Caleb and Carson have been very different with regard to teething timelines. When Carson started teething, it was fast and furious. He had all his teeth before he was two years old, and most of his teeth, including molars, before he was 18 months. His first two teeth (the bottom front two) came in just a little before six months, and then after that, it seemed like the rest just kept coming through at least once a month. Carson didn’t seem to have much discomfort when they came in, which may be because they came through the gums so quickly. He would almost always spike a temperature when his teeth were coming through, which was quite challenging, especially because he started teething right when COVID came about.
On the other hand, Caleb didn’t get his two bottom teeth until he was about nine months old, and then it took until just a few days ago to have some more teeth pop through the gum line. Unfortunately, he has four teeth coming through all at once, so he has been chewing on EVERYTHING and drooling like crazy. He has also been extremely uncomfortable, especially at night, and just slightly cranky. The teeth have been slow to cut through the gum line too. We finally got one of the top front teeth showing, and you can start to see the beginning of two of the others showing. They have not come through entirely yet though.
To me, teething is one of the hardest things to go through for little ones. They are in pain due to the gums cutting open. They cannot tell you what is going on, and there is not a ton that we can do to help them get through it. For Caleb, we have been giving him either Tylenol or ibuprofen at night to help him feel more comfortable sleeping. During the day, we try and give him plenty of chewy toys to gnaw on and cold things. We have these wonderful pacifier-like things (Baby Food Feeder/Fruit Feeder Pacifier) that you can fill with frozen fruits, breastmilk, or anything you desire, and your infant can chew on it. It can make a mess, but it was the perfect thing to keep my little teething baby satisfied and allow me to add some nutritious fruits for them to practice eating. My kids have loved these things, and we constantly have them available for them.
I have seen two different kinds and have tried both. One has a mesh cloth holder, and the other is a silicon holder. My children preferred the silicon-style ones because it was easier to gnaw on, and once the food was gone, it gave them something semi-hard to chew on. The mesh cloth ones were challenging for me to clean, and my kids didn’t like their texture. I also noticed that the cloth ones were a little more challenging to clean and would keep some soap smells on them. But that is just my experience with those. I am sure some kids really like them, and others don’t. All I know is that they are some of the best things for teething babies. I also like to give Caleb the teethers that you can put into the freezer, and it becomes very cold. I don’t use those very often, but when I can tell he is hurting, those seem to really soothe him.
We also never used teething gel or put anything on our babies’ gums, mainly because our pediatrician recommended against it. Instead, we make sure that Caleb has something to chew on to soothe his gums. There is also a natural remedy that I heard about recently from one of Caleb’s teachers at daycare. I have not looked this up, nor have I tried it myself, so take it with a grain of salt. However, she said that letting the babies chew on the greens of onions (frozen) can help not only give a natural numbing agent to their gums and help the teeth get through the gums quicker. She also said frozen celery is another good option. Another natural teether would be carrots. Babies can gnaw on them to help soothe their gums and also allow them to get a little nutrition from the carrots. I like natural remedies for kids but pay close attention to your little ones when giving these to them. Like many things, these are choking hazards.
I hope that the teeth coming in right now will start pushing through the gums a little quicker and that Caleb will not be in as much pain. Sleeping has been a little more challenging at night. He tosses and turns a lot more and seems uncomfortable, which is also why we try and give him either Tylenol or Ibuprofen some nights. I am also going to try some of those natural remedies and see if they will help Caleb feel better during times he is teething. As his teeth come in, we are getting him used to brushing his teeth and soon going to the dentist!