Honest Toddler’s Mom: Navigating Teething Hell

Honest Toddlers Mom TeethingCongratulations! Your baby is getting teeth. As a mother of three and therefore an expert on every child, I’ve decided to pen a little guide to help you navigate this difficult but exciting time.

What is teething?

Teething babies is how God punishes us for having sex. LOL, I’m kidding. Teething babies is how God punishes us for having unprotected sex.

 Teething is a beautiful milestone wherein teeth burn their way through your child’s face. If teething were a person, it’d be Tuco from Breaking Bad. Yes, a psychopathic, unpredictable drug lord who enjoys killing would best embody this biological process. If teething were a smell, it would be burning hair; it is unpleasant, lingering, and intrinsically frightening. If teething were a food, it would be blood pudding. This traditional English dish is made by combining animal blood and fillers until it is thick enough to congeal.

I read somewhere that the discomfort level of teething is equal to that of active labor. So if your baby could speak, maybe he’d say things like, “I hate everyone in this room” or “The next person who touches me will taste knuckles.”

Therefore when you are struggling to comfort your screaming child at 1:30, 2, 3:15, 4 and then 5 in the morning, remember: you are a not an exhausted parent on the brink, you are a Tooth Doula. Your baby is having teeth babies.


Roles of a Tooth Doula


1. Physical Support


Nurse your baby on demand. Babies love to breastfeed for comfort to ease their pain. Try not to flinch when they mouth shank your nipple. Every baby bites at some point. Sure those barely-there tooth nubs look harmless, but when clamped down on your money makers, it will hurt like a mofo. Your first instinct will be to yank Simba away from your breast. Unless you have money for reconstructive areola surgery DO NOT. Prod him to release your nip by inserting a judgement-free finger, like your pinky, into his bear trap of a mouth. Be sure not to shame your baby by saying words like “NO” or “OUCH.”


2. Medicine


Tooth Doulas, your baby wants to have a natural tooth birth. Administering Tylenol is the equivalent of putting an epidural into your young child’s spine and should be avoided. If your baby could speak, he’d say “Keep that red liquid evil away from me.” Don’t ruin your baby’s tooth birth story will unnecessary and embarrassing interventions. Homeopathy is the only answer.

Like prayer, nobody knows exactly like homeopathy works, but we do it when we’re scared.

Infant Teething Homeopathics come in a variety of forms.


-Pills. These white packed powder pills dissolve instantly on your child’s tongue. They’re like little baby ecstasy. Put on some house music or Ellie Goulding to make the night special. Remember to keep your baby hydrated. Talk about your feelings. It’s working if your baby stops crying and reports seeing colors he’s never seen before.

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  • Bethany Ramos

    I am dying!! So so funny. I would give my baby any kind of legal ecstasy to make the hell stop. Also, my son now has an attraction to wood and bites and sucks on the bars of his crib.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Mama’s Li’l termite

    • Natasha B

      Ha! I thought mine was the only one. The entire top railing of her crib is covered with teeth marks. Little darlings.
      ‘Takes shot of whiskey’

    • LadyClodia

      My younger son chewed on his crib too. I bought fabric waterproof rail protectors which sort of work, and it’s nice that you can wash them. However, he then took to chewing on the corner of the rail that sticks up a bit and the protector doesn’t cover. He has grown out of that now, I think.

    • SusannahJoy

      I don’t think I’d mind wood so much. Mine is allll about metal. Like the clip on his pacifier leash. He LOVES that thing. The last thing we want is to have a teething baby who also has a mouth covered in cuts so we take it away. We’re mean like that. I sneak him metal spoons when his dad isn’t home though.

    • Rachel Sea

      I have a leather jacket with a chain mail bracelet looped through the epaulet that has been a teething toy for a dozen babies. It seems like a terrible idea, but so far no one has hurt their mouth or damaged their teeth.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      My kid did that too! The pretty finish on her crib was shot by the time she was through with it. Luckily the lacquer ingestion didn’t make her grow a second head.

  • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

    Those amber necklaces have always confused. Probable because I thought I was supposed to wear it. Oops. I’m totally shaming the hell out of my infant apparently because I am constantly screaming OUCH.

    • http://www.gamedevwidow.weebly.com/ Theresa Edwards

      When I worked at a daycare those necklaces were like little homing tags for the kids who had very high strung parents.

