Congratulations! 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."
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.
-Liquid. When you twist the cap off of one of these plastic capsules you’ll notice that the medicine looks and smells like water. You just have to trust that it’s not. Squirt it into your baby’s mouth. If your child isn’t one of the thousands who enjoys unexpected drinks, you may have to repeat this process over and over until a full dose is administered.
Other Acceptable Treatments
-Baltic Amber Necklace. Besides being undeniably fashionable, these necklaces are a must-have for modern parents in the know. I found mine on Etsy but they’re also available in the Hogwarts Gift Shop. The instructions always say to never leave your baby unattended with his necklace on so after your baby is wearing it be sure to never sleep again.
-Topical Analgesic. This numbing agent comes in the smallest tube you've ever seen. Once you get over it's cuteness, snip the top and squeeze some out on your finger. Now comes for the fun: hire a body builder to hold your infant still while you rub the gel directly on the source of their pain. Don't worry, your child will probably repress this memory.
-Tylenol. I know we talked about no Tylenol but keep it on hand if things get realer than real. The dosage instructions are written in an extra small font designed for mouse parents so you'll need to turn on the light and grab a magnifying glass to read them. Before squeezing the dropper into your kid's mouth apologize to his kidneys.
-Whisky. This controversial method of teething pain relief has been used for ages so please reserve your judgment. Pour 1oz of whisky in a BPA-free container. Calmly explain to baby that there isn’t enough to go around before drinking it yourself.
Bumni Laditan writes the blog Honest Toddler. You can see more of her writing here.
(Image: getty images)