Teething!

Defensive Disclaimer: I KNOW that it could seem that parents go on and on about this thing called teething, and why do they care so much? Are they that bored?

Someday, however, when your child screams for hours, crying out in pain, you will understand.

They say that if average adults had to deal with teething pain, we would be flat on our backs, sick as dogs. Some say to compare it to just having had your teeth pulled out, day in and out.

Whatever the case may be, whenever Gregory is teething, it’s obvious. He bites down HARD on my hand whenever it is near. He whimpers and cries, even when I’m sitting by his side, trying to play with him. He drools everywhere. He spits up (the kid normally only does this once or twice a month, if that!). The only positive side effect is that he sleeps more (his first nap was 2.5 hours today– his second has been going on for over 2 hours as we speak…)

It’s a dilemma for parents. The only sure-fire way to ease his suffering that I’ve found so far is Children’s Tylenol. I only give him 1/2 the recommended dose (under .4 mL), and only once every 8-10 hours, but I still feel terrible about it. I don’t want to tax his poor liver, even though I know he’s only getting one tiny dose every few days or so.

I have a few other tools in my arsenal. Homeopathic belladonna tablets for the swelling, the Orajel Naturals teething gel (it’s wise to be careful of the other stuff, since it has Benzocaine in it! For most babies, this is okay, but for some, it causes a deadly allergic reaction), and chamomile drops. I usually employ all of the above before giving him the Tylenol.

Fun toys with different textures are all good and fine, until a certain point. Once he reaches it, however, he is in too much pain to want ANYTHING in or near his mouth. This is usually the point where the whimpers are turning into wailing screams. I almost always have to give him Tylenol if we get to this.

On top of it all, I probably get one or two safety notices/week in my inbox, warning parents to discard any teething toy that doesn’t expressly state it was made without BPA or Phthalates. The first one, BPA, is now illegal to use in the manufacture of most bottles and pacifiers. The second, Phthalates, are not far behind, mostly because of the damage they do to the liver.

There are several things I am going to try. If anyone has any further suggestions, please, please, share. It’s like a war zone over here!

Gum-omile Oil: I called around and found some at the Sunflower Shoppe down the road. I will be picking this up tonight!

Baltic Amber Necklace: I’ve seen many babies that I know wearing these. This remedy seems, excuse my adjective, hokey. A necklace? To provide teething relief? From what I’ve read, as long as it’s actual amber stone, they release succinic acid (a natural analgesic) when they come in contact with warm skin. There’s the choking or strangulation hazard to consider, but I’ve seen many that do their best to minimize these risks (by having stones that, in the case of accidental breakage, are small enough that they wouldn’t block an airway. They are knotted in between so that they wouldn’t ALL come off, and the clasp would break if it accidentally caught on something). From the reviews I’ve seen, some people swear by them. Others say that there was no noticeable difference, but at least it was cute looking!

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5 thoughts on “Teething!

  1. We’ve used an amber necklace (from Inspired by Finn) for Marshall since he was 4 months old. He wears it 24/7. He has NEVER had an issue teething. No sleepless nights, no biting, sometimes the occasional drool. I don’t usually even know he’s getting a tooth until I can see it popping thru. For $11 I highly recommend it.

    If you’re into homeopathics, chamomilla is the go to remedy. Also just for colic or crankiness in general. You can get the tablets on Amazon or in any health food store. Belladonna is (mostly) used for sudden onset fevers. It can help with heat, redness, and burning sensations from teething… but most of the time you are going to get far better results with the chamomilla.

    Clove oil rubbed on the gums is also natural and very effective in reliving pain.

    Personally I would never ever ever give Tylenol to an infant. If you feel like you have to/want to give him something like that, ibuprofen is a better choice and much easier on the liver. Ibuprofen also reduces inflammation whereas acetaminophen does not, so it is usually more effective for teething.

    Frozen breastmilk pieces are soothing as well (like freeze flat in a milk/ziplock bag and break off little chunks.

    • Steph,

      Actually, I wouldn’t want to give him Ibuprofen either, on recommendation from both my pediatricians. Because it reduces inflammation (constricting blood vessels), it’s actually got a high risk of blood clots and seizures associated with it when given to infants. While neither is preferable (hence my quandaries!), tylenol was said to be the better of the two for babies. But I don’t want to be using it, it’s just hard to conclude that hours of screaming is better!

      I saw from pics that Marshall wears it, so I was hoping you would respond. Then again, it sounds like M is just an easy baby in general…I have friends whose babies wear theirs, and it doesn’t do much good. But it’s definitely worth a shot! Has he ever tried to take it off?

      Also, it looks like the gum-omile stuff has both chamomile and clover oil!

  2. Hey! Nope, he’s never tried to take it off. Its supposed to go under his clothes and against the skin, so most of the time he can’t get to it, although it seems like I’m always tucking it back in:) Honestly, I don’t even know if he realizes its there. Every time I have taken it off to clean it and forgotten to put it back on him before bed he’s had a horrible night. Its probably a coincidence, but it really is every time. I’ll definitely be getting one for the next baby, besides its a great conversation starter — everyone asks about it.

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