Teething sucks. From the moment I get pregnant I start dreading the baby’s first teeth. The kid will JUST start sleeping decently well. Or you’re used to the shitty sleep, whichever. And then the teeth come. And they ruin whatever schedule you had for everything. You’re more sleep deprived than ever, your heart hurts because your little one is in the most pain she’s ever been in, your head hurts from lack of sleep and an excess of screaming, your arms and back hurt from holding your child and rocking them to sleep approximately 6 times a night. I would sacrifice a chicken to a voodoo priestess if my poor kid would just be done teething. So I’ve tried everything that I have ever heard of to help. Every kid is different. Even with my own, the same tricks don’t work twice. But here’s what I’ve got:
Tylenol and Motrin
I know a lot of people don’t like to medicate their kids like this. Especially not when they’re so little; two of my girls got their first teeth at 4 months. But here’s the rub: Do you take Tylenol when you’ve got a headache? Or Motrin when you’ve sprained your ankle? Your baby knows so little of the world, and this is very likely his first experience with pain. Remember how you felt when you were in the worst pain of your life. I like to picture the baby’s cries are baby speak for this. (NSFW link)
If you alternate them, you can give them something every 4 hours. and there will be a bit more buffer.
Keep the freezer stocked
You know all about the teething toys that have water I them that the baby chews on and it helps numb. You probably know the washcloth trick where you put a wet cloth in the freezer. Popsicles are a pretty logical next step (Get the Pedialyte ones if you love to spend extra money and feel good about yourself.) Or if you don’t want your kid to have the sugar, or if it’s too early for those things there’s always ice cubes .
One thing I always did that seems to be kind of unknown is keeping a spare pacifier in the freezer. The cold will help, and if you use the MAM pacifiers, then you can submerge them in water, push on the nipple and it will fill up with water. (Beware of that ability if you clean them, though. Because you will get soapy water in them. And it pretty much guarantees that you won’t be able to get them 100% clean after a sick baby, so you’ll probably have to toss them.) But if they’re full of water, then you freeze them, then they’re full of ice. Which is awesome for baby.
Besides the ones filled with water, there are a bunch of teething toys you’ve probably seen. This dumb giraffe is basically the most expensive dog toy you’ll ever buy. But it’s all natural and non toxic. (It’s probably made of what I assume they make edible underwear with: Food paint, natural rubber and fairy dust.) But it squeaks, too; this is equal parts annoying to your dog and awesome to your kid. There’s also the toy keys that they keep remaking.
You just freeze baby food in an ice tray and pop it in there. Or pop in a frozen fruit or veggie. They Nom on it and it doesn’t come out in choke-able hunks. This isn’t much help if your kid teethes before they’re eating many solids, though. But I suppose you could do an ice cube, too. Oooooh, that’s a good idea. I’m doing that today!
This is particularly helpful if your kid uses a pacifier. Just swap these out with the paci and they’ll love it. Keep two on hand; one always in the freezer.
These are particularly helpful for the molars coming in. And by the time the kid gets it’s molars you’ll probably be over the trauma of watching your kid teeth. Just in time for insane molar teeth pain.
(In case you want to poison your baby with a trace amount of diluted Belladonna aka Nightshade) I did mention I’d sacrifice a chicken to a voodoo priestess, right? So yeah, I’ve tried these. They didn’t really work for us, though so I don’t use them anymore. But I feel like if you’re not opposed to these, which have freakin’ nightshade in them, you should probably stop worrying about Tylenol.
Is it just me or does that sound filthy? But it’s not. I’m talking about these (I’m resisting the urge to link you to some ridiculous dildo or something there. And yes, I want credit for that.) Anyways, if you can get your kid to bite down and hold down then it’ll feel good on his gums. If your kids are like mine, then they’ll bite down and be absolutely stunned (every time) and look at it strangely, and try again. Repeat for about ten minutes. This is long enough to distract them from the pain for a while.
Teething necklaces for you
If you think you’re going to be able to wear your jewelry while your kid is teething, think again. Hell, if you’ve made it through having a baby and not scratched her with your ring or him pulling your earrings out… Kudos to you. But jewelry is fair game for a teething kid. So, rather than your nice jewelry getting slobbered on and gross, you can buy a silicone necklace like these that will feel good on baby’s mouth. I always imagine wearing this while talking to someone to give your kid a distraction that you won’t worry about. You know… If you talk to people.
Raw Amber teething necklaces
Do me a favor. Never buy these from a store. They over charge like nobody’s business. There are co-ops you can search on Facebook and find, join and buy them for like $12 and even Amazon has them for way cheaper than the ridiculous prices shops charge. Make sure to get them unpolished. These may be just another placebo. Sometimes I think they work and sometimes I think they’re crap. So, disclaimer. it may or may not work for you. Make sure never to let your baby sleep with it around his neck. You can wrap it twice around the ankle and put a sock over it, though. Just be sure to check it and make sure it’s not too loose or too tight.
Anything I missed? I would LOVE to know what works for your little one. Up to and including the name of a good voodoo priestess.