Top 3 Tips for a Teething Baby

We love to bring in mama's to share about their personal journeys with the ups and downs of parenting. Our dear friend, Christina is currently experiencing some fun and not so fun times with her teething little. She is also an urgent care pediatrician with over 10 years of treating many different symptoms and cases. Here are her thoughts on how to ease some of the teething challenges. 

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I’ve been a pediatrician for almost 10 years and a mom for almost 10 months. While I’ve learned all the latest science, ground-breaking studies and up to date recommendations about children’s health, I see it all through a different lens having my own little one to take care of now.

During my training, I learned all the right things to say about different aspects of parenting like, “Breastfeeding is supposed to be natural, but there’s nothing natural about it!” and “It’s all about the 5 S’s!” Even though I said those things with complete sincerity, I didn’t really get them until my own little one came into the world.

Our latest new parenting experience has been teething. It seems like teething gets blamed for everything. Fussy baby? Must be teething. Woke up crying in the middle of the night? It’s teething! But really, how do you even know when your baby is teething? I know, I know - drooling and sticking everything in their mouths. But really, what baby doesn’t drool all over the place and want to stick everything in his mouth? And isn’t teething such a convenient excuse for why your precious love suddenly seems possessed? I have to be honest. There have been plenty of times I’ve seen a fussy baby in clinic, found nothing wrong with him, and said, “well, maybe he’s teething” just to give the tired and frustrated parents something to blame for their child’s behavior.

I realized my son was teething when my normally sweet, easy-going baby would suddenly burst into tears, grab the closest hard object and gnaw like his life depended on it. Unfortunately on a few occasions, that object was my husband’s finger! We were gifted a variety of teethers, but found he loved to chew on his wooden blocks the best. So when he got EllieFunDay’s wood bunny teether, he went to town on it! It’s the perfect size for his little hands. He especially loves the bunny ears – perfect for chomping on!

TOP THREE TIPS FOR TEETHING TOTS

  • EATING: We found that eating helped. Well, he’s always loved eating, teething or not, but he seemed to like something to chew on. Rice puffs or rice teething biscuits worked great in distracting him from the pain and he was happy to get extra snacks.
  • MEDICATION: There were a few days we ended up giving ibuprofen, which seemed to help provide some relief. And (putting on my pediatrician hat here), please do not use benzocaine-based teething gels. Serious side effects can occur such as decreased oxygen in the blood, excessive sleepiness and difficulty breathing.
  • MASSAGE: There are always the usual recommendations of massaging their gums and giving them a cool teething ring to gnaw on. Please do not also use teething tablets containing belladonna.

Eventually one day, like magic, two little teeth popped through and my sweet, happy baby was back. Another parenting milestone achieved. Which, along with each of my baby’s milestones, is something I’ve learned is just as much worth celebrating.

EllieFunDay Wooden Bunny Teether, $22. www.elliefunday.com

Dr. Christina   Dr. Christina with little James




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