    • SA

      haha! The second I see a teething necklace around a baby’s neck I can tell exactly what the parents are going to be like. They are usually the ones instgraming pictures of their breastmilk.

    • Natasha B

      I never got the point of those? How the hell does a necklace help with teething?

    • Rachel Sea

      Isn’t it for the baby to gnaw on?

    • Natasha B

      Noooo, I don’t think so. They’re snug fitting, and the beads are small-hello choking hazard.

    • Rachel Sea

      I’ve never seen one, I just assumed they were big chunks of amber. My parents were hippies, and I teethed on a fire-hardened root, so giving a kid petrified sap to teethe on doesn’t sound far-fetched.

    • Natasha B

      It would make sense, if they were to chew on? I don’t really know…..

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      I think it’s supposed to be some kind of “healing powers absorbed through their skin” bs? All I know is that it was always the more granola parents that I saw whose kids were wearing them.

      Mind you, I think my neighbours put the bracelet versions on their twin boys, but with one of them screaming nearly non-stop as a baby, I would imagine they wanted to try anything by that point.

    • Harriet Meadow

      I found this website in my search for “How do amber teething necklaces work?” It sort of made me laugh, because living in Boulder I see that almost every other baby has one. My child does not have one, and it will probably stay that way. http://scienceornot.net/2012/10/30/amber-necklaces-and-teething-babies/

    • Bethany Ramos

      I lived near Boulder several years ago. That made me lol :)

  • Snarktopus

    Not trying to brag, just incredibly relieved and astonished: I had the easiest baby in the history of forever. When her teeth came in, two at a time, she would have one restless, whiny night, next morning, BAM teeth. Both of them. At once. Overnight. She didn’t scream through the night or anything.
    This, on top of her sleeping through the night almost immediately, makes me wonder if I didn’t give birth to some sort of robot. Or angel.
    This article was hilarious, anyway. :)

    • Kay_Sue

      I hate you. Not really, I’m happy for you. But I felt obligated to say that, because I am incredibly envious. :-P

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter


      Listen, that’s great and all but I really wish it was a real robot baby because that would be adorable.

    • Snarktopus

      She does say ‘beep’ with suspicious frequency….

    • Kisywisy

      two of my four didn’t have any teething pain at all. one of them got 4 teeth in the space of 2 weeks. not one tear!! weird!!
      edited to add, she did punish me by biting me all the time. it was like her jaw locked on my nipple. yeah, i shamed her. my nipples are now indestructible

  • http://www.gamedevwidow.weebly.com/ Theresa Edwards


  • Natasha B

    I tried that homeopathic crap, then had hubby force infant ibuprofen down the kid. Which she then promptly threw back up. I expect her head to spin around on her neck any day now.

  • Kay_Sue

    Yeah, we always defaulted to whiskey and Tylenol. For me. Just Tylenol for the baby.

    • SusannahJoy

      Wine or home-brew and tylenol here.

  • srad

    I don’t understand how the amber necklaces work, but they do. Before we got one we had a cranky, drooling, crib chewing monster on our hands. Once the necklace was on, we never had another problem. Until now when the 2 year molars are coming in. But now he just won’t eat and only wants milk or juice. So I guess that’s still kind of a win.

  • Blueathena623

    Gah, I need to step away from the Tylenol before I give my kid liver disease or whatever.
    Also, can someone explain the amber necklace?

    • NicknamesAreDull

      Amber is supposed to release succinic acid, which is absorbed into the baby’s skin and eases pain. Some people swear by them, no (or very few) studies back up the information.

    • Rachel Sea

      LOL. I thought they were for the baby to gnaw.

    • AnnieN

      It’s halfway hippie science: amber definitely has the succinic acid in it, but there’s no evidence that wearing it can heat it up enough to get it out of the amber. That said, my kiddo had one (I figured it was cute, inexpensive, and if it didn’t work, oh well, it’s cute and inexpensive), and she definitely drooled much less with it on. Daycare said she couldn’t wear it anymore though so that was the end of that. I still gave her plenty of tylenol even with it on.

  • Sarah

    Hilarious! Loved this.

  • candyvines

    This is so funny that teething almost sounds fun.

  • Alexandra

    So hilarious and well written – I am not looking forward to nursing Jaws, but I hope I can keep from flinging the babies across the room like when my hamster sunk his fang into my thumb in grade school. oopsies!

