Terrible Teething: Top Remedies to Soothe Baby's Gums

Teething Remedies

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here and for that, I apologize. Juggling a new baby, keeping up with a house, my sanity, my partner, and my friends has been an interesting experience and sadly, I’ve had to put my passion on the back burner for a few. But I’m back and hopefully with a vengeance. We’ve moved into a new apartment which is completely updated from our old. The whole family is a lot happier here and I feel it’s taken a large weight off my shoulders and can allow me to focus more. Amazing how a small change of scenery can transform things so much. 

Let’s see, a few non-mom things: Lemmy (70), Bowie (69), and Alan Rickman (69) have all died from cancer in less than a month’s time. All legends in their own respect. Eerie how death truly does come in threes. I feel I’ve been in a constant state of mourning. Today’s death of Alan Rickman has completely hit home for me. He played on of my most beloved characters. Severus Snape was such a deep, dark, and intricate character and no one except Rickman could have played him so perfectly. One day Maddox will read the books with me and watch the movies and hopefully, he too, will connect with such a difficult character.

So far, 8 months has been an interesting age. He’s been much more whiny, difficult, needy, and yet a lot more curious, confident, and fun. He’s learning and repeating, trying new things, eating more foods, speed crawling, trying to stand and walk, and exploring and touching and sensing and getting into every little thing. There’s a lot going on at this age and I definitely have the bags under my eyes to prove it. Right along with every other growth he’s going through, we’ve been going through a tremendous amount of teething with Maddox. It’s been completely dreadful. Like, pour me an entire bottle of wine before noon kind of dreadful. So, I wanted to compile a list of things that might help your little one

For baby:

Sophie the Giraffe

This little rubber giraffe has been our favorite method for months now. He loves to chew on Sophie's legs and face. She's easily portable for the car seat or the stroller and life would be much worse without her in it. Not to mention the fact, she's adorable and comes with a story as well! There's also a smaller version and an elephant

Wooden Teethers

This is a great, natural alternative to the usual silicone and rubber teething toys that are out there especially if you're an eco-friendly mama! It's a lot harder than the rubber ones so some babies may prefer it. Maddox was always happy to switch it up. This one is beautifully designed to also help your baby's senses and motor skills or this one. This etsy shop is also chock full of options!

Vibrating Ring

This is what my sister uses for her 11-month old. He loves the massaging sensation of the vibrations on his gums! It's also colorful and easy to hold. 

Frozen/Wet Washcloth

Personally, Maddox could care less about this method BUT I have heard great things from other moms so I figured I would throw it in. Either throw a wet washcloth in the freezer or simply dampen it with cold water. It'll help to numb your baby's gums and give them something to chew on. I recommend, if you're freezing it, to only do half so your baby will have a section that won't freeze his/her hands! Super cheap, super easy, and hopefully super effective. 

Mesh Teether

Another method that has failed with Maddox but has worked for other babies. This is the same method my mom used on me when I was a baby. These mesh teethers are great because you can fill them with fruit (frozen or fresh), frozen breast milk, or an ice cube and your baby is free to gnaw away plus get a little nutrition as well!

Teething Biscuits

These have been a lifesaver for us! He loves being able to snack and soothe his gums all at once. We were using these organic ones in maple but the mess was extraordinary. I'm talking about all over the place, gooey and sticky and disgusting. I'd have to strip him all the way down to his diaper and hope he wouldn't put his hands on anything (which is impossible). We switched to these wafers and there is very little mess except a few crumbs. 

Fridge Foods

Your fridge can be a treasure trove when nothing else is working out. Handing your baby a cold piece of celery, melon rind, or a carrot stick will allow them to gnaw away and soothe their gums. These foods are hard enough where it is unlikely they can bite a piece off and choke on it but I do recommend keeping an eye on them. You could also try frozen applesauce or yogurt. 

Copaiba Oil

This oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease the swelling of new teeth pushing through. I’ve used a small amount on Maddox by putting a drop on my finger and rubbing directly onto his gums. Some people are not comfortable using any oil orally so please use to your discretion and comfortability. 

Baltic Amber Necklace

I'll be trying the necklace soon but a couple of my mom friends have them already and swear by them. It helps ease the pain of teething while also helping to combat the drooly mess that comes along with it. You do have to make sure you buy a genuine and certified baltic amber necklace or else you won't see any results. This is a perfect, natural alternative to usual methods and one they can wear constantly. Amber has anti-inflammatory properties which helps decrease swelling. It contains a succinic acids (a natural analgesic) that provides healing by being absorbed through the skin. Here are some options: 1, 2, 3.

