Thursday, January 31, 2013

Teething Madness

As a parent, there's nothing worse than seeing your child sick, or even worse...in pain. A few months back, our little man started teething. We've seen droll, fevers, and some serious fussiness! But what can you do when those pesky little teeth start coming in? Buckle up....it may be a bumpy ride!

Though there are several options for soothing your baby, be cautious when choosing. Back in 2010, Hyland's teething tablets were recalled for having belladonna as an active ingredient and showed signs of poisoning in some infants, according to the FDA. I, myself, was not aware of the problem since we didn't have anyone teething at the time, but thanks to a good friend, I looked into the matter. Belladonna derives from a poisonous plant known as deadly nightshade. Some of the symptoms of belladonna include seizures, slow or difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, sleepiness, lethargy, and constipation. After deliberation with the FDA, Hyland's stated to be "refining it's production, packaging, and testing protocols". As a parent, when it comes to recalls, you can never be too cautious....or so I believe. Of course, when in doubt, always seek medical advice and make a judgement call. Even though I was previously clueless to the situation, I became a little hesitant about using gel on my son's gums to relieve his pain. Luckily, our brand of teething pain medication did not contain belladonna or other harmful ingredients, but while doing my own research, discovered that other brands do. The active ingredient in most teething gels is Benzocaine, which is a local anesthetic to block the nerve signals in your body. In this case....it numbs your mouth when used. I was quick to remember that my dentist uses this! The past few times that I received a numbing agent from my dentist, one whole side of my face was numb....and for hours! I could barely speak, couldn't eat, and was lucky to get a drop of water down the hatch much less in my mouth! So...if this product is in baby teething gel....do I really want to use this stuff in his mouth? Uh....no! Obviously, you wouldn't want to go overboard in using a product, but perhaps you use to much? Can your baby's throat grow numb making it harder for him to swallow? Can this be a choking hazard? Honestly, I don't know the answers to these questions, but I most certainly will be bringing it up at our next pediatric appointment. I have also read that teething gels are not recommended as they harden the gum tissue making it more difficult for the teeth to come in, therefore causing more pain to your child's mouth. In fact, I've read that freezing rings are not ideal for a baby's mouth because they are too hard and can cause the gums to bleed.

I admit that I have used teething rings, although, I refrigerate them versus freezing them. And, I do use Baby Orajel Naturals, which is free of benzocaine, belladonna, dyes, and parabens (which is the most widely used preservatives in cosmetic products). Instead, Orajel Naturals uses chamomile for soothing relief., which seems to be safe for children of all ages, unless they are allergic to ragweed.

All of this information can be overwhelming for new moms and for those like me, who are starting over with a newer baby after being out of the "baby loop" for several years. I am by no means a medial professional, so if you do have questions or concerns regarding your baby, it is always best to consult with your family doctor or pediatrician. Here are; however, just a few ideas that I've discovered for myself while trying to relieve my son's aching mouth.

1) Tylenol:  Not only does it relieve the pains of teething, but also aids in lowering fever should your baby have one.

2) Cold wash rags: As I mentioned above, I do use teething rings, but refrigerate them instead of freezing them. If your hesitant to use teething rings, or just want a cheaper option, cold wash rags are the way to go. Just soak in cold water and let your little one chew or suck on it for relief.

3) Cold drinks: Assuming that your baby is old enough to drink juice, try offering it in his or her favorite bottle or sippy cup. And don't forget the ice! When placed in a bottle or cup, it makes for a great distraction!

4) Teething pacifiers: There are several to choose from, but these pacifiers offer chewing surfaces and textures to help stimulate and massage sore gums.

5) Soft or squishy baby books: Let's face it....every book your baby comes into contact with, will go into his mouth, but there are books made for especially for this.These types of books are designed with teething nubs or rings (and sometimes both) and are general made from soft cloth. You can also find books made for the bathtub that have waterproof, floating vinyl pages. Both options are great for babies!

In the meantime.....know you aren't the only mom to encounter the teething madness!!


2 comments:

  1. Hi there! I'm a new follower from MBC and would love a follow back at sugarplumsandlollipops.blogspot.com and on Pinterest! I follow back all of my Pinterest followers :)

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  2. Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

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