Toddler teething can disrupt normal life and can be so painful for the kids. While it’s a rite of passage for the kids, here’s what to expect, toddler teething charts, symptoms to look for, the deal with 2 year molars, and toddler teething remedies.

Image credit iStock

Toddler Teething: What to Expect

Babies usually start teething around 6 months, with some kids starting closer to 3 months and some not getting their first tooth until 12 months, and most kids will have 20 teeth by the time they’re 3. Which means that they get a lot of new teeth during the toddler years!

Symptoms can also range quite widely and it can often be very hard to know when a child is actually teething. There is often discomfort, which can be mild or more severe.

This post should at least give you some baseline information so you can know what to expect from a teething baby or toddler. And ideas for how to soothe those sore gums when you do know they’re teething.

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Image via Orajel

Toddler Teething Chart

Orajel has a great chart that shows when to expect babies and toddlers to get certain teeth in, including front teeth and lower teeth. Remember that this can vary widely from kid to kid, so don’t worry if your child gets certain teeth earlier or later than cousins or friends. Teeth generally emerge symmetrically, so they’ll get the corresponding teeth on the left and right sides at similar times.

What are the symptoms of toddler teething?

A teething kiddo may drool more than normal, be cranky, chew on more objects than normal, and/or have a slight increase in fever. They could have diarrhea or a rash on their chin from excess saliva.

Clearly it can be hard to know when things are normal and not, especially since little kids often put everything into their mouths on normal days!

How do you know if 2 year molars are coming in?

The first molars can start coming in right around a child’s first birthday (13-19 months is the average) and two year molars around the second birthday (25-33 months). Some kids are a total wreck with molars—my first daughter’s first birthday was a total hot mess due to her getting her molars—and some kids get their molars without making a blip (my second kiddo). It’s hard to know what to expect until you’re in it…or past it.

When should I start brushing their teeth?

As soon as a a baby or toddler has teeth, it’s recommended that we start to brush them with a soft brush or baby toothbrush twice a day to help prevent cavities and get tooth decay, and to get into a good routine as they grow.

TIP: You really only need to use toothpaste that’s about the size of a grain of rice.

toddler hand holding mini popsicle.

Toddler Teething Remedies

Here are some easy options to help soothe sore gums when you suspect that your kiddo may be getting in a new tooth.

  • Rub their gums with a clean finger or clean gauze.
  • Offer a cold washcloth for them to chew on.
  • Reach out to your child’s doctor about over-the-counter pain relievers such as infant Motrin, Tylenol, Acetaminophen, or teething gels.
  • Cold, soft, and easy to eat (or suck on) foods such as popsicles, smoothies, puddings, pastina and more.
  • Frozen fruit in mesh feeders.
  • Soft, cold foods such as applesauce, yogurt, mashed sweet potato, and cottage cheese.
  • Use a cold teething ring.

TIP: Medical experts recommend that you avoid amber teething necklaces and bracelets due to their risk of both being a choking hazard. The Mayo Clinic also advises that we avoid homeopathic teething tablets and gels since some have been found to have more of the ingredients listed on the label and have caused health issues including seizures and breathing difficulties.

Teething Products to Try

These are a few things I have on hand for life with kids that are particularly useful during phases of teething.

  • Mesh Feeders: You can put frozen fruit inside as a quick soothing popsicle.
  • Mini Popsicle Mold: This mold makes a perfect baby or toddler size popsicle.
  • Reusable Pouches: Having at least one pouch on hand to fill with a puree, yogurt, applesauce, or other smooth food can give you more options during teething.
homemade applesauce in containers on counter.

Teething Recipes to Try

Below are some of our favorite easy recipe to help soothe sore gums. There’s a mix here, so choose the one you think your little one may enjoy.

