Teething Bites: Our Tools For Surviving Teething
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Warning! This post contains some cold hard truth about teething.
Let’s get honest about teething IT SUCKS! I am not one to be a Debbie downer about this awesome journey through parenthood. I love my job, even when my tiny human is cranky BUTTTT goodness teething is not for the faint of heart.
My son popped his front two bottom teeth at the same time the week of Thanksgiving.. We DIDN’T EVEN KNOW! He never got cranky or refused to sleep, NOTHING. So, being the blissfully naive parents that we are (as most new parents are) we thought ‘Hey this teething this is not as hard as everyone said it’d be.’
Boy were we WRONG
My son has been cutting his front two teeth plus another one on the top. Y’all it has NOT been fun. My son has not slept a full night in his own bed in almost a MONTH. He hasn’t slept a full 6 hours in almost as long. If you are going through teething with your little one, know that you are AMAZING for surviving each day! Seriously, between the lack of sleep, the whimpering throughout the day and the screaming any mom who has been through teething and survived to tell their story, you ROCK.
Okay so some of that might have been a bit on the dramatic side but has been so much harder than I thought. And my husband and I have learned some trick along the way that have helped make this really hard time just a little easier. Even on the worst days at least one thing on this list has given me a few seconds of peace.
Here is the list of things that have helped us and how we used each one. Before you read this list know that every baby is different. I am no expert and this is what has worked for us and hopefully at least some of it will be helpful for you.
Baby Food Feeders
Even if you don’t have a teething baby I highly recommend these.
These things are AMAZING. When my son started teething he didn’t have much interest in those frozen teething rings but I knew that he needed something cool on his gums to make him more comfortable.
One day I found these in the kitchen. My mom had given me some that my nephew never got to use and I had hidden them away. At first, if I am being honest, I had no idea what they were for. So like any good mom, I called my mom haha. She explained they had used them for teething and you could put whatever you wanted inside for baby to chew on. Anything? So the next trip to the grocery I got a big bag of frozen mangoes and stuff one of these suckers full. My son LOVED it. He was so happy if only for a few mins. He was getting some fruit and the frozen fruit was numbing his gums. It was a win, win.
Now that we have been using them for a while there are some pros and cons to both sets that we have. The ones with the netted material are nice because they are larger. Meaning I can get more fruit in there which equals less running back and forth to the freezer. BUT they are also a tad bit messier. Which is why I like the plastic ones with the caps when we are out and about. They hold less food but are cleaner for when my son is already dressed but still needs something cold on his gums. Both are really nice to have and have helped us tremendously!
Now that you know all about they baby food feeder you also know you need something to put in them. For us it’s frozen fruit. When I go to the grocery I get a big bag of frozen fruit for around $3. The first time we tried it I got a bag of mangoes. Frozen Mangoes are nice because they make almost zero mess. They won’t dye his face and they don’t have seeds. They are really nice for when we are out and about because he won’t end up covered in fruit.
After he ate through a whole bag of mangoes we tried a variety bag of mangoes, bananas, strawberries. Again, mangoes are the bomb. My son loved all the fruits but bananas and strawberries work better in the netted ones because he can’t pull bigger chucks of food out like in can in the plastic ones.
We have also tried blueberries, pineapples and raspberries. My only warning is make sure you don’t use a fruit that will stain their face if you are out and about 🙂
I’m not a huge fan of using medication if I can use something natural BUT my little guy has been in so much pain. You know that cry that breaks your heart… yeah we were to that point.
So when we took him for his 9 month check up the doctor looked at his gums and said “ow.” Even she could see his whole top gum was swollen. She suggested we use ibuprofen instead of Tylenol. We had been using Tylenol for about a week and honestly it wasn’t helping much. I thought he’d out grown his dosage but the doctor said his dosage was right. So we bought ibuprofen and tried that.
What. A. Difference. Not only does ibuprofen last longer than Tylenol it helps with the swelling. As soon as we switch we finally saw some relief for him. Ibuprofen has become a tool in my bag of tricks for teething and although we don’t like to use medication much when your child is in pain you’ll try it all.
Frozen Teething Toys
As I said before my son didn’t take to these at first. Everyone always asked if we used them or if we had them when he was cranky. We do/and did have them he just doesn’t always like them. There is one that he really likes that I will suggest though, Tomy | The first years has this plastic teething ring you can freeze and he uses this one a lot.
Although this is one of the only ones he will use, I didn’t want to leave teething rings off the list because I know they work for most babies. And this one works for my little guy. These are definitely worth having in your bag of tricks.
You just put the little brush on your finger and you can massage their gums. If you use Orajel these brushes are a nice way to apply it. Again, we don’t use Orajel a lot but when push comes to shove we will.
Cliche as it sounds… patience! Teething is hard for everyone. And after a few days your patience are shot, you’re running on no sleep (#teamnosleep) and you are wondering how you going to keep going until those teeth come in. You can do this. Especially you new mamas who had no idea how bad teething could get, you got this. Cuddle your little one, enjoy those naps when all they want is to be held and know that this is also a season that will pass. One day we will look back and long for those cranky, sleepy hugs and they will be all grown up. You can do this!
What are some of the teething tricks that have worked for your family? I would love to hear all about it
Lots of Love,
How I Survived a Super Cranky Baby
This is how I survived a super cranky baby and so can you.
When my son was born my husband and I were over the moon. We had struggled to get pregnant and had watched everyone else have babies for the last 16 months and it was finally our turn. I had been around babies my entire life so I had some idea of what newborn life looked like…. or so I thought.
