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3 Tips for a Teething Baby

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Poor baby. Poor mama. Poor's the ultimate parenting scapegoat! I've heard so many times, "but my baby is teething!"

I've been bit 5 times in the last 24 hours because my 9-month-old is cutting 2 more teeth.

However, during these changes and his growth and development, I am not willing to sacrifice his sleep skills.

Children are teething roughly the first 3 years of their life. It's inevitable that it's going to happen, so we might as well deal with it as best we can and not let it completely disrupt our day-to-day, amirite??? (That's what the kids say these days, isn't it??) I, for one, am not willing to let teething be the cause of crappy sleep until my child is three years old. I just won't do it! Three years is a long time to not have quality sleep, especially for a growing child.

So, what's a mama to do??

Well, let me offer some tips:

1. Don't let it be your scapegoat. Teething gets such a bad rap! I'm sure it varies from baby to baby, in fact, I KNOW it varies from baby to baby. With my first son, we could barely tell when he was teething. He would wake up with one or two new ones, or days later (like, they'd clearly been there for awhile) I'd get a good look in his mouth and think, "I wonder when those babies came in!" No joke...besides a little extra drool, we couldn't tell when he was cutting teeth. We were blessed. Then my second son joined the party, and let me tell you, he doesn't have a good pokerface! He gets bright red cheeks, he's clingy, fussy, drooly, and visibly uncomfortable the day or two leading up to the tooth erupting. As soon as it's broke through his gums, he's back to his normal self. So how do we deal? We treat it (more tips below) and go on with our day per usual. We don't let it become an excuse to veer from our normal daily routine.

2. Treat it! We offer teethers (which he normally wants nothing to do with {insert facepalm emoji}) and a damp cloth. You can also try slightly frozen cloths - my little guy just prefers them slightly damp and not frozen. Figure out what your child prefers and what seems to comfort them best. If that's not helping the situation, I then offer the appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen for my child's age and weight (check in with your child's physician if you're not sure).

3. Stick to routines. If you let teething be your downfall, and are more lenient than you normally would be, you're in for a long three years! Don't let it be an excuse to allow for bad sleep habits to develop.

True illness is another story for another day. :)

Another thing to think about...children are also "teething" when they lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth start to come in, typically between ages 6-12 years old. Do you remember this being super painful at all? {insert sassy emoji here}.

While teething might cause a few sleep interruptions for a few nights, I promise you can tough it out and make it through alive. However, if you allow it to, you might actually develop some really bad habits that will be tough to break when your little one is feeling better. Stick it out and hang in there...I promise things will return to normal with a bit of time and consistency.

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