  • EX

    “If teething were a person, it’d be Tuco from Breaking Bad.” I should embroider this on a pillow. If embroidering things on pillows was a thing I did.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    The only good part about teething (other than it means eventually your kid will look less like a tiny old person) is that you can use it as an excuse for getting out of stuff, for your own errors, for your kid’s shitty behaviour/attitude, etc. And teething lasts for-fuckin’-ever so you can use it as an excuse for a long time.

    Also, someone tell disqus (or is it my browser doing that? whatever.) to stop autocorrecting my Canadian spelling, we like poutine and having lots of U’s in our words, ok? ok.

    Bunmi, you are hilarious. How do you find the time to be so hilarious with 3 kids? I have one kid and I can barely manage my life, let alone being hilarious throughout it.

    • Carissa

      Yes! Love our UUUU’s

  • John Bing

    i hope it finds you healthy, bit.ly/19Zx692

  • Pumplestilskin

    My oldest, a normally sweet, well behaved, quiet, baby, completely destroyed her crib while teething. I don’t mean chewed the railing either. The she hulk shook the bed and screamed with such force that the crib fell apart, with her in it. Scariest moment of my life. This was not a cheesy, cheap crib. It was a solid wood, Amish made, piece of craftsmanship. My good friend/neighbor had the same crib and it lasted through 5 kids.

    • SA

      God I just laughed out loud in my office. I though I was in teething hell.

    • Pumplestilskin

      It’s funny now because she is still, for the most part a pretty well behaved kid. I mean, she’s 11 and all the hell that entails, but she’s good. We were terrified about what we could be in for as she got older

  • SA

    Teething tablets are like little ecstasy pills!!! My baby/toddler now pops them on her own. We just hand her a couple and she goes nutso with excitement (neither of us are brave enough to put our fingers in her mouth anymore). I once heard an odd spilling sound and looked over to see that in the amount of time it took me to wash a couple of dishes she was in the diaper bag, pulled out the med kit, and had popped open the child proof lid, resulting in tablets everywhere and her furiously trying to eat all of them. Junkie.

  • SwissMiss

    googled amber necklace teething (always wondered why I saw those necklaces in the store to me necklace + baby = dangerous)…found this article…pretty interesting! http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/seperating-fact-from-fiction-in-pediatric-medicine-infant-teething/

  • Kisywisy

    this is so funny!!!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    OMG Tylenol. I should buy stock. I use it all the damn time. I used to feel concerned about using it at all because everyone around me was talking homeopathy and teething rigs and cold rags to chew on. But eff that. Tylenol makes the pain stop. Everyone’s suffering comes to an end. I love that stuff.

  • koolchicken

    My kid hated getting the first two, was just somewhat pissed by the next two, and over the moon thrilled when the last four came in (all at once). I’d say he’s a sadist but really he’s a pig. He made the connection early on that teeth are the difference between sucking on a shrimp, and a full on shark attack.

  • Guest

    Teething be like

  • mrs.pigglewiggle

    Don’t worry ladies, I had an in depth discussion with my pediatrician re: dangers of Tylenol. According to him, as long as I keep hitting the whiskey Tylenol-free and the baby keeps hitting the Tylenol whiskey-free, it’s all good.
    My question is why can’t they sprout teeth over night like gremlins, as opposed to teething from 4 months on like my son?

    • Sarah

      My oldest is such a child….almost every one of em in over the course of a week it was awful!

  • Sarah

    I still cry every time I look at my (once beautiful and brand new) bedroom set with the foot board of the bed completely beavered by my toddler. Also he once popped my middle toe right off in the week his front top tooth came in. Basically I was sitting on my couch, one leg crossed and sticking off the edge of my couch while he kept lunging at me wanting nursed (I was refusing after being bitten already). He tripped hit the toe just right, there was a strange, loud POP, then excruciating pain and he had blood in his mouth. Just cleaved my entire toenail off from the nailbed. I was in an odd state of shock at first, because I don’t like blood, and I thought he had just bit his tongue off. those new teeth are like razor blades..never underestimate a teething child. I don’t think a surgeon could have removed a healthy toenail so quickly, and so completely, and I shudder to think of the toe I could lost had he been slightly more desperate!

    • NotTakenNotAvailable


  • Carissa

    Wow! You are SO funny, such a good read. Teething sucks. I use teething mittens on my lo when he is in a boring mood. He freakin loves them he goes nuts when I go to put them on.