The whole tooth

A few of my friends have babies who are about to embark upon the wonderful world of teething. I don’t miss those days—and we were lucky in that Eleanor was a great teether. Her teeth seemed to pop up without a whole lot of fuss. However, there were definitely days that she was in pain. It was heartbreaking and I felt really helpless.

So, for my friends and readers that are about to deal with the teething process, here are my tips.

  1. Get ready for drool. You can prepare yourself for this, but you won’t really understand the full effect until it happens. Your child will become a drooling machine. This means investing in a ton of bibs, specifically, ones with plastic backing, or a plastic layer of some kind. No matter how thick your cloth bibs are, your kiddo will soak right through it.
  2. Don’t wipe too much. While drool can irritate the skin, constantly wiping at your child’s face can make things worse. Use a very soft cloth and gently wipe the drool away. Or, just let the drool flow!
  3. Use the frozen washcloth trick; it really works. I would take one of Eleanor’s baby washcloths (clean, of course), wet it, roll it into a tube shape and put it in the freezer. When she got crabby I would offer her the cloth for a good chew. She seemed to get some relief from it.
  4. Find a pain reliever that works. For us, it was Camilia, a homeopathic medicine that is made specifically for teething. It comes in individual doses that are easy to administer. Each time I offered it to my daughter, she acted as if it was a treat. It seemed to get the job done quickly.
  5. Encourage chewing. Teethers that are cooled (not frozen), baby spoons and even my own fingers (again, clean, of course) appeared to offer relief. Keep an eye on anything your child is chewing. Watch out for pieces breaking off or small parts that can be swallowed. I gave my kiddo a large cold carrot to gum, but this was prior to teeth actually breaking through. She was unable to bite chunks off. Please be careful!
  6. Contact your doctor with any concerns. Many moms will say that fever is a common symptom of teething, but many doctors disagree. Eleanor, for example, never had a fever. If your baby has a fever, even low-grade, for more than two days, get in touch with your doc.

Aside from these ideas, you’re on your own. Each baby is different. Some parents swear by the amber necklace, for example. I gave it a shot and it didn’t seem to make any difference. But who knows? Your kiddo might love it.

Be patient, offer plenty of cuddles and go with the flow.


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