Mention teething to any veteran parent and an immediate sigh of sympathy comes out of their mouth. Mention teething to an expectant or new parent and they’ll ask, “how did you get through it?!” Not saying I have the magic answer or better yet, magic baby (WE are teething right now). I’ve found that these simple tips have helped ease the sleepless nights and fussy days.
How did you know Joey was teething? Drool pools, all objects that hit his hands went in his mouth, bulging gums, rosy cheeks, crying at night with multiple wake-ups, fussy during the day, minimal appetite. Sounds fun, right?!
1. Be medicinally prepared for baby: Invest in some pain medication (infant Tylenol or Motrin). Be sure to check with your doctor before giving baby medication (at least the first time around with teething). We gave Joey doses before bed and then again if he woke up in the night. After about 3 nights of giving the Tylenol, teething symptoms eased up and we stopped the medication. If you do not want to give your little one medication, read on (and grab a big glass of wine).
2. Be playfully prepared for baby: Teething rings are our lifesaver during the day. I freeze it at night and let him chomp on it throughout the day. The cooling helps to ease the pressure and numb some of the pain. You can also give baby a cold washcloth to chew on. Works just like a teething ring!
3. Don’t be afraid to call the doctor: Some doctor’s think “believed” symptoms of teething (fever, diarrhea, fussiness, loss of appetite) are actually a sign of illness vs. teething. Did anyone ever tell you that becoming a parent means you’ll be part-time detective?! Yeah, so don’t automatically assume it’s teething, especially if baby’s temperature is above 101.
4. Ask for help: If your baby is teething, it WILL be a trying time emotionally and physically for you. No one wants his or her little one to cry or reach out in pain. If your baby is up a lot in the night with teething symptoms, trade-off the wake-ups with your partner. If you are on your own, I’d suggest napping when your baby naps to regain strength AND sanity. If that can’t happen, then make your coffee extra strong and know I’m praying for you!!
5. Have Faith: This too shall pass… I’m a firm believer that God doesn’t give us (or our baby’s) anything we can’t handle. Know the worst teething symptoms last about a week at a time and things are likely to go back to normal…. Whatever normal means!