OMG Teething… how do you survive!????
In many ways our first son was false advertising for normal troubles like teething. He slept through the teething nights with a few whimpers. We arrogantly thought… ‘we’ve got this, it’s no big deal’…. Whoooo boy were we wrong. Along came second kid and I tried it all… with varying success. I’m going to give you what tips and tricks worked to enable your sleep, kiddo’s sleep, and less pain for all. First and foremost repeat to yourself, “ this is normal, this will pass, I’m not failing my kid by not knowing a zillion ways to ease their pain”. From one parent to another, this is my prescription for you. You’ve got this.
My kids, like me, didn’t start teething till later. I had no teeth until I was one year old. My kids started showing teeth between one year and 8 months. In talking with my fantastic pediatrician here’s my summary on when to expect teeth to erupt…. it’s a crap shoot. (btw, love the terminology- erupting teeth! it’s so appropriate cause the kid erupts, they’re crabby, drool a lot and often have diarrhea– so fun for all involved) The kid will cut teeth when he or she does…and there’s nothing to do but ride it out.
How do you know they’re teething? Some kids have a fever (mine never did), some kids are crabby (mine were), they stick their hands in their mouth, refuse to eat anything hard. Oh and the drool… it’s like having a mastiff that is overheating. It literally has pooled on their chin. At the end of the day when it starts you can stick your fingers in their mouth and if you feel a hard bump it’s possible that the kid is teething. Here’s the fun part…. The teeth can be moving and painful for a long time before they actually come through! Their mouth is randomly painful. That has to be frustrating for the poor short one.
Let’s start with the basics. Cutting teeth has to hurt. Put yourself in their shoes. You’re uncomfortable, teeny, and unable to communicate. Worst of all you’re hungry through all of this process. My heart hurt and I cried so many times with frustration but I’m here to remind you that at some point the teeth will be out and it will be less painful for all involved. My first line of attack on the fussiness was to fill the belly. Any kid who is hungry and in pain is miserable and guaranteed to share the misery with anyone in ear range. The best foods have been cold protein full of healthy fats .
My favorites were:
- hard boiled eggs,
- scrambled eggs
- cold protein shakes (shakeology was a fav here)
- frozen blueberries
- ice cold full fat yogurt
- chicken salad
- steak minced
- roasted carrots
My favorite go to solution was boiled eggs chilled in the fridge. You can either feed the kid the egg or turn it into egg salad. Either way it’s a great meal full of protein and fat. I also found that they loved ice cold full fat yogurt. It can be hard to find but the full fat yogurt kept them full longer… aka slept through the night. I can’t stand cooked carrots but all my kids loved them at this age. If you roast the carrots you retain the nutritional benefits… and you can chill them! Let’s talk meat.. no well done steak… think medium rare and diced fairly small. The goal is to minimize chewing requirements. Chicken turned into chicken salad with grapes (cut in 1/4s or 1/2s to avoid choking issues and to make them go further) mixed with mayonnaise worked great for my family too.
Non-Medicinal pain relief: I tried everything I could think of and I’d love to hear what worked for you! I started with the frozen teethers. Those worked great and were sufficient for my first and third child. The second child looked at me like I was offering alien tendrils of nasty… they didn’t work for him. We tried the amber teething necklace. It was hugely unsuccessful for us. However, it was super cute so my kids wore them anyways cause I’m that mom. We tried frozen baby washcloths. I know these were successful for others but all they did was soak my kids with cold water and end up in a soggy puddle to be found somewhere when least expecting it and yes I have sat on one. As you can likely guess I considered the frozen washcloths a total fail.
Meds… first I’m not a Dr. therefore this is not medical advice… just me writing up what worked for me. Please run any questions by your pediatrician they are the gurus. Pain reliever medicine dosed before bedtime or naptime was something sent from heaven for us. Seriously it was magic. It cut the discomfort down so that they could sleep but not always. I also found great success with hyland’s teething tablets. More than anything I loved these tablets. They seemed to ease the pain without the dose restrictions and worries I got with baby Tylenol or as they’re older children’s Advil. Also middle child puked when I gave him tylenol. Are we noticing a theme? my middle child was the hardest… not much worked for him!
Finally, I’m here for you. If you know me I’m happy to theorize about food and help solve your issues. My goal here is to help you.