When I was pregnant with Ava there were a lot of worries running through my head, as there are with any new parent. However, the one thing I remember being super scared about was whether or not I could handle when Ava started teething. I was so scared about one night I was crying and asked my dad, “What did you and mom do? How did you make it through it?” And he told me then that “Parenting is just a bunch of phases and you get through it by taking it one phase at a time. Teething is hard but it’s just another phase.” And guess what? All that fear, Ava has almost all her teeth, and it has never been that bad. Honestly. Here are my best tips to surviving teething!
1. Toys, toys, and more toys!
We had so many teething toys for Ava, especially when she was getting her first few teeth. You want them in a variety of textures because your baby will like all the different feelings on their gums. You may also want a few of each because you’ll need to wash them, inevitably you’ll lose some, and you NEVER want to be without one. These are some of Ava’s favorites!
2. Binkies for days!
Binkies will always soothe your baby, teething or not and just like with toys you want multiple. If you are still expecting I would avoid getting too many of one kind until your baby arrives. All binkies are made different by each company and a lot of babies end up having a certain type that they like more than others. So, while you should get a good number of pacifiers you should wait till you know your babies favorite type or it could end up being a waste of money. And if your baby doesn’t have a preference please know how lucky you are! Ava absolutely had to have the Nuk brand. (This info can also be applied to when you buy bottles. All companies make their nipples different as well.)
3. Everything in the freezer!
Toys, binkies, even wet wash cloths! Your baby will love the cold on their gums! This is another reason I do suggest multiple toys and binkies. When first started teething cold binkies were her favorite thing ever. So, we bought about 10 binkies and would constantly rotate binkies when they started to warm up in her mouth. Pull one out of the freezer, exchange the cold one for the warm one, throw the warm one back in the freezer and repeat. Same goes with her toys once she finally learned how to hold them up to her mouth herself.
4. Soothing Gels, and pain medication
Giving Ava medication was something we wanted to refrain from as much as possible, however, no one wants to just watch their baby in pain. So when cold toys didn’t work we would put natural soothing gel on her gums (we liked the Nuby soothing gel with a teether binky) or we would give her infant Tylenol or even a natural kind of pain medicine, whatever you prefer. Sometimes it can be difficult to feed Ava medicine with just a syringe so I also always use the Pacidose Medicine Dispenser which is a pacifier with a whole in the back of it for you to put the syringe in and push the medicine through. Your baby will suck down all the medicine and not even realize! He/she will just think they’re sucking on their binky! It’s such a genius idea! I love that thing so much that I included it on my 9 Products That Helped Me Rock My First Year As A Mom post.
5. It is okay to walk away if you need to
I know, I know. This one may turn a stomach or two but hear me out, if you are feeling overwhelmed your baby can definitely tell and they will also get stressed out and no one will feel any better. So, if it gets to a point where you feel like you need a break put your baby in their swing where they’re nice and safe and as comfortable as possible and leave the room for 5-15 minutes. There is nothing wrong with needing to take a few minutes to collect your thoughts! We have no problem doing it at work, well HELLO, parenting is a 24/7 job and yes, it is overwhelming at times! Taking a few minutes to yourself to take deep breaths and think about what you’re going to try next is a great thing to do. Lower your heart rate, clear your mind, and try again. Just like anything else you’re trying to accomplish. When you come in calmer than you walked out that alone will settle your baby down just a little.
6. If you are overwhelmed ask for help
There is nothing wrong with needing help. I know it’s hard as a parent to want to ask for help, for whatever reason we want to be the answer to all our kid’s problems but sometimes that’s not the case. Sometimes we need help and its nothing to be ashamed of. Let your partner know you need help, call in the grandparents, or even call a friend who has been-there-done-that! When it comes to any part of raising you baby, asking for help may be the best thing you can do. Trust me! When they say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” they are not kidding! Never underestimate the power of a parent tribe!
I hope that this article has served its purpose and all you parents out there reading find it a little helpful. If you have any tips of your own that you think will be helpful to any other moms and dads reading please drop your advice in the comments below!