Parental Advisory

Parental Advisory: Going Dental

I’m awake. Been awake since 4:30 this morning. It’s like the second coming of colic. Screaming baby. Anguish. Violent outbursts. Superhuman strength. That’s right, baby. Teething. Stage three teething. One of the wonders of Google is, if you want any base-level idea about a subject, just do a Google image search and it’ll pretty much tell you the story. Search the word “teething” in Google and this is what it looks like. Looks about as fun as roof work.

Wanna blow five minutes, search the word “weird” in Google image search.

The whole teething thing freaks me out still. As her teeth drop in, though, I’m even more weirded out. Her gums are swollen. She’s in excruciating pain. Her cries hit Mariah notes. Her shrills can cause you to drop to your knees and black out temporarily. She can go from sweetheart to velociraptor in a matter of seconds. Every arriving teeth is another painful chapter in the book of pain.

What I love about researching teething is that there’s really no explicit explanation of why teething is painful except that it’s when your baby’s teeth sequentially break through their gums. What? You wanna know why that causes pain too? Their freaking teeth are slicing through the skin in their mouth one unbearable mini-millimeter at a time over and over and over again 16 times. If you want a testimony to the toughness of your baby, here it is.

Teething is marked by the following complications.

drooling: Baby turns into a drool factory. It ends up everywhere. Down her face. On her clothes. On your clothes. The constant drooling, if not wiped off her face occasionally, can cause a rash on her face so make sure you’re armed with a dry towel or rag to keep her face as dry as possible. The drool can (and likely will) also travel down into her belly. This is when the real fun begins. Diarrhea and, then, the resulting diaper rash can result from the increased saliva levels in the belly. I discovered a new consistency the other day that I refer to as the “tuna melt.” Ayo. And the diaper rash took over. A little advice for you here: go cop a container of corona cream. You’ll find it in the horse treatment section because it’s an ointment that’s typically used on equines. Yep. Don’t worry. Personal testimony. It works like crazy. Mainly because it’s 30% lanolin. Only side effect is something known as “hoofing” which is when hooves begin to sequentially break through the baby’s hands and feet. Don’t worry. It doesn’t last but a couple of days.

The drooling (by the way, that last part was a joke…you never know who’s reading this) is the first domino to fall in the sequence of hellish complications from teething. This gastrointestinal discomfort caused by saliva in the belly can lead to a lack of appetite.

lack of appetite: Great. Just when the baby needs fluids because of the diarrhea (which causes dehydration), the baby doesn’t want to eat. Dehydration then can cause a number of even more dire issues. Stay on top of the bottles. Fluids are important…crucial…at this juncture. Examine those wet diapers for weight. Stay on top of it.

gum swelling: Ellison’s gums right now look like they’re about to explode with teeth. Locked and loaded. There’re countless products on the market to help with this discomfort. Some of which can be frozen or chilled so that the baby can ice their gums while chewing.

biting behavior: Get ready because she’ll put practically everything in her mouth to test it’s chewability. I could hand her a crowbar at this point and she’d likely chew on it for about five minutes before ultimately dropping it because of it’s weight. We’ve discussed Sophie the giraffe. My lovely wife also picked up some sort of raspberry pacifier the other day which is purely a chewing/teething piece of tire for the baby to work on. She’s been loving on it for the last couple of days.

irritability or fussiness: Or violence against members of the household. Ellison’s favorite move is the crocodile “death roll” where her entire body begins to spin in your lap like she’s trying to escape the pain. Watch for the hook. That’s all I’m saying.

sleeping problems: And you thought you were done with the sleeping problems. The patterns are disrupted once again. Ellison’s nights usually include one or two wake ups in the middle of the night. You’ll hear a shrill from the nursery, maybe a scream and then she’s back to sleep after a little baby Tylenol and rocking.

And I got a “just wait” from my cubemate the other day when he said, “Just wait until the molars.” Great. Thanks. So here’s the chart. Here’s the gauntlet that you get pushed through. We’re on teeth number three and four at this point. It’s a long road…there’s no turning back.

I guess if we can say anything of Ellison’s teeth is that they’re right on time. Two have already arrived and the second set (the central incisors) are on their way right now and we just turned over nine months old.

Ellison’s giving me a few warning shots so let’s wrap this up. Here’s your shopping list:

  • Baby Tylenol…ask your pediatrician for recommended usage
  • Corona Cream…the hoofing comment was a joke
  • tire scrap that you found on the road or other rubber chewing toy
  • a bottle of whiskey…for you…use as necessary and, no, that’s not nightly.
We had been advised to use gels sparingly because it can toughen the gums and make it even more difficult for teeth to push through. I’ll research this claim a little deeper and follow up on that, but there’s tons of gels on the market which help numb the pain to bearable levels and millions have sworn by their effectiveness. Just use caution as you should with any medication on your baby. Overuse or misuse can make matters worse.
The werewolf needs a diaper change. Happy Tuesday.

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