When the Healthy Essentials® Program contacted me to do a post on teething, I didn’t think I was right person to write it. Not only are my kids way past the teething stage, but I don’t remember them being particularly fussy when their teeth came in. But you know who feels differently? My sister. She currently has black and blue marks on her upper arms from her one-year-old Neve exercising her new chompers. And her three-year-old Jack once gnawed his way through his wooden crib.
Take it away, sis!
I’ve heard mothers say that they didn’t even notice when their babies were teething or that their babies were fussy for a day or two and then the tooth popped out and all was back to normal. I envy those mothers. My son who is now 3 years old did not cope well with teething and my 1 year old daughter seems to be following in his footsteps.
If your babies are like mine, here are some things I wish someone told me about teething before I went through it:
1. Your baby will turn pretty much everything into a “teething toy.”
I’ve bought countless teething toys including teething necklaces and those plastic gel toys that you throw in the freezer. But my daughter wants none of them. She likes to teethe on everything except actual teething toys. Her favorite items to chew on include the remote control, my cell phone, water bottles, plastic cutlery, the medicine dropper, the baby aspirator, my sunglasses and shoes. Oh, how much she loves shoes.
2. Your baby will test out their new chompers on unsuspecting people.
My daughter likes to test out her new teeth on me, my sitter, and my son. She is currently responsible for a cluster of bruises on my right shoulder, a few small ones on my arms, and one large bruise on my leg. “Are you okay?” People will ask me in concerned hushed tones. But that’s nothing compared to the time my son went after a complete stranger! When he was around 10 months, I took him to a “mommy and me” yoga class. The instructor offered to hold him so I could focus on exercising for a moment and he returned the favor by biting her arm. I was mortified!
3. You’ll wonder if it’s possible that your baby inherited DNA from a beaver.
One of the few expensive purchases I made for our nursery when my son was born was his crib. I figured it was a worthwhile investment that would last for a second child and made sure it met all of the safety standards. But one night I heard an odd sound coming from the monitor. I opened the door to find my son chewing on the top railing of his crib. No one told me I needed to baby proof his crib! That was also the end of sleep training. How can you sleep train a baby that will ingest paint and wood chips if left unsupervised? I was able to find a fabric cover to put over the railing but he kept figuring out how to pull it off to get to the wood. The only thing I could find to get it to stay on were cable wire fasteners. They didn’t go with my nursery decor but at least I knew he was safe and I could go back to sleep.
4. Your baby will be so fussy and clingy that well-meaning family members will convince you that she requires immediate medical attention.
We went to my in-laws in Connecticut over Labor Day weekend and my daughter was extra fussy, drooling a lot, clingy, pulling at her ears, and not eating much. I was exhausted from being up with her all night and of course, anytime I tried to hand her off to my husband or her grandparents, she would cry until I took her back. I figured she was teething and gave her Tylenol to ease her discomfort, hoping it would pass. By the second day, I needed to shower, which meant someone else would have to hold her— even if that meant she cried the whole time, which is exactly what she did. By the time I returned, the family concluded there must be something more serious going on because— why else would she cry when her very loving father or grandparents were holding her? The next thing I knew I was headed to the ER. The doctor’s diagnosis? “She’s probably just teething. Give her some Infant Tylenol.”
5. You won’t just need Tylenol for your baby, you’ll need it for yourself.
The problem with teething is that babies can’t tell you what’s bothering them and it’s hard to know if you need to go to the doctor. Luckily, my pediatrician recommends Infants’ TYLENOL® Oral Suspension Liquid as directed to relieve pain for lots of things such as teething, pain due to common colds and sore throats. Whatever is ailing them, I know that they will rest better when I give them their doctor-recommended dose before bed. (Be sure to ask your doctor for the right dosing if your child is under 2 years of age.)
When I’m up all night and wake up with a pounding headache? Tylenol works wonders for me as well.
HealthyEssentials.com from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. provides real-time insights and answers into personalized issues, like teething, to help you care for yourself and your family, and save some money, too. This post was sponsored by the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Program, but I support all my sister’s thoughts and opinions. I use Infants’ TYLENOL® when my kids are coming down with something and need their rest as well.