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Ahhh….The Joys of Teething

March 12, 2012

Nothing can ever fully prepare you for a teething baby.  You always hear how much teething sucks for everyone involved but until you experience it first hand, you really don’t know how your baby will react and what to expect.  I prepared heavily for the teething stage and got a bunch of remedies so when the time came we were ready for war and ready to win that war (or at least survive it for the time being)!

Every baby is SO different when it comes to teeth and teething.  Teeth have a time line of their own.  D started teething around 4 months but didn’t get his first tooth until he was 6 months old.  When his first tooth was breaking through we were about to leave on our first plane ride and the days leading up to us leaving, D was a complete disaster!  He would have complete meltdowns where he was inconsolable and screaming.  It.Was.No.Fun.!!!  I thought we were going to have to cancel the trip because there was no way I could handle all of that on a confined plane for 3 hours!!  However, he got over his pain issues and was a happy boy by packing day and we were fine on the plane, yay!!

The one big thing to remember about teething is that every baby copes differently and at different times.  It feels like every time I think we’re done with teething for awhile another tooth decides to pop its way through!  If only they just got all their teeth in within a few weeks span and then they were done for a few years sure would be nice.  ;(

After doing some research I discovered that Baby Orajel is not good for babies at all.  The numbing ingredient, Benzocaine, can cause the baby to choke because they cannot feel the back of their throat.  So I chose to get Hylands Teething Gel, Teething Pellets, and Camilia Teething Gel.  I felt that as long as we went with homeopathic products that it was OK to use them as needed, compared to if we used Orajel, which has restrictions due to the chemical ingredients. We also used Tylenol and/or Motrin as a last resort when needed to sooth the pain when it was really bad (usually at night).  I also found that Gripe water really helped sooth and calm him down.  There is also a natural tincture called Quiet Time by Wish Garden Herbal Supplements, which can also help calm the child down.  (FYI, I never used all of these at the same time!  Please discuss all your options with a Pediatrition before making an major decisions.)

We also used a Baltic Amber teething necklace during the day to help hinder the teething pain.  Baltic amber contains Succinic acid and once heated against the skin it releases an all natural analgesic (pain relief) that helps with teething pain as well as colic, gas and other ailments.  Baltic amber has been used for centuries and is a wonderful way to help hinder teething pains.  You can keep the necklace on 24/7 if you choose but I opted to keep it on just during the day and take it off at night (just a personal paranoia that I have).

Teething has gone in waves for us.  He just turned 1 and has his four front top and bottom teeth.  The bottom teeth have been the most painful for him and the top teeth have come in without a fuss (for the most part)!  But the one constant thing has been drool – LOTS of it – buckets worth!!  Some days he goes through two bibs!  There have even been times where he had such dry, chapped skin under his chin from the saliva overload that I had to put Aquaphor on it throughout the day to help repel all the saliva and Calendula lotion on it too.

We have a bunch of different teething rings/devices but in the end he seems to prefer his fingers to gnaw on with his gums.  A friend gave us this teether that vibrates and looks like a bushel of grapes but with a handle and plastic – he uses that the most.  It must be something about the vibrating that soothes his gums or he just likes the sensation, who knows!    He also loved his Sophie the Giraffe teether, which is a popular teether for the parents that prefer Phthalates and BPA free plastics and is 100% natural rubber and food paint.  D didn’t really like the soothing cold remedies, like a frozen wash cloth, to teeth on in the beginning but eventually enjoyed their soothing properties after he realized that it helped keep the pain at bay.

Some remedies that lots of people utilize are wet, frozen wash cloths, teething rings, your knuckle, a toothbrush, etc.  There’s also mesh feeders that work GREAT for putting ice cubes or frozen fruit in without posing a choking hazard.  As long as there is something to sooth the pressure and pain of the teeth breaking through on the gums, the baby should be somewhat comforted for periods of time.  The biggest thing to remember when dealing with a teething baby is that sometimes teething pain can only be soothed with some good ‘ol TLC.  Sometimes there is just nothing more a parent can do to or apply to make the pain go away but to just hold them, rub their gums, rock them, sing to them – do whatever it takes to get their mind off the throbbing pain.  At times, it felt like we were regressing in terms of sleep, etc. because he was up at all hours of the night with teething pain and nursing lots.  It was so hard because as a parent you feel so helpless.  You just want to make the pain go away for them.  It’s one of the first big lessons we learned as new parents – the feeling of helplessness.

It’s so hard to deal with a baby who is in pain and there’s nothing much more you can do for them.  Teething was my first experience dealing with an uncontrollable, crying baby, and it was NOT FUN!!  D was such a laid back and easy baby  until teething started – I freaked out more than he did!  I had difficulties trying to calm him down when the boob wasn’t doing the trick during his high pain times.  During such times I thought about how Mommies handle melt downs without a boob.  The boob in our household solves world problems!  If it wasn’t for the boob we would be in for a rough road!  😉

Now, we haven’t had to deal with teething pains beyond the front teeth so I cannot attest to molars etc.  If you have dealt with these issues and would like to share your experiences, please do so.  Anyone else as well who has additional tips and advice for parents regarding teething are more than welcome to share, please help each other out in the comments below!  🙂

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