Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TTT - Teething

It may be late in the day, but it's still Tuesday.  So that means it's Toddler Tips Tuesday time.  Today's topic: Teething

My little man cut his first tooth at the young age of 4 months.  But I really shouldn't complain because my aunt's first child (my cousin) was born with a few teeth! Although, that might not be too bad since she missed out on the whole painful teething part of his getting teeth.  As any parent knows, teething can be rough on parents and kids.

We always know when Lukas is teething because a few things happen:  He starts drooling more than a bulldog, he puts everything in his mouth (more so than usual), he grinds his teeth, and my favorite, he starts biting his friends at school.  Yes, I have that kid.  And a new tooth always pops up within a day or two of the call from his school letting me know that my little guy was "hungry" that day. 

Thankfully Lukas only has two more teeth to cut (aside from his 2 year molars) and we've finally figured out some things that are helpful in dealing with the pain of teething.  (Although, cutting molars is awful and the month of December was rough for us, marked by not one full night sleep.  For any of us.  Lukas wound up in bed with us every night in December and the only thing that would comfort him was nursing.  So there's a plug for "prolonged" nursing if you're considering it.)

So what has helped us with those pesky pearly whites??

Teething Tablets - my favorite are Hylands - they dissolve on/under the tongue.  According to their website:  "Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets provide a natural, homeopathic formula for symptoms of simple restlessness and wakeful irritability due to the cutting of teeth. It reduces pain, inflammation, fever, drooling and the discomfort of teething."  All I know is that the nights we use the tablets when he's teething, Lukas is calmer and has an easier time going to bed.  And he loves them - I think they're bubbly when they dissolve and it's a fun, new sensation for him.

I've tried another brand, Humphrey's and they worked well too.  My only complaint is that you have to dissolve the pellets in water and then apply the paste to the baby's gums.  This could be difficult for a baby who doesn't want anyone near his mouth!  But they work if you can't find the Hylands.

Advil - I think it works better than Tylenol for teething.  For one thing, it helps with inflammation and a dose lasts 8 hours rather than 6.  Of course, babies cannot use Advil until they are 6 months old and you should check with your doctor before using (remember, I'm just a mom and not a medical advice giver). 

Mesh Teething Food Bags - You can fill them with ice or frozen fruit and your kiddo can suck on the frozen food/ice which helps to numb their gums.  I think the pressure against the gums combined with the cold helps make their gums feel better.  Lukas loves to chew on frozen strawberries and ice.  You can find the mesh bags on amazon.com or at Target.

I rarely use orajel - it seems to be too controversial these days, so I stayed away from it, though I have some friends who swear by it.  I've also heard of freezing a bagel and letting your kid gnaw on that, or freezing a wet wash clothe for them to chew on.  Really, anything to help relieve the pressure should help the pain.

And luckily, once the tooth cuts the surface the worst is behind you!

What have you found that works when your kid is teething?  Any products you love/swear by?

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