I know that every mom can agree that the evil twin sister of the Tooth Fairy has to be the Teething Fairy. And, let me also tell you that she makes pretty frequent visits in the three years of a toddler’s life because almost every mom I ever speak to starts our conversation off by saying, “I’m pretty sure my baby is teething, so that’s why she’s not sleeping.”
Teething gets a lot of credit for sleepless nights and for good reason. The discomfort and pain from the teething process would make any human, young or old, have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. I also want to mention, however, even though teething is uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be the reason why your baby wakes up every other night, for years.
The underlying reason why most babies wake up during the night-time is because they have a dependency on mom, bottle, pacifier, or rocking to fall asleep. Once they wake up at night, they need that same process to happen for them to fall back asleep. I promise it’s not that baby doesn’t want to sleep, it’s because baby doesn’t know how to put herself back to sleep. If this sounds like a familiar situation, let’s first book a call, then continue talking about how to handle teething.
If you do have a champ sleeper and still experiencing a fussy little babe during bedtime, here are some of my tried and true words of wisdom. Stay consistent with what you have put into place. During these times, the vulnerability of our babies encourages mom to start implementing new sleeping strategies, or resorting back to old ones. It is our role to maintain the hard work, while still offering relief to our babies.
Teething pain can start much earlier than the actual appearance of a tooth and some of the most common symptoms include:
- Grabbing ears
- Rubbing face
- Turning away from food or loss of appetite
- Fussiness or irritability
- Swollen gums
- The desire to bite, chew, or suck on everything baby gets her hands on
- Upset bowels
Let’s talk about how we can offer some relief while we wait for what feels like an eternity for those little pearly-whites to pop out.
- Offer a Teether
I know, I know. Well duh..but move over Sophie the Giraffe because this Nuby Silicone Teether is amazing! First, and foremost, let’s talk safety and you can be sure that it’s BPA (and all other harmful things) free. It also comes with a convenient and hygienic carrying case. It has bristles that help to wear down the gum and reduce the pain in the eruption of the tooth. The bristles also help to clean the gums and other teeth. Win, win!
- Teething Relief drops
No, mama. Don’t’ worry. I am right there with you with the natural, homeopathic, good stuff. Camilia Teething Relief Drops temporarily relieves symptoms of teething, including painful gums and irritability, as well as minor digestive discomforts sometimes associated with teething. Camilia’s natural active ingredients include Chamomilla, has been known for thousands of years to alleviate gum pain. Camilia teething drops do not contain benzocaine, alcohol, flavors, dyes, lactose, sugar or artificial sweeteners.
I want to mention that there is also a teething oil, called Punkin Butt Oil that I have used for Eva, however, recently is was brought to my attention by a lovely mom that clove is not recommended for babies under two. Depending on how potent the oil is, it can be poisonous. I’d like to believe that this company has taken a responsible approach towards offering a safe product, but you know best.
- Teethers with frozen fruit
I have to be honest that I didn’t use the teethers or solid gadgets for too long because both of my babies went on to eat pieces of fruits pretty quickly so these were short lived in our house. The teethers filled with frozen fruit, especially in the hotter days of the year, can work to numb the irritated gums. If babe has early signs of teething and isn’t having solids yet, you can also freeze some milk and ease up the gums that way.
- Pain Management
I am all for the natural stuff, but honestly; neither of us would go to sleep with a toothache, so what makes me think my little babe can? If I have tried all other remedies and I can literally see, the tooth under the skin, ready to make a grand appearance, I will offer a very low dose of Tylenol or Motrin to take the edge off, and allow babe to sleep. This would be a conversation to bring up to your pediatrician since offering medication to younger babies have special doses and you want to make sure that you have been correctly informed.
Teething is such a big deal in my Armenian culture, that we even have a whole party dedicated to it. After the appearance of the first tooth, the family gets together to celebrate this big milestone with a party called an “Atam-Hatik”, or “Agra-Hatik”. On this day, the baby is propped up in the middle of the table as the family holds up a veil or tulle over her head. They then sprinkle barley, or “hatik”, over the baby’s head to signify fruitfulness and wish her an easy teething process. (We’ll take all the luck we can get, am I right, mamas?)
How these next events are connected is something I cannot offer an explanation for, but after the sprinkling of the barley, the baby then goes on to choose her future profession. I know, right? Teething… profession…. I suppose that as we are wishing her fruitfulness and good luck, a solid career and a good fortune would also be something we would all wish for.
We celebrated Eva’s teething process while celebrating her first birthday. By now, she has six teeth and did have a rough time with it. She chose a stethoscope as her future profession so it’s now up to her what her future holds. I used my wedding veil as the tulle to hold above her head and almost had the crazy idea of turning my wedding dress into a dress for her to be worn on her first birthday. Glad I reconsidered.