Teething

Teething is often a painful experience for a baby. Why is it so difficult? I wish I knew. It has been different for all my babies.
 
Symptoms can vary from general fussyness, having a runny nose and more frequent naps to non-stop crying and fevers. You can tell where the tooth is coming by a slight swelling in the gum. Often a baby will rub this area with his tongue or finger. They will also drool a lot (though this can also vary, see below).
 
Often a teething baby will stop eating solids because it is painful on the part of the gums where the tooth is coming in. They will either nurse more, or stop eating altogether. Their sleep may also be disturbed; they will wake more often and be fussy.
 
Logan always got at least a 24 hour fever before his teeth broke through. I spent many days carrying and cuddling him as he was very fussy when teething and refused to be put down. Lila drooled a lot but I don’t recall her ever having fevers. Scarlett got her first teeth early, at only 3 1/2 months. She drooled then, but with later teeth she didn’t. The last 3 came within 10 days of each other – not a happy time for us. Amazingly, she never drooled. Instead, she makes this “ck” sound all day long and I think she is swallowing the extra saliva (she still does this even though she isn’t teething right now).
 
Difficult as it is, there is no way around teething. The best we can do is make them comfortable and walk through it with them. Here are some things you can try to soothe your baby:
 
 

– First-time teethers may find comfort in gnawing on your finger. Just don’t try this once the teeth are through, especially top and bottom, cause you will be bitten for sure. And teething babies bite hard!
– Something cold to bite may be soothing cause the cold will lightly numb the gums. Try using a water-filled teething ring, chilled in the fridge (don’t freeze). A peeled carrot could work too, though don’t continue this once they are able to bite chunks out to avoid choking.
– You may be able to interest them in something cold to eat, like blended fruit or yoghurt.
– Some babies may like to bite wooden spoons or any large spoon from your utensil drawer.

If your baby is crying non-stop and seems to be in a lot of pain, you could first try giving them gripe water. I don’t know what it is about it, but my kids always stopped crying almost instantly after having it. If you feel it is needed, you could also give them a children’s painkiller. Here I get Crocin in a syrup. Look for whatever you have locally available and make sure to follow the dosage exactly. Also, make sure it is for babies, as some are specifically only for children over a year or two.

If the bottle comes with a dropper, use that. Otherwise, get your own dropper or use a medicine spoon or bottle. These make it easy to give medicine to a baby. Make sure you don’t just drop it on the tip of their tongue or they will spit it out, and medicines can stain. Use a cloth or bib to protect their clothes. Squeeze the dropper into the back of the mouth so that they swallow it right away.

I have never used teething gels, mainly because I always heard they were dangerous. But I have never researched this so I can’t say for certain. I’d recommend doing some research before trying it.

Happy Teething!

Mommies, do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear them.

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Calming Tears

All babies have times when their fussiness goes beyond just being hungry or tired or bored. Sometimes they won’t settle down, no matter what we try. At times like that, our nerves get frazzled and we tend to stress out because we don’t know what is wrong or how to help our baby calm down.There are many things that can happen to upset a baby that we won’t be aware of, simply because they can’t tell us what is wrong. Whether it is teething, stomach ache, colic, abdominal pain, or general discomfort like clothes that are too tight.

The first thing to try is to see if there is any outside physical reason your baby is crying. Check her diaper and change if needed. Make sure her clothes are comfortable, not too tight anywhere or hot or itchy. Make sure she has not gotten hurt anywhere.

Next, see if she is hungry. A growing baby will at times deviate from their daily schedule and want to nurse more frequently. Is she due for a nap? When did she sleep last and for how long? Is she just plain bored and in need of a change of scenery or toys? You could try a walk in the yard and see if that helps.

If none of this makes her stop crying, then the problem could be internal. But before you freak out and run to the doctor, I would suggest you try giving her gripe water. Before I had kids, I had never even heard of it. Gripe water is a liquid concoction made of herbs that is soothing for the stomach and body. Here in India it is well known. Every mother swares by it.

When Logan was a newborn and screamed a lot, someone recommended I try it. I was hesitant at first since I was not familiar with it, but what amazed me was how fast it worked. Literally within seconds of him taking it, he would calm down. I have used it with both Lila and Scarlett and I am continually amazed by its rapid effectiveness.

There does seem to be some debate about gripe water, mostly between people in coutries where it is commonly used and those where it is not. In some countries paediatricians don’t even recommend it. I don’t know why as it is effective. My husband says his mother gave it to him daily until he was 5 or so. I only use it when needed. Scarlett was teething recently and it worked wonders when she wouldn’t stop crying. I would suggest having a bottle on hand along with a medicine dropper, and give it when you feel it is needed. It worked for me. It may work for you too.

Here are a few links with reference to it:

Wikipedia

Babyslumber.com

Beneficial or not?

Do you use gripe water? How has it worked for you?

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