Most first-time moms already know that teething can cause a slight fever and excessive drool. But did you know that it can also cause runny poop, explosive diapers, coughing, congestion, diaper rashes, fever and ear infections? Lots of articles and blogs out there say that these issues are caused by viruses and not teething, but I beg to differ. Yes, of course viruses can cause these symptoms. But anytime your baby has excessive saliva and snot (teething snot is clear), it’s very possible for him to get an ear infection. And all that saliva he’s swallowing? It stands to reason that this can cause loose stools (at least that’s my theory on it). And all those loose stools can very easily cause a nasty diaper rash. We also find that all the drool causes our son to have a nasty cough.
Anybody who says teething doesn’t cause these things is either (a) not a parent, (b) had an easy teether, or (c) blamed a virus every time their kid teethed. But you will never convince me that all of the above-mentioned problems aren’t teething-related.
Some babies don’t have a hard time at all with teething, while others struggle. And with the same baby, some teeth are harder than others to cut. A baby can actually have teething symptoms for weeks before cutting a tooth.
J didn’t struggle with all of his teeth. But with many of them, he had symptoms for long periods of time before they would even appear just under the surface of the gums. During the times that he was teething hard (read: irritable as hell), we found a few things that helped along the way:
Medicate that baby! Teething can be really painful, so don’t hesitate to give pain medication when needed. On really bad days, we usually alternate between Tyenol and Motrin every 6 hours, making sure to end up with Motrin at night. I find that the Motrin lasts the longest and helps the most with the swelling of the gums that comes along with teething.
Frozen waffles. Don’t thaw it. Just give it to him straight out of the freezer. It sounds gross, but I’m sure the cold feels good on their gums. Plus, J is always a finicky eater when he’s teething, so at least this way I’m getting some food into him.
Frozen yogurt on a spoon. I can’t claim this idea as my own, but I can attest that it works. Take an adult-sized metal spoon and scoop out a big blob of yogurt. Put it on a plate and freeze it for 2 hours. Once it’s good and frozen, hand it over to Baby and she will gnaw all over that thing. It’s messy, but worth it.
Frozen washcloth. Oldie but a goodie! Take a washrag, roll it into a cylinder, wet half of the cylinder, and freeze it. The half that you didn’t wet will serve as a handle for Baby, while she chews on the frozen half.
Frozen carrot or celery sticks. Just watch the little ones closely because the carrots tend to break off and the celery is stringy.
Diaper rash often accompanies teething. To try to prevent it, I use my own homemade diaper cream made out of coconut oil and beeswax. If it becomes persistent, we let J sit in a warm bath with 8 ounces of baking soda mixed in. After his bath, we allow him plenty of “naked time” to let his bottom air dry and to just give him a break from a diaper. When it’s time to put on his diaper, we use Boudreaux’s Maximum Strength Butt Paste. If you cloth diaper, you might consider using disposables (we mostly cloth, but also love Honest Diapers for heavy poop days or on-the-go) on heavy teething days so that you can use Butt Paste–and also because it’s a much easier cleanup!
The final teething remedy I can suggest to you is a glass of wine.
For you, silly, not for baby!
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