It seems like Baby Babe has been teething since she was 4 months old and she just cut her first tooth on the day she turned 8 months. Her tooth is super cute and I was really excited that she finally got one! Last night she seemed to be in a lot of pain and she was pretty restless. When she was crying I could see that her gums close to her new tooth looked very red and rigidity. [emoji anguished face] Some babies seem to have no problem popping out their pearly whites but others have a really hard time. On average babies get their first tooth between 4- 7 months old, but they could remain toothless even after their first birthday.
It’s so hard to know if your baby is fussing due to teething or if there’s something else going on. Some signs that your baby is teething are:
- Swollen/ red gums
- Poor sleeping and eating habits
It was surprising to me that teething didn’t seem to be an issue during the day, but at night it was. Maybe the pain was easier to dismiss when there were activities and toys to distract her from the pain, but when she was in her crib sleeping the pain was more noticeable.
At first I was very reluctant to use infant pain medicine. I tried most of the natural, homeopathic options and when that didn’t seem like enough I used medicine. I thought that I should hold off on medicine unless she had a fever but her pediatrician said that a baby could be having a lot of teething pain but not be running a fever. I felt worried about giving medication when I wasn’t 100% sure that the cause of fussiness and sleeplessness was teething. I thought “What if I’m just dosing her up but she’s not really teething?!” I had to let go of that “Mommy Guilt” and trust my instincts.
This was our plan of how to help relieve pain and make our teething babe more comfortable:
Squishy Cold Toys/ Wet Wash Cloth/ Massaging Gums: We first tried teething toys but in the middle of the night she shoved them away and got angry. These options seemed more effective and acceptable during the day. Actually a clean, dry baby sock is Baby Babe’s favorite thing to teeth on. lol! She also LOVES the Nuby Teether.
Breastmilk Pops, Frozen Fruit or Veggies: This is another great daytime option, but you probably won’t be rocking your baby at night and soothing them with a messy mesh feeder snack. We offered crushed frozen breastmilk in a mesh feeder but it wasn’t a big hit. She did love frozen peaches, apples and mango slices in the feeder though!
Teething Tabs: Next we tried Hyland’s Teething Tablets. There was a recall on Teething Tablets in 2010 and that recall is lingering around the interweb and continues to pop up in mom discussions over and over again. As of August 2014 there is no current recall on the Hyland’s Teething Tabs but if you are concerned, please visit their website. I do find teething tabs to be effective, but the directions state not to use them for more than 7 days. There have been some nights that the tabs don’t seem to be enough.
Tylenol or Motrin: In my experience medicine is the most effective treatment for teething but I don’t want to use it too much!
Amber Necklace: I was so, so reluctant to try the amber necklace! It seems like such a “crunchy” trend. I admit I had a bad attitude about it! How could little rocks help with teething? Fans of amber necklaces say that Baltic Amber contains Succinic Acid which is released when the amber is warmed from body heat. Those not in favor of amber necklaces sight dangers of choking or strangulation. It is important to note that the necklace is not meant to be chewed ON. It’s designed to be worn under clothing and fitting so that it does not dangle but is also not too snug.
When things got really rough with teething and I felt like I couldn’t continue using Tylenol we decided to try the amber necklace. About $30 and a few hours later, she slept through the night! She has not slept through the night every night she has wore the necklace, but I’m not sure… maybe it does help with the pain and inflammation.
My friend who taught me about amber necklaces referred me Umai Amber. They have some interesting information about amber and why it’s beneficial. On the other side, here is an article on What To Expect about the dangers of teething necklaces. I can totally see both perspectives!
If you are lucky enough to have an easy teether I am so happy for you!! If like the rest of us you had a hard time, what worked best for you? It is such a hard phase for babies and their parents, but thankfully it won’t last forever. Best of luck to you and your little chompers!