The information below is a combination of my experience, my reading, and ideas I have heard from other people.
Teething Without Medication
- If your baby is old enough she is eating finger foods, Biter biscuits can be nice. The baby just chews and chews on them.
- Pretzles. Kaitlyn has liked these for her molars coming in.
- My mom always used a frozen wash cloth with us. The cold helps sooth and numb the gum pain, and the material helps cut the gum. Get it wet, freeze it for a bit, and then give it to the baby to chew on. You could even just wet one end so the whole thing wouldn't be freezing and then wet. I have also heard to wet it, roll it, and then freeze it.
- Your fingers and/or knuckles (at least until those first teeth come in!).
- Soothie pacifiers. Around here, they are given out at the hospital, and you can buy them in stores. They are teal-greenish in color (thought they do come in various colors) and soft all around. Both of my kids liked to chew on the outside (not the nipple) when they had teething pains. Here is a link to what I am talking about: Soothie Pacifier
- I have heard of a thing called a Raz-Berry Teether from Right Start (it looks like a pacifier). RaZberry Teether
- A teething feeder. There are several brands out there: Teething Feeders
- Foam alphabet pieces. Sassy Bathtime Fun Appliques - 84 Piece Set
- All of the toys made for teething. The number of toys made with some teether feature included is quite large. Run a search on Amazon for teething toys, and this is what you will find: Teething Toys. There are various teething rings, toy keys, teethers you freeze, teethers that vibrate...the list goes on. You can pick something you think suits your baby's personality and playing style.
- Teething Tablets. Brayden really liked those, and they seemed to take effect immediately. We didn't use them often--basically just the first teeth. A good friend of mine pointed out to me that many brands have caffeine in them. I don't like caffeine in myself, much less my baby (I do make lots of exceptions for chocolate :) )! Especially my overly active baby! I have heard great things about Hylands Teething Tablets. They are all natural and I guess can be found basically at any grocery store (and I am sure the big "mart" stores like Wal-Mart or Target).
- Many people love baby Orajel. I bought some for Brayden, but I honestly never saw any significant effect from it. I have heard from a woman who has worked for doctors and dentists to not use Orajel. She says it is a numbing gel like they use in the dentists office to numb your cheek before they give you an injection. When a baby teethes, she creates a LOT of saliva. When you put a numbing gel in their mouths, it mixes with the extra saliva and runs down their little throats...therefore numbing the throat. This then makes it harder for them to swallow, causing a choking hazard. I don't really know about all of that, but thought I would pass the information along.
- Good old Tylenol.
- Motrin (Ibuprophen). This lasts longer than Tylenol, so many like to use it at night and Tylenol in the day. Motrin is also supposed to reduce swelling.
- Your baby's reaction to teething is going to be very individual to her. Some babies handle pain better than others, just like adults. Some get clingy, some get cranky, some (older babies and toddlers) get disobedient, some get teeth without you realizing teething was even happening.
- The reaction will also vary based on the tooth coming in. Pain tolerance can differ around the mouth. I remember when I got braces. I got the top braces first. No pain at all. I got the bottom next. Ouch! So painful. And my top teeth were worse than my bottom. Every time I got them tightened, the bottom hurt and top didn't.
- In my experience, the pains preceding the first tooth seem to be worse. It is baby's first time experiencing the pain.
- A lot of times, teeth come in pairs--one quickly follows the first. The first is usually worse.
- Molars are usually quite painful. They take a really, really long time to fully come in, so they can bother your child for a month or more when you include the pre-tooth pain and the time to break through completely.
- For Brayden, the Canine, or Cuspid, teeth were the most painful of all. Those are the pointy ones, and are often close to the last teeth to come in.
- There is no sure answer on how long the pains will last.
- For some babies teething really isn't a good experience in the least. It is worth your effort to find what works for your baby. Those teeth will keep coming for quite some time. Somewhere around the second birthday, they all get there. Some might be done earlier, and some later, but the whole teething process lasts a long time.
I have never had to experience CIO while teething or sick because both of my kids were done crying for naps by the time they ever were sick or got teeth. I would not ever say to leave your child to scream in pain or discomfort. See my post on Comforting a Sick Toddler/Baby: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/comforting-sick-toddlerbaby.html
For many Babywise babies, teething doesn't really disrupt life. Granted some are better able to handle pain than others. BW points out that once they are old enough, you can give pain killer if the child needs it just before a nap and that will kick in before the transition and they should be fine. Brayden got several teeth in without me realizing he was teething. Neither of my children have really needed pain killer. On occasion, yes, but most of the time we have been able to work through it.
Teething might throw naps off for a while. It might be the culprit for missed sleep. Most BW children I have observed mostly show their teething when they are older and cutting molars. They suddenly are set-off into fits more easily and are less obedient. An inspection of the mouth will show new teeth approaching. Your baby will assuredly have her own reaction to teeth. Deal with them as best you can, but don't stress if they cause disruptions. Be patient with your baby or toddler as she is experiencing pain and discomfort.
If you are unsure if your baby is teething or not, look for signs of drooling, red and swollen gums, and possibly a low fever.
As always, please add your own advice by clicking on the "x comments" link below this post.
- Reds said...
My son is 5.5 months old and is teething. He was doing well going to sleep on his own for naps and bedtime with little or no crying...then the teething started last week. do you suggest CIO when teething since we have no idea how long this will last? We've had to hold him or put him in swing to fall asleep for a week now. any suggestions would be so helpful, thanks.
August 18, 2008 9:36 AM
The Traveling Turtle said...
Have you tried Teething Tabs? They are made by Hylands and are all natural. I use them on my 5.5 month old daughter when she is having issues with her poor gums and it seems to help. I prefer using them b/c it is not a "medicine" like Tylenol. Just my opinion. I think though, that each child is different and that you will probably know the cues to look for in naps after a bit. (If it is a teething cry or a CIO getting ready for sleep cry). It took me a few days of really watching and listening to my daughter before I knew which it was. Good luck.
August 18, 2008 9:59 AM
I haven't tried them, I will definitely pick them up today. thank you! He wasn't crying for naps or bedtime before last wk...so I thought it was b/c of teething. I guess my issue is that is more of a wailing cry vs. a cranky/getting ready to sleep cry...are we supposed to let them CIO like that?
August 18, 2008 10:17 AM
If he is in pain, I wouldn't do CIO. I would try to find something to comfort him. See this post: Comforting a Sick Toddler/Baby: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/comforting-sick-toddlerbaby.html
August 19, 2008 9:07 PM
Teething tablets can be a good solution--thanks Traveling Turtle.
August 19, 2008 9:09 PM
- Katie Abernethy said...
Yay for Babywise! Whenever I met a new couple with a baby who says their child sleeps through the night, I just know...Babywise!Anyway-I have a teething 5 month old (we've got 2 so far!) We give him some teething drops and Tylenol on bad days to help him and he seems to be doing ok. However...the past month or two-he's been waking up at 5:30. I orginally had him on a 3 1/2 hour schedule that started at 7 AM. I bumped him back to 6:30 AM and ended up changing his schedule to every 3 hours. His last feeding is still at 9 and he goes to bed so well after that. My husband and I have let him CIO for an hour each morning, but this has been going on for a while now. I fear that if i feed him at 5:30 his schedule will be messed up yet again. He's almost 6 months and before all of this, I thought he was almost ready for a 4 hour schedule. We seem to be moving backwards. Is this all due to teething? Sorry for the novel, and thanks for your help.
September 30, 2008 4:47 PM
Katie, that is possible that it is all teething. See this post for more ideas: 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/6-month-sleep-disruptions.html
October 1, 2008 3:52 PM