Hyland’s Teething Tablets

Another all-natural teething agent has been Hyland's. They're said to soothe teething pain, aid sleeplessness, reduce inflammation, and ease irritability. They tablets themselves are super tiny and will easily dissolve in baby's mouth. There has been some controversy over these, considering as they contain belladonna - a plant with toxic berries. The amount, though, is minimal and not harmful to your little one unless all tablets in dozens of bottles are ingested - which is highly unlikely. Do a little research and talk to your doctor to see if these are the right choice for you.

Motrin/Tylenol/Acetominophen

If none of the above is working for you, you might have to try a little medicine to ease the discomfort your little one is going through. The most important thing is a happy baby which teething can put a budge in if they can't fall asleep due to pain. Talk to your doctor about which pain reliever will be best for you little one.

For mom:

Wine

Teething isn't only painful for baby, but for mom as well. It's extremely tiring and, truthfully, irritating. Of course (unless you are passing little one off to dad), don't get slammed but a glass of wine is nice to unwind and relax. 

Lush Bath Bombs

Grab your wine and go take a bath. You deserve it, mama! These bath bombs make your skin feel INCREDIBLE and SOFT. Also, they look extremely pretty dissolving in your tub. 

Coffee

You'll need a lot of it if you want to keep up with your little one in the morning after an almost sleepless night.

What has helped you and your family get through teething?

My Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist

Mother is Eternal | Baby Registry Checklist

If you are anything like me, you want to start your registry the second you find out you're pregnant. Like clockwork, I started to research everything under the sun after the test came back positive. With all the information out there that contradicted each other, I was overwhelmed. It was difficult figuring out what was truly needed and what was only desired. So to make things easier, I've compiled a baby registry checklist for you, filled with important baby items for your new bundle. These are items I've found incredibly useful after Maddox arrived. 

Don't get too stressed out. Remember, the most important thing is having a healthy, clean, and fed baby. 

Must-Haves

Crib - We purchased a crib before we realized we were co-sleeping. After researching and after Maddox arrived, I found co-sleeping was the safest, most natural way to sleep. This one is set up in our room but he only uses it for occasional naps. With that said, it's beautiful, 4-in-1, and was easy to set up. 

Crib Mattress - According to experts, firm is the safest way to go. This soybean mattress is great. 

Crib Pad - A waterproof mattress pad can provide extra protection for those nights baby gets a little messy.

Fitted Sheets (3) - You'll want to change them at least once a week and some weeks you may have to change them a couple times. Instead of doing laundry right away, having a few sets is helpful. I love the Circo sheets and the Land of Nod. Both have plenty of fun patterns!

Arms Reach Co-Sleeper - If you want to co-sleep but would prefer not to bed share, you can purchase an arms reach co-sleeper. It's perfect for the middle of the night when your baby wakes up. All you have to do is simply reach over rather than walking across the room or to another room.

Baby Monitor - We don't have one, personally, but I know many people love them. I've heard this one has been obsessed over.

Noise Machine - White noise is great for babies as it reminds them of the womb. Too much silence can freak them out. When Maddox slept in the rock-n-play, it vibrated and the noise helped soothe him. This machine is awesome and portable. It also has multiple sounds such as thunder, brook, heart beat, summer night, and ocean. 

Swaddle Blankets - Swaddling was very important in our house because Maddox wouldn't sleep well without bundling him up. Babies are often woken up by themselves since they still have their startle reflex. By swaddling him for naps and nighttime, he'd sleep so much better. He's almost 4 months and I still swaddle him at night. It reminds them of being in the womb: secure, warm, and cozy. We alternated between receiving blankets and these Aden & Anais swaddle blankets. Swaddling, for us at least, took a little practice and a little patience. They also make zip-up ones and this handy Miracle Blanket but we found regular blankets worked well enough for us. Here's a video to help teach you.  

Car Seat, Stroller, Base - Britax makes a wonderful B-Agile travel system that comes with the car seat, stroller, and base. This is the one we have and I absolutely love it. The car seat is comfortable and secure. The straps never twist and as far as car seats go, it's relatively light. The stroller is easy to open up and put away. The one downside: it doesn't have a cup holder and you have to buy an attachment. And since it's a jogging stroller, it's tough to push with one hand. But it's effortless and the stroller will move with us into Maddox's infant years. Graco is also very popular and you can buy a frame to turn it into a stroller!

