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jeanmay's avatar

Is my son sick, teething, or both?

Asked by jeanmay (3421 points ) May 16th, 2010

We are going to the doctor this afternoon, but before we do I wondered if some parents here might be able to give me some insight.

My 26 month old son is refusing food. He’s still eating a little here and there, but usually he has a healthy appetite. No matter what I give him (even old favourites) he’s just not interested. Usually when he’s teething he’s pretty fussy about his food, so perhaps his canines are coming in. But he won’t let me look in his mouth or put a finger in to feel.

Other symptoms include a little cough, a little irritability, lots of salivating. This has been going on for two days.

Care to share your toddler teething experiences? Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

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13 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m glad to see you are taking him to the doctor, but I suggest you call the 24 hour nurses hot line for now for an accurate answer.

In my experience, it could be a toss up between several of the possibilities you have mentioned. Try ice and ice water, and don’t worry about the rest.

whitenoise's avatar

In general, as long as he is normally responsive, doesn’t have a fever and drinks and urinates properly, your greatest worries should be appeased.

Your his mother though… if you feel something is not in good order, trust your feeling and take him to the doctor as you describe.

Maybe check whether he has pain when you pull his ear lobes down and to his back, which may indicate an ear infection, his breath odor and whether he has swollen glands in his neck and groins. These may indicate infection.

My feeling is it is likely teething or a combination of teething and a mild flue-like infection.

Cruiser's avatar

I do recall my sons both going through spells where they just didn’t eat much and the other elements of your question do sound like teething. Just keep your baby well hydrated and your baby will eat again when they do get hungry. Your doc will give you all the real advice you need good luck!

MissAusten's avatar

It sounds to me like he’s either teething or coming down with a cold. Have you tried giving him some infant Tylenol or Motrin? If he’s not wanting to eat because of sore gums or a sore throat, a pain reliever might help. However, as long as he is getting plenty of fluids, I wouldn’t worry too much. The doctor will be able to rule out anything serious. Good luck!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It is possible that he is both teething and sick – that’s how it sometimes is with our youngest.

Pandora's avatar

Its not uncommon for two year olds to lose their appetite. I don’t know why but both of mine did it about 2 and both times the doc said it was normal. Their appetites will fluctuate over the next few years. He said so long as they were not dropping a lot of weight and other wise seemed healthy, that there was nothing to worry about. If he has a bit of a cough its probably a cold and his food probably doesn’t taste appetizing right now.

jeanmay's avatar

Hi thanks for all your thoughts. The doctor says he has a cough (official diagnosis!), and he said it’s common right now as there’s lots of yellow dust around. (I had never thought of that, and it is quite worrying, reading about it!). This may or may not have affected his appetite, or he could also be teething. Doctor suggested gently feeling with my finger when he’s asleep – good idea! That way I can comfortably give him some pain medicine if I feel a tooth emerging.

Today he is eating much better, either way. Would still love to hear about your teething toddler experiences if anyone feels like posting!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@jeanmay Thanks for the update!

YARNLADY's avatar

Please see the Tylenol recall before giving your child any Children’s and Infant’s Tylenol liquid products.

jeanmay's avatar

@YARNLADY Thanks for the heads up. I’m not sure I’ve seen any of those products where we live though (South Korea).

casheroo's avatar

Sometimes my son just really isn’t hungry during the day. I’ll always offer meals, we sit down for them and he either eats everything on his plate or he grazes. I also give him snacks throughout the day, since I don’t want to wait until he’s super hungry to eat (he’s 34 months)

Also, if it’s a day where I notice he really hasn’t eaten much, I will give him a supplement drink..like NutriPals or whatever.
My son got most of his teeth prior to turning 2. He got molars and all prior to turning 1, and got his canines last. He never really did much during teething, only in the beginning. But, he did bleed from the teeth coming in once the sharp ones came in, so don’t be disturbed if you ever find a little bit of blood on his bed at night. well, as long as it came from his mouth, obviously

jeanmay's avatar

@casheroo Thanks! I’ve been browsing stuff on the net and finding that you should think of toddler’s food intake over a week rather than day to day. It’s true that some days he stuffs himself and others not so much. Never heard of using supplement drinks. Are they specially for kids?

casheroo's avatar

Well, we use http://nutripals.com/ or http://pediasure.com/
Only as a last resort..and my son loves them.

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