So I am going to get real here. Teething sucks. It is the worst. Maybe you have tried and true methods that work(ed) for your kids, but I’m just going to say it. I think teething is the devil.
I kid. But now that we are finally kind of at the finish line for teething (I think. I hope.) I wanted to share some insight and things I learned about teething, because I think it’s an aspect of parenthood not discussed real well. Or maybe I was just naive and didn’t realize it wasn’t like it was going to be one week or two of our lives. It is a long process, because hello, your kid isn’t born with teeth (well ok, in rare cases, some are) and it takes a long time for 24 teeth to come in. Some kids do get a bunch at once, but others, like my poor little guy, get one or two at a time, get a little break and then start on the next one or two. It doesn’t happen overnight – the symptoms can start days, weeks or even MONTHS before the darn thing pokes through. Oliver started showing teething symptoms at three months old. His first tooth came in at SEVEN months old. Yep. And since then it has been kind of a non-stop cycle and we’re finally on those final molars and I’m pretty sure I just survived a war.
I’m being kind of tongue and cheek here really. It hasn’t all been that bad, especially once we learned some ways to help him or even start to recognize the symptoms early on. I’m going to say this and you can judge away – we are an Orajel household. I understand that there were some concerns about Orajel in the last several years about some ingrediants and risks or something to that affect, but when push came to shove, we just had to do it. And it was a god send. We also are not afraid to give Tylenol or Advil. It’s always the last resort, but you know what, some nights mama and baby both need their sleep, so you do what works. We have found Tylenol works the fastest, but Advil works the longest. He loves to eat crackers when his gums are sore, so we let him have whatever kind he asks for. Sometimes he likes to have ice cubes or ice water. He’s never been much for popsicles or cold teethers, but he does like the rubber teething toys like Sophie the Giraffe or the Infantino Monkey. And one of the best teething toys ever is the Baby Banana. I talked about this one once before in a post of Ollie’s favorite things – the Baby Banana works like a training toothbrush, but also is a great soother, he loved rubbing it on his gums, but also chewing on it. The more teeth he got though we found we had to watch a bit – he managed to bite a couple of the rubber bristles off. Oops.
Toddler teething and infant teething are also very different we’ve found. When he was an infant, we didn’t always know if that was what was wrong and it was harder to distract him. As a toddler, we’re finding he can be easily distracted during the day if he’s sore, we can go outside, we can go places and he seems to forget about it. The hardest part of toddler teething is really when he winds down for the night, then he realizes he’s hurting and sometimes can’t fall asleep. That’s when the medicine comes in handy at times. I’d actually rather deal with a teething toddler than a teething infant, but either way, it is hard to feel helpless when your little person is feeling bad. I remember how my teeth would feel after having braces adjusted or things like that and if this is even half of what that feels like, then I’d love to go out and buy the poor kid a pony (kudos to you if you know what TV show that quote is from.)
I would like to say to any newish parents who may be reading this post right now and panicking – not every kid has trouble and not every tooth will be horrible. We have friends who put their kid to bed one night and he was mildly fussy, but not too bad and he woke up the next day with two teeth. Hardly a problem. Ollie hasn’t struggled with all of the teeth either. His first couple were bad, and then the eye teeth were probably the worst after that. We were even surprised by a couple of them because he barely complained. So it just depends. Remember that every kid is different, but I hope by sharing my experience and thoughts, you’ll know you’re not alone if you are dealing with a difficult teething spell! For fun, here’s a cartoon I’ve had saved on my Pinterest forever, it tells you what teeth come in when and is kind of humorous.