Baby Carrier - I highly recommend baby wearing. It's cozy, you can have both hands free, and baby loves it. There are plenty of baby carriers out there and you may like some more than others. I absolutely adore my Sakura Bloom Chambray ring sling. By adore, I mean I'm OBSESSED with it. The Chambray is double linen so it provides more support while still being breathable, the fabric is gorgeous, and it's so comfortable. I could wear him all day (and some days I do). Other great options are Ergo and Baby Hawk

Pack'n'Play - I own this one and the top bassinet section is where we change Maddox and let him play. It's so easy to fold up and take along with us if we need it. They also make pack'n'play's with a napper and changer attached. I opted out of those simply because I figured Maddox would grow out of them rather quickly and I didn't find them worth the price. If you travel often, I recommend the Baby Bjorn travel crib. It's very light and packs up easily so it's perfect for plane rides.

Pack'n'Play Sheets - I found these extremely useful (although not entirely necessary) for the times Maddox would pee while changing him or if he had a blow out. It's a quicker clean-up than having to wash down the pad. 

Activity Mat - We definitely didn't need this until Maddox started interacting more with the world around him. We didn't buy one until about 1 or 1.5 months but now we absolutely adore this one from Skip Hop. 

Rock'n'Play - We didn't have one until after the first night we got home from the hospital. Maddox wouldn't sleep in the crib and we figured the cozy, secure incline of the rock'n'play would help him feel more comfortable and more at home. It worked! In the beginning few weeks, he'd sleep in there until he'd wake up to feed and then I'd bring him into bed with us. We had amazing sleep!

Baby Bouncer or Lounger - These are great to have. I love the 4moms Rockaroo. It has four different speeds and an auxiliary cable for your phone so you can play music as he swings. 

Nursing Pillow - I have the Boppy which I used for the first couple weeks while I was getting used to breastfeeding. I haven't touched it since except a few times to prop Maddox up but it really helped initially. You wrap it around your waist and it helps support your arms and your baby while you breastfeed, making them less tired. 

Breast Pump - My baby is 98% of the time fed by breast but a pump comes in handy especially when your newborn is still sleeping and your breasts are the size of watermelons. It's also great to create a supply if you have plans on going back to work, if you want daddy to feed baby, or so someone else can watch baby for you. I use the Medela manual pump which I love and you can travel with it easy but I also recommend getting an electric one. It's so much quicker and easier. Many insurance companies cover pumps so make sure to check with them before buying one!

Milk Storage Bags - If you're pumping, you need something to store your milk in. The Kiinde bags are my absolute favorite. They don't leak and you can just pop them in the freezer. Super easy!

Bottles (2-6) - If you plan on breastfeeding, having a couple bottles on hand may come in handy especially if something happens to your supply. I bought Philips Avent Natural and the first time we introduced a bottle at 6 weeks, Maddox took it with no hesitation. Every baby will be different. Some may take to any bottle while some may need that specific one. If you are having trouble with your baby taking a bottle, follow these tips. You may have to try a few different bottles and nipples before finding the perfect fit!

Pacifiers (2) - We didn't introduce a pacifier until about 4 weeks but I was very happy when I did. My breasts were sore from Maddox being latched on for almost the entire day and it was nice to give them a break. Natursutten pacifiers are amazing and so are the hospital soothies

Burp Cloths - Spit-up will become your life and it will be everywhere. The best burp cloths are actually cloth diapers. Trust me, don't skip out on these. You'll be going through them quicker than your favorite ice cream. 

Diapers - And lots of them! When Maddox was fresh and super tiny, we used Honest Company diapers. The patterns were adorable and they fit perfectly! I loved that they were chlorine-free. As he got bigger, Honest didn't fit him as well and once we were in 1's and 2's, we switched over to Target Up&Up's.

Nighttime Diapers - Until baby is sleeping through the night, you won't need these right away. Huggies Overnight gives great protection for night time messes. 

Wipes - We love the Pampers Natural Clean! They aren't too wet and they aren't too dry. You can also make your own.

Diaper Rash Cream - Occasionally, baby's sensitive skin will get irritated. We use the all-natural Honest and Boudreaux's Butt Paste to help nip it in the bud!