My son was born in early May and those first couple of weeks were AMAZING!! My husband got a full 2 weeks off of work and we were running like a well oiled machine. What one of us lacked the other made up for and vice versa. It was magical.
and then my son turned 5 weeks old….
So it began
It started with a few hours a day. My little one would cry for a few hours straight each evening and everyone told me “he’s being a baby, this is what you signed up for.” So, a few more weeks went by and it just got progressively worse. By the time he was about 3 months old and he was screaming the whole day. 8-12 hours out of the days he was crying and/or screaming. I knew something was wrong so I took him to the doctor and after a month of back and forth we ended up at Children’s with a diagnoses of acid reflux AND colic…. He is now a happy (well most of the time) 9 month old but getting through those months were HARD. I thought I would never make it through but there were a few things that helped us cope and also seemed to help him. This is how we survived a super cranky baby and you can too!
Here are some of the things that helped us for a wide scope of reasons and not just for acid reflux.
Asking for help
I know this seems pretty basic but as a new mom a lot of us can feel like we need to do it all. As if asking for help would some how make us less amazing.. but it doesn’t! I promise it DOESN’T! When my husband was at work I was in over my head. It started with my husband telling me to go hang out with my friends in the evenings (he works in the evenings). I never wanted to though because WHO wants to listen to a baby cry all night, I didn’t and so I felt like I was inconveniencing anyone I was around.
First, my in-laws invited me over one evening for dinner and helped me out for a few hours. They would rock him and pace with him until I needed to nurse and even though I was still with him and could hear him crying or screaming being around other people helped me so much. I felt like I could breath knowing that others heard him and I wasn’t going crazy. Not to mention being able to put him down or hand him off gave me just a few moments to sit and relax.
(My son and his Pops on our Mondays out)
It was so helpful that I made this part of my weekly schedule. Mondays were the hardest because Alex was at home to help out all weekend to help out. When Monday rolled around and I was all alone with the baby again it seemed so much more difficult. So every Monday I would go to my in-laws house for dinner and to sit for a few hours. They got to visit with their grand baby, we got out of the house and I got a little time to breath. It was (and still is) a win, win, win. After a few Mondays I started to add more scheduled visits to my week to see other people. Asking for help or even working in a few dinners with friends and family was by far the biggest life saver with a super cranky baby.
As a stay at home mom (and I’m sure for working mamas too!) feeling like the walls are closing in was a feeling I got a lot. By that I mean, you can only be in the same rooms for so many days before you feel like they are getting smaller. As a first time mom who had gone to work Monday through Friday, staying home everyday was a HUGE culture shock to say the least!! My baby was born in May so the weather was normally warm. My husband was home in the mornings so that’s when we would walk. Every morning we would either find a new park or just walk around the block. Babies are so curious and on the days where I got my son out and walked with him he seemed to be a little less cranky.
I would load him up in his baby carrier (I love this carrier for newborns and smaller babies and this one for older babies ) so he was close to me and on nice days we would walk, just for a short time like 30-60 mins. Not only was he getting out of the house and exploring new things to see and hear but I was getting out too! Babies pick up on your emotions so when I felt stressed and over whelmed he picked up on that. So getting out of the house would help my mood and in return help him as well. Again, a win, win. Bonus I was getting a small workout in each day too!
(A few photos from our walks)
Now this tip may seem a little nontraditional to some but I was trying everything at this point.
One evening my son was going on hour 8 or 9 of screaming when my husband got home from work baby and I were both in tears . I was so overwhelmed and I felt helpless. My husband jumped in the shower and we sat in the bathroom so I could talk to him while I cried. The screaming was getting worse and all the sudden my husband said take his clothes off and throw him in here with me…. what!? Babies can’t have showers! Well, mine did! I stripped him down and my husband held him in the shower.
IT WORKED! For the first time in over 8 hours the crying stopped. I felt so relieved. This small miracle lead to other water related things that worked. When he was crying sometimes I would fill up the bathroom sink and let him kick his feet in the water, give him a bath, take bath with him or just wipe him down with a warm rag. All of these things helped… sometimes.
Anything I could do to distract him I would try. One night after he woke up we turned the vacuum on. It was loud and a constant sound. It immediately calm him down. We quickly realized we couldn’t run our vacuum all night so we had to search out other options. The first thing we found was a wonderful YouTube video of a vacuum running for 8 hours!! It was a life saver. We would throw our phone on charge and turn the video on and we all three would fall asleep to it. This worked for a little while but when we went to transition him into his own bed we had to find another source for sound.
We used this awesome little white noise machine.
It’s small but works wonders! Not only does it make multiple sounds it has pictures it projects on the ceiling.
Yeah, Yeah I know it’s corny… But seriously.. mamas, LOVE. Love your little baby and love on them. What I mean is even when the baby is crying and has been for hours try and step back or step away and think about how happy that little baby makes you. Love on your little one. Keep him/her close. In those first couple of months especially all they have ever known is the sound of your heart beat and your scent so hold them close. You’re not going to spoil them they NEED you. Hold them, lay them on your chest, just love on them.
For me I had to walk away or think about it before bed. Just the simple fact that I had spent so many nights praying for that little bugger and now he was here. Whether he screamed all day (and night) was irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. In those silent moments I would think of the good, that one little smile I might have gotten that day or the sleepy snuggles… I would think about how this time will pass. That cranky baby won’t be little forever. So..while they are little take time to love them even when they are at their worst. It’s not easy but nothing about being the parent of a tiny human is.
(bath time one night when he had been screaming for hours)