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Thursday, October 3, 2013

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[More] Natural Teething Tips to Save Your Sanity!

It has begun. We’ve started teething and we were miserable. I say “we” because we all know that if baby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy ...

Little Guy began whining, gnawing on anything in sight and giving full-on yelps of pain on a Thursday afternoon and by Friday, I was desperate. He wouldn’t eat because he his gums hurt so much, and he wouldn’t sleep for long – even though he was exhausted – because he was so hungry. We were on a steady diet of teething gel and cuddles, and after 3 doses of infant acetaminophen in just 24 hours, I finally convinced my husband that we needed to at least give the Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces a try.

The order went in, and the Cloth Diaper Whisperer posted another article about natural teething tips. Huzzah! More ideas! Anything to help my baby feel better while we wait for the necklace to arrive in the mail … and then my heart sank. We couldn’t use her tips because we weren’t on solid foods yet, didn’t have the necklace in hand, and Little Guy wasn’t a fan of the washcloth.

Back to the drawing board.

Here are some of the things we found that worked:

Chewing: Little Guy never took a pacifier, or I would have given him one. Wash cloths were apparently a mystery to him, but he’d take a teething toy I kept in the fridge when he wasn’t using it. Or, I’d let him chomp on my finger. Somehow, that worked better than anything else, even if my massive to-do list was wont to disagree.

Teething Gel: Make sure you ask your doctor how often you can use it and how long you can use it for. I found it helps to use Hyland’s Homeopathic about 20 minutes before naptime or bedtime so the pain can start calming down before he gets too tired to deal with it.

Cuddling: I’ve written before about how much I love babywearing. Our Ergo (similar to the Moby Go) has become Little Guy’s kryptonite – he literally does not cry when he’s in it, even if he was trying to scream himself to sleep just a few minutes before. Sometimes I wear him around the house just long enough to calm him down, and sometimes I just have to wait until he was completely asleep before I can take him out. Pain isn’t so overwhelming for a little one when they feel safe and secure with you.

Distraction: Simple, yet effective. Since I stay at home with the Little Guy, I find that Daddy is particularly good for this. A fun and friendly face that Little Guy loves, and doesn’t get to see nearly as often as Mommy? Playing games with Daddy helped him forget that he was tired and cranky both from teething and from getting to the end of the day. If Daddy wasn’t getting home from work till later, then I took a walk (again, babywearing is AWESOME) to get fresh air for both me and him.

Rash Cream: I had heard rashes from teething weren’t fun, but Little Guy had an awful one sneak up on us that just made me want to cry because his bum was so red and raw from all the saliva that comes with teething, We’re using CJ’s BUTTer and coconut oil like they’re going out of style, even after everything cleared up. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Downtime for Momma: Can we stress this enough? I love my Little Guy to the moon and back. But I’m also human. I know that I can’t care for him well if I’m stressed out, tired and irritable. So after he’d go down (finally!) for the night, I made sure to relax, too. Glass of wine? Movie? Book? Time with hubby? Ice cream? Window shopping at Kelly’s Closet? Girls’ night? Whatever it is you enjoy doing, if it’s been a rough teething day, sometimes you need to throw the to-do list out the window and recover. Tomorrow could be another long, miserable day, and your little one needs you to be at the top of your game.

They’re a little unconventional, but they’ve worked for us, even after the teething necklace came (and that thing is legit!). If you’re wading through the mire that is teething, you and your little ones have my empathy. Here’s to finding more ways to make them feel loved and cared for in the midst of a hard part of growing up.

You can do it, mommas!

Bio: Stephanie is a wife to Peter and stay at home mom of Little Guy. She loves Jesus, taking care of her family, sunshine, coffee, and a good book. She blogs about life over at The [Almost] Nerdy Wife.

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