A quarter of new mums and dads unwittingly leave their baby in pain and discomfort for up to four and a half days before discovering the cause of the cries, because they've overlooked a common issue that could be behind the distress - teething.
Nearly half of all new parents don't recognise the early symptoms of teething and almost one in five didn't realise their baby was teething until saw a tooth, according to a new survey released on National Teething Week.
The four most common signs of teething are excessive drooling, swollen gums, wanting to chew and general increased fussiness, particularly at night.
Almost half of the parents questioned said that they thought that the experience of teething was the hardest thing about having a young child, and almost one fifth said they had burst into tears themselves because they couldn't cope with their teething child being constantly upset.
Many parents also said they felt judged when they were unable to calm their child's cries in public and were so embarrassed that they felt the need to beat a hasty retreat (or wished they could do so).
A quarter have walked out of restaurants mid-meal, 20 have even felt the need to leave a friend's house.
However, it's not all bad news, as some quick-thinking mums and dads have decided to use this difficult stage to their advantage with one in 10 using it as an excuse to get out of a dreaded social engagement.
So next time the door bells rings make sure you have a teether to hand, just in case!
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