It's been a long, long journey and I'm so thankful that Kye's first tooth is finally here! I've heard that the first one is the worst (at least until the molars start coming) so I hope everyone that told me that is right!!! While this whole thing has been very tough I thought I'd share some teething survival tips to any other parents out there who feel like there is no hope! Here are the things that helped me keep my sanity through all of this:
1. Babywise: Are you surprised I listed it first??? Having a child on a schedule is such a blessing when times are tough. Yes, some rules must be broken (for the first time in Kye's life I had to rock him back to sleep at 5 am yesterday morning...I seriously don't get how some people do that every night! he's HEAVY!) but you still keep the same general routine and it helps you stay sane and helps the baby to be comforted. It's comforting to know what is next, especially when life is tough. For me, it's been wonderful because I have lost sleep at night due to the teething and I've been able to count on his 9:00 nap as MY nap too :)
2. Tylenol: How would I survive without it?? Fill that junk to the 2nd line (0.8 I think?) every 4 hours and you're good to go. Actually the max I've given it to him is three times a day. I'll do it right before his nap (recommended by the Babywise Blog Lady!) at 9, 1, and then before bed. It helps him sleep better and more soundly. I used it occasionally during the teething phase, but the past three days I've used it consistently as he's been cutting the tooth.
3. Hurricane Gel/Hylands Teething Tablets: Both are wonderful. I prefer the Hylands tablets over the gel but both are great because you can do them more often than Tylenol. I haven't used them much during the cutting phase but they were great during the teething stage. If he gets fussy during awake time and I know I can't give him Tylenol yet then I'll use these to get him through. Also if he wakes up mid-way through his nap I'll give him three of the Hylands and it helps settle him back to sleep as it numbs the pain. Side note: I never used Orajel. I tried it once and didn't think it worked so I only used the Hurricane Gel from then on...and if you try it on yourself it really works!!!
4. Raspberry Teether: This was so helpful during the teething stage as he was wanting to chew on everything and this is a great chew toy! It's been somewhat helpful during the cutting stage but I feel like distracting him other ways is more beneficial b/c putting something in his mouth reminds him of the pain.
5. Cold Stuff: When he first started teething he hated anything cold near his mouth (he was only 3 months old don't forget!). As he's gotten older he's really enjoyed a teething ring (kept in the fridge, not the freezer!) but he especially loves an ice cube put in his mesh feeder thing. He will go to town on that junk and it's adorable! It's been great during both phases!
6. Pacifier: When he first started teething the pacifier worked better than anything else. I'm very anti-paci outside the crib but this was one time I allowed it as it soothed him in a way nothing else would. As he's gotten older and the pain has gotten worse it actually causes more harm than good. I think sucking hurts as the tooth is breaking through and this is why he has a harder time sleeping. He "needs" the paci to sleep (gah how I wish he didn't!) but yet sucking on it causes him more pain. This is why the Tylenol before sleep helps so much :)
7. Humidifier: With a tooth comes a VERY runny nose! I went in there two mornings ago and his face was covered in snot. Poor thing :( Since then I've been running the humidifier in his room during naps and all through the night. It really helps. When he's laying flat and the snot drains to his throat he can't breathe and since he sucks on a paci he has a really hard time and wakes up. It's hard to get him back to sleep because he has to lay flat so the humidifier opens up that airway for him allowing him to sleep. It also makes a nice white noise sound that can't hurt either!
8. My Husband: Always a life saver!!! Of COURSE Kye starts cutting his first tooth when Daddy leaves to go out of town again so I was stuck with it during the worst part but I know if Zach could have been here he would have been an amazing help as always. He was great during all the teething and wonderful to get up with Kye every night when he woke up in pain. He's so so good at getting him to go back to sleep, I suck! Even baby aside, it's just a blessing to have another person to vent to and to celebrate with when things go right! I miss him very much right now!!!!