It wasn’t always like this. L breezed through it all and I didn’t know how good I had it. A kid who just had teeth appear. It’s an amazing thing.
Then I had B. And things were a bit different.
So different that I often found myself in the pediatrician’s office, many times (sorry insurance) demanding that something must be wrong with him. He screamed non-stop. He wanted to be held; I would hold him, and he screamed wanting to get down. I would put him down; he would scream wanting to be held. He was up 5-6 times a night. His poor bottom – the rashes were unexplainable. And yet he checked out ‘fine’, over and over again.
I would tell my pediatrician about his swollen gums and he would chuckle, “Oh, some kids get slightly irritable but you can’t blame it all on teething.” And the killer “I don’t recommend Motrin for teething.”
Oh. Well, B probably consumed more Motrin in those 18 months of teething that L has in his entire life. Sorry not sorry.
See, every. single. tooth. was a 3-4 week painful ordeal. I would check his gums 10,000 times a day. Did it poke through? At times it had. And yet then disappear again, like it was taunting me. And the night wakings were awful; nothing would help. Motrin would only take a slight edge off. The rashes would get worse by the day. His little system just could not handle all the extra saliva.
You know what fixed it all? His teeth breaking through. I’d have my happy chubby little guy back. Things would be grand for a few weeks. Smiles, sleep. Zzzzzzzz. And then… it would creep back again. Time for another set of chompers to unleash their terror on our little family.
It’s no wonder when B cut his last 2 year molar (right at age 2, he was a bit fast with teething), M and I celebrated with the best bottle of champagne we could afford. B’s teething took a toll on all of us. We’d fight because we were tired. We’d get impatient with B (is it really that bad????). We’d be short with L. None of it was good. But we made it through. And he’s been sleeping and (generally) happy ever since.
I wanted to write this for any other moms out there that might be dealing with this and are quickly dismissed by a pediatrician or a search on Google. In our case, teething was real. It caused a bad runny nose, a horrible rash, multiple night wakings, and extreme crankiness. Here are a few tips that helped, and some that didn’t:
- Popsicles. On the worst days, I’d give them to him all day. He loves these and the ‘no sugar added’ made me feel like a better mom. Score.
- Motrin took a little edge off but it was no miracle.
- At the slightest sign of a rash, I immediately switched to damp paper towels instead of wipes. They were much more gentle.
- Get as much fresh air on the little booty as humanly possible. I realize this is a hard one. There were many winter days I sat alone in my basement just letting him run wild naked.
- Aveeno oatmeal baths. It’s the only time he would be happy. Obviously, I bought them in bulk.
- NO juice. The acidity makes the rash worse.
- We used two diaper creams. One for prevention and one for healing. The preventative one goes on all the time. The healing one would go on top of the preventative one at the first sign of a rash.
- Give yourself a break. Even if it’s to wander through Target for 30 minutes or take a quick walk. Leave the teething monster with someone – anyone – and get the heck out.
- On the really bad days B would wake up around 4:30AM to begin the day. I would then lay with him to get him back to sleep. At first I thought I was starting a bad habit but he needed the comfort and sleep, and as soon as the tooth popped through he went back to sleeping happily in his crib alone.
- Wine. A lot of wine.
- And the best tip I can give you? M would give the ice cubes out of his scotch to B on the really bad days. I’m actually not joking.
I hope a tip or two can help you, should you have a little teething one of your own. Just remember, like any bad stage, it does pass. It can be hard to know that when you’re in the thick of it but B and I are living proof of making it through those 20 little baby teeth.
Do you have any teething tips to share? Leave them in a comment below.
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