Favorite Yogurt Melts (Easiest Yogurt Bites!)
These melt-in-your mouth yogurt bites are a fun way to serve yogurt. Plan to make them at least 2 hours before you want to serve them.
Favorite Yogurt Melts (Easiest Yogurt Bites!)
Favorite Healthy Toddler Smoothie (with Veggies!)
Learn to customize yummy smoothies for your toddler by starting with one simple recipe, then adjusting based on which fruit and veggies you'd like to use.
Favorite Healthy Toddler Smoothie (with Veggies!)
Favorite Banana Popsicles
These fresh banana popsicles are incredibly creamy and easy to make—and they're a balanced snack or dessert to share with the kids.
Favorite Banana Popsicles
banana popsicles on plate with banana slices.
Easy Strawberry Popsicles (with Greek Yogurt)
With just 5 simple ingredients, these Strawberry Popsicles are a packed with vitamins and protein. They're a great toddler snack, baby popsicle, and dessert to share.
Easy Strawberry Popsicles (with Greek Yogurt)
strawberry frozen yogurt pops in molds on blue plate
Easy Grape Pops (with Fresh Fruit!)
I like to make these with red grapes. Choose seedless to avoid seeds in the blender.
Easy Grape Pops (with Fresh Fruit!)
Quick Pastina Soup
With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can make this cozy Pastina Soup to share with the kids in under 30 minutes. Look for little star "pastina" pasta in the pasta aisle.
Quick Pastina Soup
Pastina soup in numerous bowls with spoons and sides.
Favorite Buttered Noodles
I have all kinds of easy ways to incorporate veggies into pasta dishes for kids, but some days, we just need the classic and comforting option of Buttered Noodles. This is my go-to method for the creamiest, easiest buttered pasta to share with the kids.
Favorite Buttered Noodles
buttered noodles in two bowls with sides
Easy Sweet Potato Puree
Perfectly creamy Sweet Potato Puree is a very favorite easy side dish (and baby food!). This is delicious in fall, takes less than 30 minutes, and can be flavored in all sorts of ways.
Easy Sweet Potato Puree
sweet potato puree in bowl with spoon on side
10 No-Cook Homemade Baby Food Recipes
You'll choose ONE ingredient to blend up—a fruit, a veggie, or beans. See the list below. You can make enough for a few days or make a double batch to freeze more baby food for future weeks. The nutrition information will vary based on which ingredients you use.
10 No-Cook Homemade Baby Food Recipes
no cook baby food purees in small bowls
Easy Chocolate Avocado Pudding
With simple ingredients, zero cooking, and a method that takes about 2 minutes total, this Chocolate Avocado Pudding is a yummy dessert to share with the kids. This is best on the day you make it, though you can store it in the fridge for 24 hours in an airtight container. If any liquid separates out, simply stir it up.
Easy Chocolate Avocado Pudding
chocolate avocado pudding in pink cup
Easy Overnight Oats with Applesauce
You can easily double (or triple!) the recipe to make more servings. It uses a 1 to 1 ratio of yogurt to applesauce so you can easily scale it up. Mix these up the night before you plan to serve them.
Easy Overnight Oats with Applesauce
Favorite Applesauce Pouches
Learn the easiest way to make a batch of Applesauce Pouches, with six flavor options, in less than 30 minutes. This is easy, delicious, and versatile—and a perfect way to batch-prep a snack or meal component.
Favorite Applesauce Pouches
Favorite Peanut Butter Muffins
Tender, flavorful, and packed with protein, these Peanut Butter Muffins can have any add-in your family likes and they store well for days (or longer in the freezer). They're great to prep ahead and enjoy all week.
Favorite Peanut Butter Muffins
peanut butter muffins on cooling rack with bowl of peanut butter
Sweet Potato Teething Biscuits (Easy Baby Rusks)
This recipe has just a few healthy ingredients and is perfect for teething babies to chew on. They’re also a great cracker for older kiddos! This recipe is adapted and excerpted from The Big Book of Plant-Based Baby Foods by Tamika L. Gardner. 
Sweet Potato Teething Biscuits (Easy Baby Rusks)

Best Tips for Toddler Teething

  • Remember that appetite dips and loss of appetite during teething is very normal.
  • Offer cold, soft, and easy to eat (or suck on) foods such as popsicles, smoothies, puddings, pastina and more. Or frozen fruit in mesh feeders.
  • Add a bib to a teething toddler or baby who drools a lot.
  • Offer lots of extra snuggles and comfort.
  • Medical experts recommend that we avoid amber teething necklaces due to their risk of choking.

What are your go-to teething tips? I’d love to hear so comment below to share.

This post was first published April 2020.

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  1. Toddler teething can be brutal. I remember when my kids were getting their two-year molars in. They were cranky and usually ended up with an ear infection. The molars make them uncomfortable until the tooth breaks through the gums. But for me, the biggest pet peeve during teething was the night waking>. My kids had always been good sleepers but those teeth always wrecked havoc n their sleep schedule.