My 3 1/2 month old is getting her first tooth/ teeth, the doctor was right! I can feel a small jagged little thing poking though her lower right gums. It is the worst thing ever, for both of us.
Not only does it mean she’s *gasp* growing up, it also means wakeful nights and fussy days for all of us!
My What to Expect the First Year book talks about all the different issues associated with teething like refusal to nurse, biting and so on… They mention the use of acetaminophen for pain relief and most annoyingly they warn against comfort feeding during this extremely irritable stage.
For some nursing moms I am sure the no-comfort-nursing advice is welcome, I mean who wants to have their nipple chomped by a teething baby? By the way E did chomp me today and now I’ve got a nasty nipple blood blister. Ouchie! Be glad I am not sharing a photo of it here. I did snap a few just not going to subject you to the sight.
In our case this comfort nursing advice it stinks, even in light of the nipple blister. I mean nursing is pretty much the only thing that can be done to console Everly when she’s having a hurty-mouth fit and parents need to console their unhappy offspring right?
Since the day she was born breast has been her main source of comfort. She still doesn’t readily take a bottle or pacifier, she prefers the real thing (as in real skin). She’ll take finger, knuckle, shoulder, neck, wrist, nipple, etc… It seems skin is her preferred comfort texture but above all she likes comfort nursing (as in lightly sucking and not full on feeding).
These days she’s been sleeping less soundly and is frequently waking during the night and not going back to sleep with ease, this is unlike her. For the sake of everyone’s sleep and sanity I’ve been nursing her back to sleep each time so I was not pleased to read about how comfort nursing during teething can sometimes cause newborn night waking/ night feeding patterns to return and linger even after teething discomfort has passed.
The last thing I want is for my good sleeper go back to needing several night feeds and comforting after the teething is over!
Problem is nothing else seems to soothe her, nothing but the comfort nursing. She’s still not grasping things in her hands well which means having her suck or chew a frozen teething ring, wash cloth or whatever isn’t really an option unless we are on holding it in place the entire time. Plus, we have tried it and she doesn’t seem to like the cold. She just yells extra loud when we are putting stuff in her mouth.
We did have a minor breakthrough over the weekend involving a pacifier. We’ve discovered that while she hates them we can often trick her in to taking one while she’s drowsy and half asleep. If timed right we can soothe her half-asleep crying with a pacifier, woot! Slipping it in her mouth right while she’s still zoned out works to keep her zoned out and sleeping. Yay!
Last week we were given the okay for a half dose of acetaminophen/ Tylenol Infant Drops for Everly’s pain. She weighs over 12 lbs at 3 months so that means a 0.8 mL dose is fine for her to have when she’s particularly fussy… according to the pharmacist.
I am not happy that she’s needed so darn much of it though. We are half way through the freaking bottle already and to non-medicine takers this is a big deal.
The acetaminophen seems to allow her to relax and to help with the pain though so we are glad to have something to help her in addition to sneaking the pacifier in her mouth while she is groggy.
Oh, the last and most exciting breakthrough we’ve had during this teething madness is her sleeping preference. For about two months she’s been a swing sleeper. For her first month of life she co-slept to make nursing and sleeping easiest for everyone.
Having her in the bed with us meant we weren’t sleeping as soundly for fear of rolling on to her or accidentally covering her face with blankets. When she wasn’t waking every hour or so for a feed, a cuddle and some soothing back to sleep we wanted to sleep more soundly too so we stopped having her sleep in our bed.
Unfortunately, she didn’t take to sleeping by herself that well at first. We got a spiffy swing that really helped her sleep and that has been her womb-sound-making, rocking little sleep haven. Until her teething began.
Now she’s not jazzed about sleeping in the papasan cradle swing and likes laying flat and motionless best. We knew eventually we were going to have to start the motionless, flat sleeping transition as she’s halfway to outgrowing the swing’s weight capacity. We just haven’t been in a rush to do so, especially during this already hard time for her.
So, she’s transitioned herself to motionless, flat sleeping just like she pretty much transitioned herself to independent sleeping and also to sleeping though the nights. She’s an intuitive one!
So she’s now sleeping though the nights in her pack n’ play/ bassinet at night and napping in her nursery during the day. She’s changing, growing and adapting so darn fast. It blows my mind.