People talk about how teething is the worst thing to ever befall their babies. They talk about interrupted sleep patterns, uncontrollable crying, rivers of drool, compulsive gnawing, etc.
I thought I understood. I thought I had been there. I have even partaken in teething related conversations, nodding my head along with my fellow moms, saying, “Oh, yes teething is TERRIBLE! Been there, done that!”
But oh no. I did not understand. I had not been there. I had not done that.
Harlow has been slow to get in her teeth. For some reason, she got her middle teeth on the top and bottom and then skipped to the molars. The secondary incisors and the canines have just started coming in over this past week.
(Do you like my official dental jargon? I looked it up myself on google.)
It seemed to be going okay until Saturday afternoon when Harlow was suddenly very lethargic.
It’s important to note how different lethargy is from my daughter’s usual behavior. Usually, she is ball of energy you can barely see, she is moving so fast. Even at 5am, when Harlow wakes up, she doesn’t want to crawl into bed with us. She wants me to put her on the floor so she can run out the door and get the party started in the living room.
On Saturday afternoon, all Harlow wanted to do was lie on top of me with her head buried on my shoulder. There was no fight in her body. No moving muscles. Just a big snugglebug.
I thought— Well, there is obviously something wrong with my baby, but… I LIKE IT.
She went to bed with a low fever. I checked on her throughout the night and she was sweating but sleeping soundly.
The next day, Harlow woke up and it was like a dam had broken in her mouth.
Actually, it was more like every orfice on her face had turned on the waterworks.
Her eyes were tearing, her nose was running, and saliva was pouring out of her mouth like she was trying to put out a forrest fire. Or perhaps, she was trying to give Victoria Falls some tourism competition.
“It’s the eighth wonder of the world! Harlow’s gums!”
We went about our day and despite going through about ninety tissues, all was well.
Then Harlow went down for her afternoon nap. Mike was out with Mazzy so when she woke up, it was just the two of us.
Well, just the two of us, if you don’t count the horrifying demon that possessed my baby for about two hours and turned her into a screaming blubbering tantruming devil child that would have made for a great episode of Ghost Hunters.
I thought I would be able to solve the problem since I was armed with Baby Motrin, Baby Orajel and numerous frozen teethers. BUT, Harlow was in such a state that I couldn’t even get her to calm down enough to accept one of my remedies.
Complicating matters was the fact that she was really hungry. She hadn’t eaten much all day since her gums hurt. I offered up yogurt but she refused. I offered up apple squeezie but she refused. Finally, she took a banana but wouldn’t eat it. She just squeezed it for dear life, mashing the banana between us as she tried to get comfortable on my shoulder. It’s a good thing I wasn’t wearing a shirt I care about. (That’s a lie.)
Honestly, I would have done anything for her in the two hours it took her to calm down. I offered her every item in our house (she wanted none), I held her close (she swatted my hands away from her back), I put her down (she wanted to be picked up), I tried wrapping her in her Hello Kitty blanket (she wanted nothing to do with it).
Nothing would console her. She screamed, she tossed around, she kicked and pounded the floor, she spun herself in circles on her back, she cried harder than I had ever seen her cry before.
Finally, after two hours of failing miserably at providing comfort, Harlow crashed into a heap on the kitchen floor— her butt up in the air, her legs folded underneath her and her wet cheek resting on the floor. (I’d say the cold tiles offered her some relief except our kitchen floor is wood just like the rest of our apartment.)
Her face was tear and snot streaked, a large strand of snot/drool attaching her nose to her mouth to the floor, forming a small puddle. I stood back, trying to resist the urge to wipe it all away with a tissue.
Then Harlow patted the space next to her, like she had saved me a seat.
I lay down, putting my cheek on the floor parallel to hers. Then I held one of her hands and crossed my other arm over her body. We stared into eachother’s eyes as Harlow slowly started to breathe normally again.
I thought— Well, the last two hours were TORTUROUS, but this right here, us both lying on the kitchen floor, finally finding peace, is kind of beautiful.
I decided to sing her a lullaby to really bring the moment home. Somewhere Over the Rainbow seemed appropriate. She used to love when I sang her that song before bed.
Oops. I should have left well enough alone.
Raw amber necklace – give it a try. Might be voo doo, but worth a shot! Paige’s drool is significantly reduced and she doesn’t seem to be as fussy.
Been there done that….and we still have 3 more canines to come in. I hate the feeling that I can’t take the pain away.
Aw, man, I’ve been there. Raw amber does help a bit. Frozen banana in a blender helps some too. There’s nothing worse than your baby being in pain and not being able to fix it.
Oh, man. Terrifying. We’ve only got 4 teeth so far at 14 mos.
We did two raw amber necklaces with my son and the only tooth that gave him troubles was the first molar. He seemed fine with it but suddenly woke up in the middle of the night puking and pooping everywhere. Horrible but fine 6 hours later. No other issues with any other teeth. Didn’t even know he was getting them until I saw them while teeth brushing.
