June 22, 2013

Teething Pains

To the tune of “On top of Spaghetti”:

On top of the Wor-ld
With my Darlin’ Nicole
I lost my poor Marbles
When somebody Teethed

Nicki had a difficult time sleeping when her first two teeth were coming in. Of course there were other factors, and we weren’t sure if it was the teething keeping her up. Teeth #3 and #4 came in with little fanfare. For just a couple of days as they were breaking through the surface Nicki would fuss going to bed and took longer to fall asleep. Easy Peasy.

Then came Tuesday. Nicki rebelled against the nap. She slept for twenty minutes in the morning and would not go to sleep in the afternoon. A friend suggested teething might be the culpable, but I was skeptical. She just had two new teeth. These things are supposed to be spread out to give parents a break, right? Right?!

I checked and tooth #5 had already cut through the surface. Yes, with no symptoms. So we would just have one rough patch with tooth #6, right? It can’t be that different than the other teeth, right? RIGHT?!?!

Tooth #6 has caused more pain and grief than all other teeth combined. The pain is worse when she lies down and she’s fighting going to sleep, even to be rocked to sleep.

Thursday night Nicki woke up in the middle of the night. She was an hour away from her next possible Tylenol dose and you could just hear the pain in her cries. But even though she was crying in pain, she wasn’t fully awake. She kept turning over, like she was trying to get comfortable and just couldn’t. I was left with two options. (1) Go in and cuddle my crying baby. I could attempt to sooth her back to sleep (or at least until her next Tylenol dose) but in the process she’d wake up fully by my presence, and face the full brunt of her pain. or (2) Let her cry and see if she can go back to sleep on her own. The risk with this option is that she might not go back to sleep, and then I would have just let her wallow in agony, alone in the dark. Worst.Mom.Ever

Letting a baby cry has got to be the hardest thing a parent ever has to do. I certainty can’t begrudge anyone who would have picked option 1. Thankfully, just four minutes later she was asleep again, and she slept through the rest of the night without needing another Tylenol dose.

Here we are almost a week later and tooth #6 doesn’t appear to be any closer to breaking through. I’ve tried:

* Freezable Teethers. They work ok, but they tend to get warm too quickly, and Nicki isn’t really interested in them.
* Rubber Teethers. She’ll chew on them if she’s not in too much pain. Once she starts crying, forget about it.
* Tylenol. It’s effective for us, but I think part of the reason it’s so effective is because we use it sparingly. My main beef with baby acetaminophen is that they typically flavor it like candy. Nicki will insist on more after she gets the full dose. She’s already overtired and fussy, I don’t need to give her another reason to cry.
* Chilling a banana. This has been one of our better remedies. She loves banana, and eating chilled banana bits keeps something cool on her gums longer than the freezable teethers. Nicki loves to eat.
* Frozen Washclothes. I’m told these will work wonders when her back molars are come in. Babies can get the washcloths back to where the gums need the relief. Right now she doesn’t really seem interested, although she did chow down on her bath washcloth for a good five minutes the other day.

You can guess how well all this is working from the title of this post. I’m open to suggestions if you have any. In the mean time I will keep reminding myself that this, too, shall pass. There are a finite number of teeth coming in. We just have to wait them out.

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  1. That’s funny, we’re working on #6 too. (My daughter is 9 months, so I’ve enjoyed following along with Nicki’s progress). #3,4, and 5 all came in right after each other, but #6 is taking a couple weeks to poke through the surface. The best thing we’ve found when she’s screaming from teething is something you covered — frozen banana. I break bananas in chunks and keep them in the freezer for smoothies, so I just put one of these in her mesh feeder (http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Pack-Fresh-Feeder-Colors/dp/B000GK5XY2) and let her go to town. This will give me 10-20 minutes of hands-free sanity in the middle of a teething tantrum. Just make sure she’s wearing a bib or on a blanket or something that’s easily washed 🙂 She also loves sucking on just plain ice cubes in the mesh feeder. You can also try making different flavored popsicles (blend up a batch and then freeze in your ice cube tray), and putting them in the mesh feeder for her to teethe on. I tried this with avocado and pear puree, but my LO is very picky and hates avocados, so she refused to suck on that one. She does like sucking/chewing on a wet washcloth (when I’m washing her face), but she hated the frozen wash cloth that I tried. I think it was too stiff. She doesn’t really use any of her teething rings either. The biggest problem I have is teaching her not to bite, especially while breastfeeding. I’m hoping the urge goes away when she stops teething!

    • I love the mesh feeder idea! Ordered!

      Tooth #6 still hasn’t broken through the surface, and doesn’t look any closer to it either. That’s one stubborn little tooth! At least her teething pain seems to be subsiding. She went down without much of a fuss tonight.

      Nicki bites when teething too. She do it while nursing too often, but the other day she gave me a big purple welt when I was brushing her teeth with the finger toothbrush. Now that the teething pain seems to be lessening she’s stopped biting. Hope you’re little one stops soon too!

    • The mesh feeder idea turned out great! Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Awesome! Glad to help 🙂


  1. […] forecast is over 100! Well, I guess there’s one aspect that could have been better. Nicole’s teething pain seems to be subsiding, but isn’t gone completely and she refused her nap. Poor […]

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