Well, it has begun. Teething. And by the looks of the infant teething chart above (provided by Orajel), looks like we’re in a for a few years of fun.
True to the diagram, my son’s right central incisor is the first to erupt. Right now it looks like a pearly white dot in his mouth; at first glance it would be mistaken for a drop of milk or formula. But upon closer inspection, it’s clear that it’s the top of a tooth, peeking out amongst hills of red and swollen gums. Poor little guy is gumming onto anything — bibs, toys, his own hands — any chance he gets for some relief.
Allow me to share what I have experienced:
- DROOL: It’s coming in gallons. Soaking through several bibs a day. Dripping all over his clothes, the floors, and Mommy or Daddy when holding him. Turns out this is a classic sign of teething, especially if excessive and after 4 months of age. I read somewhere that the drool actually helps the baby with discomfort by cooling and lubricating the gums. Maybe so, maybe not… But it’s definitely everywhere.
- Coughing: All the drool has nowhere to go, especially if the baby is reclined, except into the throat. This leads to some coughing and gagging. At first it freaked me out until I realized what was causing it. There’s not much I can do but encourage him to “cough it out.”
- GUMMING: I don’t know the official term for it, but by this I mean grabbing anything and everything he can to shove it into his mouth for some chewing relief. His bib is usually an easy first grab, followed by his toys or even his own fists. He loves Sophie the Giraffe and is finally getting some use out of his teethers.
- Reduced Appetite: Feedings have become, at times, extraordinarily fussy. He tries to eat, realizes he is still in pain, cries/screams, tries some more, realizes it still hurts, cries some more, etc. Frustrating for all of us. I’ve found that alternating bottle and solids as part of the same feeding helps somewhat. I think it’s just because of the distraction aspect – something different to keep his mind off the pain. Whatever it takes.
- Kidsme Food Feeder: Baby and I both love this little contraption! It’s BPA free (yay) and holds little pieces of fruit or veggies for the baby to taste/eat without the risk of choking. I use it for teething relief by filling it with frozen mango chunks – the organic ones from Whole Foods are the perfect size. He gums it to his heart’s delight and gets to try new fruit while the cold takes the edge off. I also use it during flight takeoffs and descents; the sucking helps with his ears.
- Camilia Teething Drops: After complaining to my hubby’s cousin about trying to find a good teething relief agent that didn’t contain benzocaine, she recommended these drops. They are wonderful! A homeopathic remedy, they are single-dosage (read: sterile) drops that finally help provide relief for my little one. I’ve tasted them myself and they’re mildly sweet – not offensive like some other remedies. They guarantee both us and baby a period of calm whenever used. Also – since they are single dosages – they are easy to drop into your purse, baby bag, whatever. I get mine at Whole Foods although I know they’re available online as well.
Other than that, we just provide a lot of love and comfort. Our son’s been a little trooper so far; a bit fussy and uncomfortable, but handling it overall. Would love to hear about other relief tips if any of you have them!