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The average infant gets his first tooth between four and seven months of age. With the Little Peanut being six and a half months old, it’s about that time. In fact, about 5 days ago, he was chewing on my finger, and I noticed a little bump. And there in the bottom of his mouth was the beginning of a tiny tooth bud. Little tiny teeth in babies’ mouths are adorable when they give you a big gummy grin, but they can be quite a challenge due to the discomfort they bring. When I saw the tooth bud, I made sure that I had stocked up on all of the necessary teething supplies to ensure that we were able to manage any problems that my sweet Peanut might experience.
In general, the biggest truth that I’ve learned about teething is that fussiness and pain can make an otherwise sweet little Boy into a complete grouch. In fact, the Big One always got a slight fever when he was getting new teeth. All of the boys seem to have more problems sleeping and are restless when teething, like they just can’t get comfortable. To deal with the physical pain, I often give my sons Infants’ Advil®. It is the best medicine that I know of for cutting down on pain and improving the quality of sleep during teething. Infants’ Advil® contains ibuprofen, and lasts up to eight hours, which basically means that it lasts all night long for the Peanut. I found it in my local Walgreens, which is open 24 hours. This means if we realized that we were out in the middle of the night, someone can run to the store to pick it up! You can even use this coupon to get $1.50 off a bottle of Infants’ Advil® right now.
I also use a number of home remedies to deal with the Peanut’s sore gums right now. One of the easiest solutions is to use ready to buy teethers that you can also pick up at your local pharmacy. (Incidentally, there is also a teether coupon to go with your Infants’ Advil® coupon.) I put teethers in a plastic bag and just keep them in the freezer. My other favorite teething trick is to take a soft and well-loved washcloth and get it wet. Not soaking wet, but very damp. I stick it in the freezer in its own plastic bag. Once it’s frozen, the Peanut can gnaw away on the frozen washcloth for comfort. This is why that I suggest using a well-loved, less plush and linty washcloth– it is easier to chew on.
However, my most favorite trick for managing infant teething discomfort is the use of mesh feeders. These can be bought at retailers everywhere, and are wonderful for teething. I fill the mesh feeders with soft frozen fruits. The Peanut can then gnaw on the cold fruits as they dissolve in his mouth. It’s a good alternative to a popsicle since he’s not quite old enough to eat one.
The nice thing about frozen fruit and the mesh feeder is your ability to either freeze your own fruit, like chopped up pieces of overripe banana, or you can purchase fruit in the frozen food section of your local grocery store. I like to buy strawberries, blueberries and mango for the Peanut. Another option is yogurt– you can even freeze baby yogurt in an ice cube tray, and place the frozen yogurt pieces in your mesh feeder. All three of these choices will be delicious! (You may know that the Peanut isn’t a huge fan of “real” food yet, but he does seem to enjoy the relief of the frozen fruit in the mesh feeder).
I was really hoping that I might be able to show off the tiny baby tooth that is poking out of his sweet little gum line, but unfortunately, the Peanut didn’t seem to want to cooperate. He’s too busy chewing on everything– hands, teether, his mesh feeder, and any toy that he can get a hold of. He’s definitely teething! Thank goodness for these tricks and Infants’ Advil®!
Did I miss any good tricks and truths for managing teething? What has worked best for your little ones?