Q&A: teething

It's been a long time since we talked about teething! I got a question from Allyson about her 4-month-old:

"Little Miss has pretty much stopped wanting to nurse during the day, and always has her hands in her mouth and seems extra-cranky. I know it's too early for teething, so what's going on? Is there something wrong with my flow? Is she losing interest in the breast? I was hoping to breastfeed for a year."

Yeah, it's totally not too early for teething. The average time of popping a first tooth is around 6 months, and they don't just come out of nowhere. It takes a long time (for some kids days, for some weeks, for some *months* between the first under-the-gum movement (and pain) and when the tooth actually pops out above the gum. So she seems right about on schedule.

Also, everyone needs to bear in mind that kids are all different. There are some kids who have teeth in their mouths when they come out of the womb! My second son started teething *in earnest* at 6 weeks*. He had two teeth under the surface about to pop through at 10 weeks. So you never know.

I wrote about all the symptoms of teething long ago in the past in this post. Here's the list:

"Some common symptoms of teething are:

* biting hands or anything that comes near their mouths
* crying out in yelps of pain
* drooling
* runny nose or congestion from drooling
* "smokers' cough" from the drool going down the back of the throat
* spitting or throwing up from drool going into the stomach
* "drool stool," which is shards of drool in the poop (I know, and it's truly stunning when you see it)
* rash around the mouth
* rash around the anus
* acidic poop (sometimes you can even smell the difference) and a burned monkey-butt look after pooping
* tugging or pulling at the ears
* not wanting to nurse
* biting while nursing
* flash fevers (fevers that come out of nowhere and are gone in 30 minutes to an hour)

Are there any I'm forgetting? Some kids never have any of these symptoms, some have a few, and some lucky children (like mine) have all of them."

So, yeah, I think it's teething. Try the homeopathic teething pellets if you believe in that sort of thing (or are willing to spend $4 on a potential cure). And just try to get as much milk into her as you can while she's drowsy, because that seems to be the best time to feed a teething child.

This, too, will pass.


* Which bit hard because he was sleeping for 8 hours in a row before that. Seriously. Eight (8) hours, from a few weeks old. Everyone, take your Omega 3 supplements during pregnancy.