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Just when we could sleep again, teething

By Stephanie G. Johnson

The Bulletin

The baby phase is over - when I lost sleep nightly because the little one was trying to figure out what was day and night. I could sleep again. Then the teething started.

When my toddler is popping teeth, his sweet, funny personality turns into a terror. Maybe that’s why they call these the terrible twos, although he is not yet two.

He is clingy, has an attitude, constantly cries, attempts to hit and push, throws tantrums, and sometimes bites. And he wakes up in the middle of the night.

I don’t blame him. Having new teeth break through your gums cannot be a lot of fun. I can’t remember it, but I’m sure I was not in the best of moods, either.

I have been trying to come up with something that soothes his pain and discomfort so he can return to being the sweetheart that he is when not teething.

I’ve tried a lot of different things to make his gums feel better. I’ve made popsicles, bought all the teethers, even the ones that you can put frozen fruit inside. I have tried a lot of different things, but I have noticed the combination that works the best for us is Orajel, Motrin and sleep.

Some people have told us to put whiskey on his gums before bed. Apparently, that is what they did back in the day when all these medicines weren’t invented yet. It’s tempting, but this momma is not going to try that.

My pediatrician and dentist were both against Orajel and whiskey. But I only use a little bit of Orajel when the tooth is popping, and it seems to do the trick. If it gets really bad, and I know he’s still in pain, I give him Motrin.

Sleeping is most important because that’s when his teeth usually pop. Also, when he sleeps, I sleep. That’s a plus. Without Orajel and Motrin, the sleep part is hard to do. He wakes up every hour, crying. Then, we are all upset and sleep-deprived.

Whenever he pops more than one tooth, I know it’s going to be a tough couple of days.

Maybe the whiskey advice was for the mom also. Either way, I’m not to that point yet.

The pediatrician told me he could get a low-grade fever when teething. That’s just great.

Every single time he pops multiple teeth, he has a fever. I should have looked this up earlier.

It could have saved a few trips to the pediatrician.

This seems to happen a lot when we travel. Why not? That’s as good a time as any to throw a fit. I understand that he is hurting, but it is hard on the ears.

Teething leads to not eating certain foods, not drinking certain drinks, not brushing his teeth, and some gross bowel movements. The travel part makes the bowel movement a little cumbersome because sometimes we can’t pull over right away. Windows go down as we try not to pass out.

He prefers softer foods when he is popping teeth, and he also loves the crunchy teether snacks. He will not eat anything hard to bite into, like an apple, or drink orange juice. He acts like it burns his gums. His exact words are: “It’s spicy,” but I think he means that it burns.

When he was around one year old, we had tubes surgically implanted in his ear because every time he was sick or teething, he would get an ear infection. Even if he was popping just one tooth, he would get an ear infection. Ever since we had his ear tubes put in, he hasn’t gotten one ear infection from teething or anything else.

I recently took him to the dentist because I wanted to know what to do with all of these teeth and how many teeth are left to pop because I can’t wait for teething to be over.

The dentist told me to brush and floss my sweetie’s teeth twice a day. She also told me that he had 12 teeth pop through and has eight more to go.

Where is that whiskey? I may need it after all. We are done being patient.

Alright, forget the whiskey, but let’s get this teething over with, little guy.

(Please send emails to Stephanie at, or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)


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