Thursday, February 25, 2010


So, my little girl is in the process of cutting her first teeth. Which means there is myriad of symptoms to deal with: low grade fevers, inflamed gums, loose stools (a.k.a. Hershey squirts), irritability and excessive drooling (why is nothing with children easy?). I’ve read that some children go through teething without any apparent problem, at all. But that sounds like a bunch of horse shit to me. I have yet to meet a parent who has had this experience. It sounds like one of those phony stories made up by parents who think that they’ve given birth to the next Einstein. You know the ones that can never shut up about how brilliant there kid is. Meanwhile, the kid is sitting in the corner eating his own snot; or worse yet, someone else’s. But, once again, I digress.
So, inevitably your asking: Notelgge, when will my little angel’s first pearly whites start to poke through? Well don’t worry, as usual, Pater’s Potpourri is here with everything you need to know. Most babies get their first tooth at around 6 months, but your child's chompers may appear as early as 3 months or as late as 14, depending on such factors as whether you and your baby’s mom are related (just fucking around with that last part, don’t send me any letters). Typically, babies get their teeth in pairs. First come the middle two on the bottom. A month or so later, the two above those arrive.

Many people believe excessive drooling is a sure sign of tooth development, but those people are fools. Excessive drooling is a normal developmental stage of infancy, so don't ASSume that drooling means teething. There's no way to tell whether your baby's extra spittle is the result of teething or not, but it might be if your baby is also fussy at night.
Tooth eruption (when the tooth moves through the bone and gum) tends to occur more at night than during the day, so your baby may be more irritable then.
Ear pulling can also herald emerging teeth. Pain from the jaw often gets transferred to the ear canal. But, as with all things baby, it is never a definite; tugging can also be the sign of an ear infection.
Personally, I knew something was up when my little girl would start to suck on her bottle, than immediately pull away and cry. It turns out the activity of sucking puts uncomfortable pressure on the gums and ear canals. Which is really shitty when your kid is used to drifting off to slumber-land with a bottle in their mouth. Fortunately, there are dozens of remedies for teething children. But you may need to try a few methods to see what works best for your child. The pressure of an emerging tooth is often relieved by counter-pressure, so teething babies often want to chomp on things. Plastic teethers seem to be popular, but my daughter has yet to take to these. And I know my generation grew up with these things being thrown in the freezer, but doctors now warn that frozen toys may be too harsh on an infant's sensitive gums, opt for the refrigerator instead. Some people swear by carrots, and frozen bananas, but don’t be an idiot. They may appeal to a baby's intense urge to chew, but when gnawed on long enough they can break apart creating a choking hazard. And sure, maybe grandma used to rub a little whiskey on your old-man’s gums, but I wouldn’t recommend that either. Even tiny amounts of alcohol can be poisonous to a baby.
A lady my baby’s mama works with swears by a wet, frozen washcloth (leave one end dry so the baby can get a good grip). The thick fabric feels good, and the icy cold numbs sore gums. Others swear by topical oral anesthetics like Ora-jel, but I found these to be useless. I even tried it on myself as a matter of science. It gave the effect of rubbing cocaine on ones gums, and as far as I’m concerned children don’t need that sensation till they go to college.
In my experience, when my daughters gums are hurting (and when they are she becomes inconsolable), the best trick is a popsicle and infant acetaminophen. The sweetness is an instant distraction, and the icy cold numbs the gums until the baby Tylenol has a chance to kick in. It works like magic every time. I go for a fruit juice pop like the ones they got at Trader Joes. At least this way my baby’s teeth won’t rot out of her head before she can even walk. I definitely recommend giving it a try.
In summation, from what I’ve read the teething process lasts about two years, but after the first few teeth come in, the process tends to be much less painful. Whether that’s true or not I have yet to find out, but for all of our sakes, I hope it’s true.
This is Notelgge, signing out. Peace and love.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails