seem like a way for them to relieve that discomfort and also distract themselves from the pain in their gums. Some babies may also rub or scratch their cheeks and ears for the same reason.

Another possible reason for babies pulling their hair when teething could be that they are trying to reach something solid to bite on. When teething, babies have an urge to chew because it helps relieve some of the pressure on their gums. Pulling on their hair could give them something to gnaw on while simultaneously distracting themselves from the pain.

It is important to note that some babies may pull their hair even if they are not teething. Hair-pulling can be a sign of frustration or fatigue in infants, with no specific relation to teething.

The Harmless Nature of Hair-Pulling During Teething

Now that we have established why babies pull their hair when teething let us address whether this behavior poses any harm or danger to your little one. Firstly, it is essential to understand that hair-pulling is a natural and common behavior among babies. It is not a sign of any developmental problem or delay.

Furthermore, this practice is typically temporary, and most babies outgrow it as they get used to the discomfort of teething. It is also important to note that hair-pulling during teething does not cause any damage to your baby’s hair or scalp. As long as your baby’s hair is not pulled too hard or too often, there should be no cause for concern.

How Can You Help Your Baby Deal with Teething Discomfort?

Although hair-pulling during teething is normal and harmless, there are ways in which you can help your baby deal with the discomfort they may be experiencing. Here are some tips:

1. Provide Teethers: You can give your baby a teether designed specifically for teething babies to chew on. These teethers have different textures that can massage their sore gums and provide relief.

2. Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress or frozen washcloth on the affected area can also help soothe your baby’s gums.

3. Massage Their Gums: Using clean hands, gently massage your baby’s gums to provide them with some relief from the discomfort. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.

4. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: If the above methods do not seem to ease your baby’s pain, you can consult with their pediatrician about using over-the-counter pain relievers such as infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

5. Distractions: Offering distractions such as singing, playing, or cuddling may help take their mind off of the discomfort in their gums.

When Should You Be Concerned?

While hair-pulling during teething is generally considered harmless and temporary, there are certain cases where it may require further attention from parents and caregivers. If your baby’s hair-pulling becomes excessive or starts to cause injury, it is advisable to consult with a pediatrician. In rare cases, hair-pulling during teething can be a result of underlying medical issues such as an ear infection or allergies.

It is also important to monitor your baby’s hair-pulling habits and ensure that they do not start pulling their hair at other times or for other reasons. If this behavior continues after the teething phase, it could be a sign of anxiety or poor coping skills in children. In such cases, it is best to seek professional help and guidance.

In conclusion, babies may pull their hair when teething due to the discomfort and pain they experience in their gums. This behavior is common, harmless, and usually temporary. However, if you notice excessive hair-pulling or concerns about your baby’s development, it is best to consult with their pediatrician. As parents and caregivers, we can help our little ones cope with teething discomfort by providing them with distractions and using safe methods such as teethers and cold compresses. Remember that every baby is different, so what works for one may not work for another. Be patient and attentive to your baby’s needs during this challenging but essential

1. Why do babies pull their hair when teething?
Babies may pull their hair when teething as a way to cope with discomfort and pain in their gums.

2. Is it normal for babies to pull their hair while teething?
Yes, it is a common behavior for babies to pull their hair when they are teething.

3. How can I stop my baby from pulling their hair during teething?
You can try giving your baby a teething toy or cold washcloth to chew on instead of pulling their hair. Distracting them with other activities can also help.

4. Does pulling hair during teething cause damage?
Light hair-pulling is usually harmless, but if your baby is pulling too hard, it can lead to hair loss or damage to the scalp. Make sure to monitor your baby’s behavior and intervene if necessary.

5. At what age do babies typically start pulling their hair during teething?
Babies can start teething as early as 3 months old, but most commonly they begin around 6 months old. Hair pulling may also start around this time.

6. Should I be worried if my baby is constantly pulling their hair during teething?
It is best to monitor your baby’s behavior and consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns. If there are signs of excessive hair-pulling or self-injury, seek professional help immediately.

In conclusion, the topic of whether babies pull their hair when teething is a common concern among parents. Through research and medical professionals’ opinions, we can conclude that while some babies may exhibit hair pulling behaviors while teething, it is not a direct symptom of teething.

Instead, hair pulling can be due to a variety of reasons, including self-soothing, exploring new sensations, or even a sign of developmental milestones. It is essential for parents to closely observe their child’s behavior and seek medical advice if concerned about excessive hair pulling.

Furthermore, there are several strategies and techniques that parents can use to help redirect their baby’s hair pulling and alleviate any discomfort during the teething process. Providing appropriate toys or teethers, soothing ointments, and keeping the baby’s hands busy are just a few examples.

Ultimately, the important takeaway is that every child is unique and may display different behaviors during the teething process. As parents, it is essential to educate ourselves on these matters and trust our instincts when seeking advice or help from medical professionals.

We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the topic of babies pulling their hair when teething. Remember to always consult with your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions about your baby’s behavior or development

Author Profile

Lian Chikako Chang
Welcome to Littldata! Our mission is to help parents streamline their family logistics with practical tools and insights. Whether you’re managing school schedules, extracurricular activities, or family outings.

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Hi, I’m Lian Chikako Chang. I’m a data researcher and mom living in San Francisco. At Littldata, my goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing calendars, maps, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics.

From 2024, I have embarked on a new journey of writing an informative blog on the “Littldata” niche.

In this blog, I strive to provide valuable insights and answer queries on topics that parents frequently seek out. My focus is on creating content that is not only practical but also backed by thorough research.