Houston, We Have Teeth


Nathan finally cut his first two teeth! The bottom two have finally pushed through the gums after nearly 3 months of pain. Dealing with an infant who’s teething isn’t exactly on my list of fun things to do. Teething caused Nathan to wake more often during the night, excessive grumpiness, mountains of bibs laden with drool, and his famous hand gnawing.

Nathan’s teething started when he was around three months old. He began drooling like a ravenous lion who smells fresh food and could completely saturate numerous bibs with all the drool he produced. He started chewing and gnawing on his hands and fingers like a miniature budding cannibal. The poor little guy was miserable.

We tried numerous remedies from well-meaning friends and family. We gave him chilled washcloths to chew on, but he just grimaced and threw them to the side like a professional chef throwing out rotten food; with disdain. We tried refrigerating some teething rings that had liquid in them, but he didn’t like those either. We even had some of my husband’s teethers from when he was a baby… one of which included a giant plastic white key ring with a handful of plastic keys. Nathan liked it, but he preferred to play with it rather than chew on it. He would raise his fist into the air and shake the keys at me, his eyes dancing merrily. He loved passing the key ring from one slobbery fist to the other, watching this transaction intently and with seriousness as the keys rattled against each other. After a few passes back and forth between fists, a look of boredom would inevitably develop on his face and he would fling the keys into the air, unmindful of where they landed. The first few times he threw them on the ground, I picked them up, washed them, and returned them to his greedily awaiting hands. I could see the mischievousness sparkle in those blue eyes and he would toss the keys back onto the floor, laughing jovially.

“Mommy’s not playing this game, buddy,” I told him lightly. “You can either play with your keys, or you can throw them on the floor and not get them back.” I doubt he understood me, but his eyebrows furrowed and his eyes narrowed slightly as if he was diligently trying to decipher what I was saying. When I handed them back, however, he decided to fling them onto to floor again. I left them there for a while. 

One of my friends told me her daughter loved chewing on frozen waffles, so I decided to give that a try. When I held the waffle to his mouth, he smiled and attempted to chew on it, murmuring and making cute little baby noises that made me think he liked it. As soon as I took my hand away, however, the waffle flopped down and he looked at me as if he was wondering exactly how this whole thing was supposed to work.

“You’re supposed to chew on it, Nathan,” I explained, holding up the waffle.

“Rar rar rar rar rar.” He said matter-of-factly. “Nya nya nya nya.”

“Ok, you don’t have to chew on it. We’ll eventually find something you can teethe on.”

“Rar rar rar rar rar,” he replied as he scissor-legged happily.

Next on the list was Baby Orajel. It worked quite well and he seemed to deal with the gel numbing the surrounding area like a champ. Once when I applied the gel to his bulging gums, he stuck his tongue out and licked a glob of it off. A few minutes later, his tongue dangled freely from his mouth, drool flowing down it like a waterslide. He tried to babble to me, but his tongue was in the way, making his speech sound thick.

I decided to try the gel on myself, just to see how potent it was.

I rubbed some on my gums and a few minutes later, my gum was numb.

Along with my tongue.

And the inside of my cheek.

And a random spot in the back of my throat.

So the gel works… it’s just quite annoying to have other places go numb as well.

Next, we tried Humphrey’s Teething Tablets, which were great because they don’t cause any numbness and are a homeopathic, all natural remedy. Nathan loved them. They come in tablets, which you dissolve in a small amount of water, and they can also be purchased in strips, which you place directly in your baby’s mouth. We purchased the tablets, which work wonders and have very little discernable taste. The only thing I don’t like about them is they take about 5 minutes to dissolve… which seems like an eternity when you have a screaming teether thrashing angrily in your arms.

Ever since Nathan’s bottom teeth have finally appeared, his cannibalism attempts have waned somewhat, although not completely.

Two down, 18 more baby teeth to go…


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