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Teething 12 month old with a cold can't swallow food easily - what's going on???

My 12 month old has been eating pretty much everything you would expect for a while now, but over the weekend he caught a little cold and his top front teeth decided to finally poke through. I knew from before that his appetite drops when he's sick or teething, and that he doesn't like drinking from his bottle when his gums are really tender (and he's refusing any other kind of cup.. a whole different battle). But for the last 3 days, he's also been having trouble swallowing foods that he used to gobble up easily. He'll try to eat them, but then gag and cough and start crying. Since yesterday, he can only swallow ripe fruits, yogurt, ice cream, baby-food rice and stage 2 foods, and even then he clearly has to try hard to swallow, and it isn't fun for him. The doctor checked him this morning - ears, throat and lungs all are fine. They said to call in a few days if no change.

Have you ever seen anything like this?


Asked by Sebbiemama at 7:13 PM on Aug. 17, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (5)
  • I don't remember my son every having that problem. Although with this molars, he drools and cranky has a bit of a cold along with the diaper rash. Have you tried baby orajel? Or a cold banana mushed up? Hope it gets better for you mama!!!

    Answer by jilligan362 at 7:30 PM on Aug. 17, 2010

  • If you've never had mouth pain, you may not realize that it can hurt just to swallow. I remember my braces...that's a lot of pain that probably is nothing like teething. It hurt just to swallow because of how you have to move your mouth and jaw to do so. I'm not surprised he's having trouble.

    Answer by amileegirl at 8:56 PM on Aug. 17, 2010

  • By the way, if you allow him to self feed that may help. He knows where he hurts and may find his own way to deal with food. If you spoon feed him its impossible for him to control where and when the food goes in.

    Answer by amileegirl at 8:57 PM on Aug. 17, 2010

  • A baby this age would "normally" be breastfeeding (considering the norm for human babies is breastfeeding). When things like this happen older babies/toddlers revert to pretty much exclusive breastfeeding. When the child nurses more, more milk is produced. This helps the child get over the "cold" if that's what is going on, provides nutrition, it is comforting, and provides just what the child needs (over 400 different things are in human milk). The World Health Org recommends bf for at least 2 years.

    It's more difficult is the baby isn't breastfed and you just have to do the best you can. I'm not saying anything bad about you, I'm explaining why your child is behaving the way he is.



    Answer by Gailll at 11:57 AM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • I'm with amileegirl - I remember having braces and how bad it hurt to swallow when they were recently tightened and esp. when I first got them.

    Try using some baby orajel right before he eats so his gums are nice and numb OR give him some tylenol a little while before he eats to help with the inflammation and pain.

    If he is still doing this is a couple days I would personally take him back to the doctor to double check for a sore throat or ear infection. Good luck mama I hope he feels better soon!

    Answer by kfroz0415 at 2:47 PM on Aug. 18, 2010