A very dark creature has settled into our house. It has turned my beautiful, peaceful child into a force to be reckoned with. Alright, I’m being a bit dramatic. I will however say that teething is something that no parenting book or amber necklace can prepare you for and most of all it doesn’t just happen once – there is a whole mouth still to go! I feel like I have read so many blogs and posts and asked my mom and friends with how they handled teething and everyone gave me great advice. Since I have become quite the expert (right? 1 & 1/4 teeth down!), I thought that I would share some great tips with you to help you make it through this difficult process. So pour yourself a cocktail/mocktail, grab a snack, and eat your feelings, because as a great man in my life would say – the one and only “the Papa” – teething is “the pits!”
Thank God I don’t remember growing a tooth! It must be hard work and it must just kill. Here are a few of my daughter’s (and most definitely mine) favorite teethers and ones that every mom, dad, or grandparent should have around the car/house/diaper bag/ literally everywhere. 1. Nubbi Teething necklace. I can’t mention these enough! This literally saved the day when I was grocery shopping and the teething monster made an appearance. 2. Kiki the teething elephant. We love Kiki so much that after accidentally losing her at a rest stop over the hill to Tahoe we purchased another one. Kiki is kind of the cheaper half sister of Sophie the giraffe. 3.BEBE Silicone Cookies. Ava is so obsessed with these Oreo lookalike cookies. The best part is that they are attached to a string so that you wear them around your neck or secure them to the carseat/carrier/wherever to save yourself the hassle of having to sanitize after all the falls. 4.Sophie, AKA Jerry in our house. This mini teether fits perfectly in baby hands and is such a great design and texture. 5. Rubber Spoon. There is something amazing about how much babies love a spoon. Why shouldn’t they want to teeth on it? I let Ava go for it as long as she avoids getting too over zealous and gagging herself.
Tried & True Tips
Ice, Ice, Ice. No, really. It’s cheap. It’s amazing. Children love the look, feel, and hardness of it. One way to use ice to fill up a bottle with water and ice. Baby will love the way that the nipple of the bottle feels and it allows for them to chew on a nice cold pliable tip. Another great item that I have is a mesh food holder. I put ice in that also and baby chews away on that until the ice has melted. I also have put frozen peas in it which she really enjoyed. You could put any type of frozen veggie or fruit in the holder and not worry about baby getting a big chunk of food. Lastly, I let baby have an ice pack. This is one that I would say that you should feel very comfortable with the type of ice pack you have and I would not recommend giving one to a child who has formed several teeth. The ice pack is more for children who have a large gum to tooth ratio. Sometimes the small balls within the pack are just right to sooth achey gums.
Frozen waffles are another great thing for baby too. But I will say that is one that I would wait until you were firm in your understanding of how much your child is able to gum or chew on the waffle as larger chunks can break off. My daughter made a lovely sound like she had pepper in her throat for 10 minutes and my husband and I decided to revisit this at another time. But I apparently made it through teething like this, according to my Mom.
Washcloths are amazing too! Don’t freeze a wet one, but place a wet one in a ziplock and put it in the fridge to be used later. Freezing can be too harsh on babies’ gums. It can stick to the gums and sometimes tear skin from them. Remember the kid that licked the frozen pole and their tongue became stuck to it? Same concept here. We also give baby a washcloth for her to chew on in the bath and our pediatrician said this is great because it helps to clean their gums while giving much needed relief.
Other Thoughts on Teething & Amber Necklaces
I did not mention any other alternative teethers or necklaces as I don’t have any experience with other pain management with my daughter. We do give her infant Tylenol if she is really just having a hard time. I get a great deal of my Information from What To Expect: The First Year. This is an awesome resource, and if there is only one book that you buy for your child, this one is one that I highly recommend. Or just continue to read this blog and I’ll take care of ya.
I have looked into Amber necklaces but it is my opinion that they are not safe if you have to watch the choking hazards that come along with them. I also question their true healing properties. The way that they work is by body heat and it is believed that when a child wears a necklace made of pure Amber that their body heat helps to omit a healing oil of some kind thus creating a less temperamental child and soothes achey gums and the side effects of teething. I will add that there is not scientific research to support these ideals and that to me this is a bit of a fad (just like the whole showiness of breastfeeding, but I’ll save that thought for another blog). How many healing properties can they possess? They must wear off at some point?But I will say that much like a security blanket or a go-to flattering black dress: if it soothes you and your child then perhaps it is your belief in its effectiveness that creates a calmer child. And let me say this too: if it works for you and your child then that is what is most important.
Phew! This was a big one. I have a lot of opinions as my Nana would say! I hope that I gave some soon to be moms or struggling moms out there some new ideas.