I can related. I think my daughter went through those 2 hours with every tooth that broke through. She’s 2.5 y/o now and has all the baby teeth needed (I think?! HOPE!). I can’t believe we both survived it! By far the most difficult situation I’ve had to deal with her so far…
I can relate.*
I hate typos as much as teething.
There were some reports about baby orajel not being very good for them. I used hyland’s teething tablets with my guy when he was teething. He wouldn’t tolerate anything cold at all.
We had the exact same afternoon yesterday!!! His last canine tooth FINALLY came in. The canines have been much worse than 1st molars. 2nd &3rd canines broke through on the same day a few weeks ago in a day when we had 2 doctors appointments which he screamed bloody murder at everyone.
We are going through the teething terror, too. My son is only a couple of weeks younger than Harlow. I completely understand. (Hugs)
Thank you so much for this post. I have a son similar in age to your sweets and he is in the same situation… Oh my goodness!! Sometimes I just think… “Who is this child?”, and “how can I help him?”, and “seriously, when will my sweet, busy, content baby boy be back??”. Yikes! It’s just sometimes so reassuring to know that it does pass, and that we as mommies aren’t alone!!! Bring on the wine girl! I’m cheersing you from across the states. Thanks for the blog and the honesty!
Eye teeth here as well (17 mo). Screaming and crying for no apparent reason. Lethargic. Hitting….telling my “NO!” and some succession of garble afterward that sounds like shes telling me I’m “a bad baby.” (we say nothing like that to her….) Same as yo, offering everything in the house. Eve gave her back her paci, which we had started reserving just for sleeping for the past month or so. Tough stuff. It was a long weekend.
Thank you for the honest and very relate-able blog post.
Oh,how I feel for you. Nothing seemed to work for my daughter but she got some relief when I put frozen fruit in a mesh bag. That and me drinking wine.
I am living this with out 13 month old. All 4 canines are on their way in. Her molars were NOTHING compared to these. I miss sleep. I miss sanity. I want these teeth through like YESTERDAY!
Hoping you and Harlow get some relief soon.
I love the fact that she patted the floor next to you like that. How stinking sweet.
My little ones were slow to get their teeth too. Teething is hard and it makes them so cranky! The funny thing is that you would think it would be better when they are older. Nope. My oldest thought he had a cavity because he was in so much pain. It was just his 12 year molars. LOL!!
Ha, my daughter is the same age and is also being tortured/torturing us with her canines. UGH. She’s not making banana smoothies with her bare hands, though. She uses her bare hands to make blueberry smoothies. The rage of a teething toddler who is writhing in pain, and wants to be held but is screaming and flailing the whole time is AWESOME.
We’re gonna miss this, right?? 😉
I freeze squeezy yogurts and let me toddler chew on them. Good Luck!
Teething stinks. My son cut two on bottom at one, then tops, then the next four. He would just drool like crazy be awful for a few days when I would try and look inside I would see those swollen gums and the teeth under neath. Thanksfully molars were not so bad he cut all of them in a week and I only noticed cause he opened his mouth. Motrin every 6 hours helped a lot too. Baby oragel is awful. I used that when my son had hand foot and mouth, he turned in to the devil. I will never give that again, ever. It was the worst hours until he fell asleep.
I thought I understood teething drama too, until we got to the canines. Curse you damn pointy teeth!! I did read somewhere that a frozen waffle can be a good teether though and handed my son one (straight out of the freezer) out of desperation one day. He LOVED it and it’s now our go to teether. It’s the first thing that popped into my mind when you said Harlow was crying, but also hungry. It’s worth a shot!
My oldest had the worst time with his one year molars. Pukes and poops and the screaming. Oh, he screamed himself into fainting. We had just brought our twins home from the nicu. Monitors were beeping constantly because the contact thingies kept shifting. He was wailing, twins were wailing. Our apartment neighbors loved us. He had a week of the worst diarrhea. We went through so many diapers. After two doctor visits, I did a no no and gave him a little immodium because his butt was bleeding. There were raw areas, like hamburger. It helped, his teeth finally cut and he was good. He’s cut his two and six year molars no problem. That was my nightmare teething experience. It can get bad. I feel for you all….it’s awful.
I found when my son was teething, he was doing that around 2- 2 1/2 yrs (really early i think?), that putting him in a warm shower or bath and just letting him play with bath toys and distracting him while making a “juice” out of a little water and toddler Tylenol helped. Also by giving him the juice in the tub eliminated the need to be wiped down again.
I don’t know if that helps but I hope so =]
Thick slices of cucumbers and apples got us through the teething terrors! He didn’t eat them, just chewed on them and spit out chunks of cucumber all over the house, but it was well worth it to soothe his gums.
Our son was great with all of his teeth for the most part but those incisors were the WORST! Our poor little guy was miserable for days!
Uh oh! I’m waiting for it…my little girl is 13 months and already a ball of restless energy who has never slept on her own, yet. She has just started to sleep through the night (on me) so I thought I’d check out which teeth she should get next. Thank goodness I came across this article and all the comments! I am now completely terrified!