Changing Pad & Covers - We simply change Maddox in the bassinet part of the pack n play. A lot of people love changing pads though! It all depends on your lifestyle and specific needs. This contoured changing pad is great. They also make a bunch of cute covers for it. 

Diaper Bag - It's great to have a diaper bag you love with lots of pockets and lots of space. Sometimes it takes a couple before you find the perfect one. This one is large but carries a lot if you're a hoarder or have multiple babies. I have this one which I love but it lacks organization. I've mostly been using this fringe, cross-body bag since it's perfect while baby wearing. Most diaper bags come with a changing pad, if not they make travel changing pads

Baby Tub - We did a lot of sponge baths in the beginning couple weeks while we waited for the umbilical stump to fall off completely. Once we started bathing him, we loved the Summer Infant baby bather. We co-bathe a lot so I wanted something inexpensive. Although, I often wish I would have snagged this Puj tub. It lays directly in the sink, is extremely comfortable, and cradles baby securely. There's always next time..

Hooded Towels & Washcloths - I don't know what it is but people load you up with towels and washcloths at baby showers. These Circo infant towels are incredibly soft, hooded, and big enough to last for a while. This duck one is adorable too! For washcloths, these organic bamboo ones are great or these Circo ones (pink, orange & blue, yellow). 

Baby Shampoo & Wash - We absolutely LOVE Burt's Bees (they also make a calming one with lavender too!). It smells so good and never irritates his skin or dries it out. I've also heard really great reviews on Honest Company's shampoo & body wash.

Baby Lotion - I'm a big Burt's Bees fan so their Calming baby lotion is my absolute favorite. It smells wonderful, has a little lavender in it to help relax him, and moisturizes him perfectly. 

Laundry Detergent - Tide has a Free & Clear detergent which is perfect for a sensitive newborn's skin. We also love Mrs. Meyer's Baby Blossom Clean Dry detergent!

Hamper - I usually combine my dirty clothes and his dirty clothes together in one hamper

Receiving Blankets - I mentioned these are good for swaddling but they are also great for tummy time, to lie baby on when at a friends, or for the car seat. 

Onesies & pants (12-16) - You don't need to go overboard with clothes. Babies grow like weeds and they'll be out of Newborns (NB) before you know it. Some babies don't even fit in NB straight out of the womb. Carter's has a wonderful selection and often have clearance items. It's easy to find a few onesie and pant sets! 

Sleeper (7-8) - I do laundry about once a week so having 7 sleepers is the perfect amount. Make sure you get ones with a zipper! Fumbling around at 2 in the morning snapping up a sleeper after a diaper change is a hassle. 

Socks (4-7) - Even if Maddox is just in a diaper, I almost always have socks on him. His feet get cold so easily!

Hats & Jacket - If your baby is born in a colder month, you might want to grab a few hats and a jacket to keep them warm!

Aspirator - Most babies have stuffy noses and this bulb syringe is perfect to relive some of that mucus. You might be able to get one from the hospital but if not, this one is perfect and it never hurts to have a couple in the house.  

Baby Nail Clippers - Maddox came out of the womb with a freshly manicured set of nails. Clipping his nails was vital so he wouldn't scratch himself. These work great. 

Rectal Thermometer - Some may be grossed out by the rectal thermometer but I swear, it's not as bad as it sounds and it's the most accurate reading. It's good to have on hand in case you think baby might be coming down with a fever. You can also do what my mother used to do before taking out the thermometer: simply kiss baby's forehead and see if it feels warm. 

Gripe Water - Maddox was prone to hiccups and an uneasy stomach. Gripe water helped soothe him.

High Chair - You won't need this until around 6 months when baby starts their journey into solids. I really love this high chair. We live in a condo so we don't have tons of room. This high chair doesn't take up a lot of space plus it's easy to travel with. 

Teething Toys/Toys - You won't need these right away but they come in handy when baby starts getting more hands-on. We love Sophie the Giraffe and his fox lovie

Others

Board Books - There are so many awesome books out there. I'm always reading to Maddox and I even started while he was still in the womb! Our favorites: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Little Blue Truck

Bottle Warmer - I almost never use bottles so this wasn't necessary for us. When we do use bottles, it's much simpler to stick it in a bowl or faucet of hot water but they make plenty of bottle warmers.

Bottle Drying Rack - We have this countertop lawn drying rack which is nice but definitely not necessary. Again, it's hardly used considering as we don't use bottles but occasionally I'll dry a bottle or my breast pump on it!

