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!