You remember our Bitsy Girl, yes?
You’ll notice she’s got a few baby chiclets in already, and she’s been working on a few more. So in honor of this new stage in her life, I would like to talk about what I’ve learned so far about teething.
First, a caregiver will want to know whether or not what the baby is crying about is in fact teeth and gum pain. Some babies are harder to read than others, but I will tell you that teething hurts. You will most likely know when a baby is crying in pain; it is a strong, loud cry and is probably the most uncomfortable for an adult to listen to for too long. If the cry is accompanied by a significant amount of drooling and/or nasal drainage, it’s probably teething. Even if the baby has a low-grade fever, it’s probably teething. Teething can have similar symptoms to a cold. With teething the fever will (usually) be lower, and the baby will usually be drooling quite a bit.
One other way I’ve figured out to determine if Bitsy Girl’s teeth are hurting is to let her bite my finger. This is a bit unorthodox (or gross, for some of you), but if her teeth her, she will bite pretty hard. If her teeth don’t hurt, she will usually suck on my finger, especially if she’s hungry.
In order to help Bitsy Girl through this difficult time, we’ve come up with a method that almost always helps her rest better at night.
(No, it does not involve whiskey. Although both of my parents suggested this, I worry social services will take my daughter if they smell alcohol on her breath, thus, we found alternatives).
First, we will give Bitsy Girl 2-3 Baby Orajel Naturals Teething Tablets. Baby can take these one at a time, and they dissolve in her mouth. The active ingredients include coffea cruda, chamomile, and calcarea phosphorica (all of which I recognize!). Coffea cruda is simply unroasted coffee beans; it is used as pain relief. Chamomile is an herb that calms nerves, and Calcarea phosphorica is a mineral salt that plays a key role in teeth and bone development.
We have gotten to a point with Bitsy Girl that she recognizes the bottle of these little tablets, and starts making noises in agreement as we open the bottle. The tablets aren’t sweet, and in fact have hardly any flavor; they must relieve pain very well for her to remember them.
A few minutes after giving her teething tablets, we give Bitsy Girl a dose of Baby Tylenol.
Why two medications?
Simple. The teething tablets relieve pain immediately, but last no longer than 30 minutes. Sometimes Bitsy Girl can’t fall into a deep enough sleep in 30 minutes to ignore the pain, so she’ll wake up again screaming. The Tylenol (whose active ingredients do not overlap with the Teething Tablets) does not work immediately, but it does relieve pain for 4-6 hours. That is plenty long enough to allow Bitsy Girl to get to sleep and stay asleep.
This technique has been working wonderfully. Bitsy Girl will go back to sleep within 10 minutes, and she will usually make it through the night.
I hope this helps any parents out there wondering how to help their teething baby. Leave me a comment if you used this method, and let me know what you think!
Next adventure: painting furniture.