Trash Can - I simply throw all his diapers away in our regular garbage. It rarely stinks up the place before we take it out so I'm happier we didn't invest in one. If it starts to smell, I simply diffuse a little purification oil and mask the scent. I've often heard from other mothers an extra trash can is unnecessary and pointless but here's a great one if you're interested. 

Backseat Mirror - We don't have one but I know plenty of moms that love them

Car Window Sunshade - Babies have sensitive eyes and usually the hood on the car seat is enough. For the times it's not (especially important for the rear window), a sunshade is helpful. 

Nightlight - We love this Turtle nightlight for naps during the day and Dave loves turning it on at night for himself. It even shows a few constellations and changes colors from blue to green to orange. 

Hand Sanitizer - In the beginning weeks, you'll be very protective of your baby. You'll appreciate having hand sanitizer around to keep your baby free of germs especially when you have visitors!

I hope this helped you. Some great places to register are Amazon, Target, and Babies'R'Us. Do you have any other items you recommend? How have you decided what's essential and what's helpful? Congratulations to the new parents! Have fun registering! 

Why I Babywear and Reasons You Should, Too.

babywearing

You’re lying on your activity mat observing the toys hanging above your head. You’ve been there for a few minutes by yourself, curious and content but you’re beginning to fuss. I think you’re starting to realize your alone and you’re not sure where your mother went. So I hear you whimper and I come over to you. You look at me with big blue eyes, searching me, knowing me. You look into my eyes and you whimper – an acknowledgment that you crave to be picked up. So I grab my sling and I tuck you inside close to my warmth. You whimper maybe twice more until you calm, realizing where you are. Now it’s just us with uninterrupted connection.

Babywearing has been practiced for centuries in countless cultures and countries. Often, mothers had to return to their labor not long after birth making babywearing a necessity. In most of history, women are seen carrying their babies on them rather than in a separate counterpart. By incorporating babywearing into your daily life, you can make it a whole lot simpler.

Bonding, Closeness, & Connection
One of my main reasons for babywearing is it promotes a closeness between baby and wearer. By wearing baby, you help create a warm, safe, and secure environment. This is a necessity for babies. Think about it. They were curled up tight in a womb for 9 months. Now they’re out in the world: fresh, new, and frightened. The best place for them to be? In your arms, soaking up your warmth.

Keeping them close to you in a sling allows you to connect, bond, and be close to them. Crucial actions that are dire to their development. Another great thing about babywearing is it’s not exclusive to mother alone but family and friends are able to benefit and bond as well!

Happier Baby
Research shows babies who are worn cry less. The study done by Hunziker and Barr (1986)concludes “the relative lack of carrying in our society may predispose to crying and colic in normal infants.” They also concluded 43% of babies who were carried cried less and 54% in the evenings! I don’t know any mother who would object to that.

Convenience
One of my favorite things about babywearing is both hands are free. Babywearing enables you to do chores, eat a meal, prepare a meal, go shopping, etc while tending to your baby. Not only that but you don’t have to lug a big, bulky stroller around everywhere. Some places don’t allow strollers and without one, you are able to fit into tighter and crowded spaces.

Growth & Development
In a sling or wrap, babies are at eye level. This helps promote an interaction that babies lower down are less likely to receive: talking, eye contact, etc. They have a “parent’s eye view” which helps them become aware of their surroundings (i.e. voices, tone of voice, walking patterns, etc). It helps give them a sense of “being human”. Also, by being carried, baby is able to see more compared to being condensed in a stroller and if they are seeing too much they can look elsewhere. This helps baby make independent choices. And even if mom or wearer is busy, baby is still able to learn.

Physically, it keeps baby off their back to reduce the chance of a flat spot and it promotes proper hip development (in most carriers).

Aids Sleep
Personally, my baby has yet to find the sleepy dust that babywearing gives off as he is much too curious of everything but I have heard numerous stories and have seen countless pictures with babies asleep in slings and wraps. Also, many people have found their babies sleep longer at night when they are carried during the day.

Alleviates Muscle Pain
Let’s face it, babies are heavy and they get heavier the older they get. Babywearing evenly distributes baby’s weight across the body which helps take weight off your shoulders and back and allows you to hold baby for longer. If you often have sensitive or sore muscles, a carrier is a great addition to your mommy arsenal. 

Carrying your baby is a positive and intimate experience. I hope this inspires you to wear your baby close to you and close to your heart, exactly where they belong.