Teething

Teething is painful. Most parents seem to remember their children teething no matter how long ago. One thing I’ve noticed is that parents with grown children tend to forget exactly when teething occurs. Ever since V was born, any time she was drooling, or chewing on something, or fussy it was attributed to possible teething, even as early as two months old. Well I’ve got news for you: babies chew, they drool and they fuss. It’s just what they do, and it doesn’t usually mean they are teething.

One thing I never expected was how slow this process would be. V’s first tooth broke the surface on May 3rd, followed two days later by a second tooth. Her third started coming in last week. For some reason I expected them to shoot up within a few days after breaking the surface, but they’re still just chilling low down against the gumline.

I wasn’t expecting these first teeth to give her any problems either. All the moms in our playgroup said their babies barely noticed the bottom teeth; it was the top incisors coming in when the babies started to have issues. I also thought all the pain was when they broke through the gums, not as they continued to sprout. Someone told me the whole process hurts, though it is hard to tell. V finally started getting grouchy last Friday. Her third tooth had already broken through, but she still had three teeth coming in simultaneously.

It doesn’t help that she’s been getting over a cold too. This whole week has been bad. We had family visiting on Friday and Saturday and V was in a foul mood for that. She wants nothing to do with solid food, and bats my hands away when I try. She doesn’t even want finger foods all that much. Crackers are promptly slapped from my hand. She doesn’t want anything to do with Daddy and cries if he even tries to touch her, or bats him away. Her smile has been nonexistent. All she wants is for Mommy to hold her. And hold her. And hold her. She’s been napping a lot during the day, and has been waking up frequently during the night.

We tried some of the usual methods to alleviate her pain. I’ve had teething rings chilling in the fridge for months now. She hasn’t been that interested in them. We tried throwing a damn washcloth in the freezer for 30 minutes. She didn’t want that either. So we’ve resorted to baby Acetaminophen. That, at least, has helped somewhat. I’ve let her sleep with us more than usual, but she still starts whimpering and tossing and turning in the early morning when the meds wear off. My boobs have suffered too as she keeps trying to use them as pacifiers. I tried giving her a real pacifier but all she did was play with it. A few days ago she bit me so hard and so randomly that I screamed “God DAMN it!” and set her off bawling. It took a while to calm her down from that.

Last night and this morning she started licking her upper gumline so I’m wondering if she’s getting in her upper teeth too. If she is, that would make 4-5 teeth at the same time, poor kid. However, her elusive smile came back this morning. She woke up and smiled at me. She even smiled at Daddy. She played and babbled and had fun at breakfast. She ate some solid food. And just now, she found an old chewed up, hair-covered dog toy buried under my desk. I heard her coughing on the hair, and now she’s complaining because I took it away. At least she’s back to her old self for a little bit.

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