Join the club!
Wait, aren’t clubs supposed to be desirable groups to join? Because we’ve got a teething baby, too, and this is one club that I’m ready to ditch. But unfortunately, all parents involuntarily become members of it at some point and can’t bow out until this phase runs its course.
Fortunately, there are methods that us parents can take to help ease baby and our sanity during this unpleasant time. But before I get into those, how do you know if your baby is teething in the first place? First off, teething usually begins between the ages of 4-7 months, although timing widely varies. I’ve done a little web searching and here are some of the tell-tale-signs of teething (and whether or not Margo, my 5 month old, is experiencing them):
Signs of teething:
- Drooling: Check! Margo’s mouth acts like a little fountain of saliva. I almost want to toss a penny at her and make a wish.
- Irritability: Check! But in our case, I’m not sure if her crankiness is more than it usually is. “Hangry” should be her middle name.
- A tooth visible below the gum: Nope, no visible teeth. There’s not even the slightest feel of one, either.
- Swollen, bulging gums: No, I haven’t noticed any changes there.
- Trying to bite, chew and suck on everything she can get her hands on: Yes! Margo is little Miss Grabby. Everything, including her hands and mine, are put into her mouth to gnaw on like a beaver on wood.
- Difficulty sleeping: Yes. Unfortunately, for the past few weeks Margo’s naps have been more fickle than usual. She won’t take her paci at all anymore, which is obnoxious when I’m trying to get her back to sleep when she awakens at night or during her nap. But, it may end up being a good thing since this seems to be a perfect time to wean her off of it, rather than later when it becomes harder to quit it as a sleep aid.
- Turning away food: Yes! Margo went from taking a 6 ounce bottle every 3-4 hours, to resisting the bottle after only 1 to 2 ounces in! I have to take so many breaks with her to try to get her to finish as much formula as possible within its hour long freshness period. I believe just like the paci, the sucking is bringing pain to her gums. To get more food in her, I’ve been upping the amount of jar food since she hasn’t been turning it down at all. Gotta keep my baby fat and plump, the way I like ’em.
- Grabbing her ears: Check! Margo has been grabbing and pulling at her ears a lot, especially when she’s fussy and/or trying to fall asleep. She’s also pulling at her hair near her ears. I hope she doesn’t acquire any bald spots! Lucky for her, the sleep sack she naps/sleeps in keeps her from getting a good hold of her hair and pulling any out.
Now that we’ve established some of the common signs of teething, let’s move into the actions we can take as parents to help soothe and ease our baby during this painful and irritable time.
Soothing your teething baby:
- Rub baby’s gums: Use clean fingers to gently rub and massage the gums. Baby may find the pressure to be soothing. Also, make sure your nails are trimmed. I know Margo tries to gnaw on my fingers whenever they’re in her mouth and I worry my nails will cut her gums if they’re not short enough.
- Cold washcloth: Putting a damp washcloth in the fridge to cool it down makes for a chill, soft item to gnaw on.
- Chilled foods: If baby has already started on solids, choose some colder foods to alleviate sore gums. Cold applesauce or pears are good options. These are also a good way to fill baby up since chances are, he or she is avoiding the bottle/breast.
- Rubber teether: There are a lot of teething products out there to choose from, but not all teethers are created equal. There are a few important factors to consider when choosing the right teether for your own child, including safety, texture and effectiveness. The teether that Margo uses and really loves is a rubber ice cream cone by Sweetooth. It’s texture is smooth and somewhat resembles the feel of a dense eraser. It’s a little heavier than it looks, giving baby a good grip on it and a solid but soft material to gnaw on. Head to the bottom of this post for more details on what makes this product sweet and safe and to enter in our giveaway for a Sweetooth teether of your own. Yay, I love getting the opportunity to share great products with you guys! Check them out.
- Distraction: This technique works for a heck of a lot more situations than just teething, trust me, I’ve got a 3 1/2 year old and I’ve taught 4-7yr olds for over 10 years. It’s not always the most convenient solution, since it does require some actual work and time to accomplish it. During baby’s most intense bouts of pain or discomfort, try giving her a bath. The warm water may relax her and take her mind off of her sore gums. Also, taking a walk around the block will provide lots of visual stimulation to distract her. These are temporary solutions, but I’d bet you’re willing to do just about anything to not only soothe baby but to stop the constant fussing and cries that have been banging on your eardrums for the past few days or weeks!
- Teething gel: This one is completely at the discretion of the parent. I know that a lot of parents are very wary of what they put into their child’s mouth, and rightly so. Do your homework with this one before choosing any random product from the shelf. Discuss the options available to you with your pediatrician, and even after they make a recommendation, research it online. My pediatrician has told us to use products that I’m not okay with giving my baby and the only way I came to that conclusion was looking up the ingredients myself. I do know that there are natural and homeopathic gels, tablets and drops out there. They may be a great option for those of you who have tried all else and relief is still in need.
Good luck to everyone who is currently being affected by the fall out that comes from a teething baby. I’ve found that some breathing exercises, a good cup of coffee, a cocktail, an ice cold beer or a glass of wine usually soothes and eases my own lack of sleep, pain and discomfort associated with Margo’s teething. To each their own, right?
I was introduced to Sweetooth at the perfect time, since Margo has been gnawing on everything in sight. She’s the perfect candidate to perform a review for a teether and I was just excited to try something that could provide her some comfort. Out of the four colors available, I chose the green one because Mia’s (my 3 year old) favorite ice cream flavor is mint n’ chip. And you know this teether isn’t going to solely be Margo’s “toy”. Mia uses it in her play kitchen all of the time and I imagine Margo will continue to get plenty of play use out of it as well as she grows.
At first sight, I was surprised at the weight of the teether. It’s heavier than you would think, but it gives Margo a better hold of it and it’s firm enough to withstand her powerful bite. It’s a genius idea, making the “ice cream” part of the teether a bit smoother and softer than the more dense and slightly textured “cone”. This gives babies two different forms of relief during different stages and needs throughout their teething phase. Margo’s gums squeak when she chews away at her new teether. Makes me laugh a little.
The most important details about this teether are the ones that make this a safe product for children. I’m relieved over the following:
- Made in the USA
- Premium Silicone: Made from medical and food grade certified silicone rubber and meets safety standards in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
- Non-Toxic: Guaranteed to be free of BPA, PVC and Phthalates.
- Easy to Clean: No small parts, corners or crevices to clean and it’s dishwasher safe.
- Freezer Safe: Perfect for numbing baby’s gums for fast relief.
- Eco-Friendly: Recycle or repurpose when teething is done. It makes a great item to add to any child’s toy box.
- Affordable: Free shipping is offered on all orders.
- Co-Created by Husband and Wife: I love finding products that came to fruition by fellow parents who found a need for it in the marketplace through their own personal experience. Learn the reasons behind this teether’s creation and how it was turned from an idea into a selling product, here.
How to Enter
If you’d like to win a sweet ice cream teether for your own baby, a friend’s or for a great baby shower gift, here’s your chance. All you have to do is leave a comment below stating which color teether you’d like along with your own experience with a teething baby or perhaps just something funny. Chances are we could all use a good laugh since dealing with a teething baby is anything but funny! Turn this frown, upside-down. The giveaway will run from Friday, October 2nd to Friday, October 9th, when I will randomly choose a winner. Good luck to you all, and thank you to Sweetooth for the opportunity to work with your company!