The Teething Chronicles: Part 1

Happy Spring everyone! So begins what will be heading into my favorite season…SUMMER! Ok, that was complicated, but here in LA we really only have 2 seasons, Winter and Summer each sprinkled with a few unusually and uncharacteristic ally hot or cold days depending which you’re in, so as soon as there are more warm days than cold, to me, that’s pre-summer. This is obviously the first warm season with babe and I’m really excited about all the fun stuff we are going to do in the sun. I’m anxious for him to hit the 6- month mark so I can slather him in sunscreen, amongst other typically uncelebrated milestones (first pair of jeans, first intentional boob grab, first trip to the zoo, first electronic toy) All of which we have now “celebrated”. And currently, we are in the midst of another one. One with a long road ahead of us. One filled with many a sleepless night and many, many tears. Yes folks, it’s the beginning of the notorious T.E.E.T.H. I’ll be chronicling our journey into toothdom with this ongoing series.

After my last post, I had a few people tell me the cause of RJ’s sleeplessness was likely that he was starting to teethe. They could instantly recognize his symptoms as the ones they had watched their little ones exhibit and wished me luck, and also gave some helpful advice.

Along with his not so sound sleep, RJ became fussy during feedings, something I hadn’t seen since very early on when my milk supply was sometimes too much for his little mouth to handle. He started grabbing at his ears and side of his head in general. This has become head scratching which makes him not only look like a baby in deep thought, but has also left a few telltale scratches. (I am now aware that I must clip his nails daily. If only my own nails could grow that fast). He is mouthing everything from feet, to stuffed animals, all the way up to my cheeks. When he does that, I call him my little zombie baby because he goes at my face like there is no tomorrow. Then there’s the drool. It’s a never ending story. From spit bubbles to spit strings, he’s soaking through a lot of onesies.

Of course, none of this means teeth are actually sprouting just yet, but his gums and mouth are creating the perfect environment for them to make their entrance.

So what’s a mostly natural mama to do to help her babe get through the pain and general discomfort of teething? Well, thanks to some of my friends (or tribe, as I think I’ll start calling them), I now have some solutions that are proving successful and helping us both get back on the wagon of sleeping for more than a few hours at a time. Here are 3 of my now tried and tested methods of dealing with baby’s teething pain.

1. HYLAND’S TEETHING TABLETS – Before the idea of teething was still in the distant future, someone suggested Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets. I bought them to have on hand when the time came, and did a little research. With the teething tablets, it’s only directed to give 2-3 tablets, 4 times a day. One of the active ingredients is Belladona, which is nightshade and toxic in large amounts. The amount in the tablets is too small to poison anyone when used as direct effect. But, to each his own. I didn’t find a problem with giving these to my LO due to Hyland’s reintroducing with a new formula in 2011.  They dissolve immediately on the tongue and provide instant comfort. RJ kind of got a kick out of the tablets dissolving in his mouth. They seemed to alleviate some of his discomfort right away. They are only about $7 at Target or Walgreens for 135 tablets. I’d recommend these if you’re looking for a cheaper natural remedy for teething pain.

2. BOIRON CAMILIA – If you don’t mind spending a little extra, I’d recommend this next treatment. I was suggested Camilia by a mama who runs her own holistic mommy brand. She had a lot of success with Camilia and always recommends it to her friends. She was actually the one who noticed some of RJ’s very early teething symptoms the firs time we met. Boiron is the company that makes Camilia. They also make a Calendula cream that is perfect for rashes and excessive itching, that I emphatically approve! Camilia is about $8 for only 30 doses and can most typically be found at Whole Foods, but I got lucky and found mine at my local Walgreens which was much closer. The great thing about Camilia is that there is no risk of overdose and it does not contain sugar or caffeine like some teething tablets on the market. Camilia is easy to administer. It comes in a small tube that you can open and squeeze into your baby’ mouth. RJ doesn’t have too much of a reaction to the taste or administration of it, but it appears to bring him relief right away.

3. RAW AMBER NECKLACE – Now, my family isn’t always keen on taking pills or other medicines, that’s why i jumped on the 2 homeopathic remedies above, but this last one is actually my preferred method, for now. Now that we’re about a few weeks into this, I find that RJ is a little less fussy about it all. But, I know the worst is yet to come when he finally cuts an actual tooth. So that being said, I may have a better update on this remedy in the weeks and months to come. I had read about Amber necklaces while pregnant, but it completely slipped my mind to purchase one until I talked with an old friend about her experience using it with her son. This is a woman I trust and someone who has shared alot with me throughout our respective pregnancies. Crazy thing is, we reunited because of our pregnancies and I’m really excited that RJ will have a little buddy tog row up with. She said her babe had been wearing it and she noticed it helped. These necklaces are made out of raw amber and as your baby’s body warms it, the oils are released. You can’t get much more natural than that. The neckalces run from about $12-$30 and can be found on Amazon and in Etsy shops. I ordered mine from this Etsy shop. As a new mom trying to make something out of nothing, I have grown keen to support other mama-owned businesses. If i’m going to buy something, I might as well help out a fellow mom. I was initally worried about him sleeping in it, but I keep him close and he doesn’t even notice it so there’s no tugging. Some moms will suggest starting your baby young with this one so they get used to having it on. I personally say wait until their necks have a little more stability to hold their heads up. So far, so good with it. I have not given him the teething tablets or Camilia since we got this baby in the mail. But, as I said, when he’s cutting a tooth at 6-7 months, I’ll let you know how we fare.

So there you have it, my 3 tried and tested remedies for baby teething. We’ve got a long road ahead of us so let me go take a nap now to backlog a couple hours of sleep.

What are some of your remedies for teething pain, especially as the teeth start to come in? How do you mama’s keep sane with a teething baby? Leave your tips in the comments.



The Black Mama

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