I must confess before I had my son I never really gave a second thought about the teething stage for babies and toddlers. My only real concern was about how much sleep I was going to lose in those first few months. Looking back, I do remember these were always the two topics of conversation amongst my friends who already had kids. They all warned me and as they rambled off their horror stories, their struggles and suggestions for getting through it, their tips and tricks, I still only thought of one thing…so how much sleep am I going to lose? Now, I think to myself what a selfish fear to have but also a very common one, I suppose, amongst those without children.
Turns out my selfish fears had no real grounds because my little J started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old! Lucky for Mommy and Daddy! He also got through his first five teeth like a champ. I started thinking to myself, WOW, maybe we’re going to get extremely lucky and make it through the teething stage unscathed.
Then one day when J seemed to be a little crankier than normal, a little warmer than normal and little less hungry than he typically is I started checking out his mouth to do a little investigative work. And there it was– his first upper molar. My heart sank. Not only because I knew he seemed off but also because we had noticed something there a few weeks’ prior. At first glance, there was a bit of white on his gums, but because his lateral incisors and canines hadn’t even come in yet, we thought maybe he’d just cut his gums on a toy. A first time parenting mistake for many I presume.
Here are 5 helpful tricks I’ve learned to help little ones with their teething troubles:
Popsicles. I give him as many popsicles as he wants! These cold treats help can sooth soar little gums while distracting baby from the pain. Making the popsicles myself helps me feel a little less guilty when J sometimes has 3 to 4 a day. Making them is just as easy as eating them. Just five minutes of your time, some fresh or frozen fruit, whole milk organic yogurt, a food processor or blender, a popsicle mold (I use these) and voilà. J’s favorite is a great one for an evening snack. All you need is one ripe banana, ½ cup of organic whole milk yogurt, and a ½ cup of brewed chamomile tea. It’s sure to be a hit.
Teething Toys. I always carry a small bag of various teething toys for my little one. His favorite is the Baby Banana Training Toothbrush. The rubber bristles can help massage achy gums and baby can chew on both ends. You can buy it from Amazon here. After doing some research, I also found these ZoLi Chubby Gummy Gum Massagers. J and I both like these because their elongated shape and textured tip can reach the molars. Both teethers are BPA and phthalate free.
Pain Relievers. Motrin or some form of Ibuprofen is a must have in your medicine cabinet. Along with Tylenol. Keeping these two medications on hand will come in very useful when those unforeseen fevers spike at 3 am (because who wants to drive to the pharmacy at 3 am in their pjs). Fevers are common amongst teething babies and can spike when you least expect them to, so be prepared and don’t be afraid to use them. When bone is growing through your baby’s gums, it’s going to be painful. Make sure to follow the label’s directions carefully and only use the coordinating syringe. Being vigilant to your baby’s behavior will allow you to know when using medication for relief is necessary.
Frozen Snacks. Applesauce bites, frozen yogurt bites, yogurt covered cheerios, and frozen bananas are some of my little one’s favorites. Frozen or chilled teething rings are a common remedy for most babies but not my little J. He’s never really gotten any relief or satisfaction from these old school favorites. So I had to come up with something different to soothe his soar little gums. Check back for some of my favorite frozen snack recipes.
Distractions. Family playtime, a favorite cartoon, a few minutes on a swing or a walk outside is always a good idea when trying to get baby’s mind off what’s ailing him. A change of pace or scenery can shake things up and allow baby to focus on something fun. For my little one—a banana chamomile Popsicle in his Little Tykes truck and he’s got it made.
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What are some of your go-to teething remedies? Tell me in the comments below.
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