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Uh oh….teething time!

a baby using a teething ring Is your sweet, angelic infant suddenly angry at the world?  Is he or she suddenly crying at all hours of the day – and worse yet, all hours of the night?  If they’re around the age of 6 months, they’re probably teething.  Prepare yourselves, it’s going to be a long ride.

Most kids start teething around 6 months of age.  Of course that’s just an average.  My first son didn’t get his first tooth until 13 months and my second son didn’t get a tooth until 15 months!  There’s about an 18 month window on either side of those averages that is still in the realm of “normal”.  So how do you know if your baby is teething?  You’ll most likely see or feel a bump or a swelling on the gums.  Usually the first teeth to arrive are the two lower central incisors followed by the two upper central incisors.  Again, that’s a general rule of thumb so don’t panic if you see a back tooth first.

So how do I ease my child’s pain?  That’s the million dollar question and many people have made millions of dollars claiming to have an answer for it.  Amber necklaces anyone?  There’s your go-to remedies of letting your baby suck on frozen washcloths, frozen or unfrozen teething rings, teething biscuits, the list goes on.  I was just recently introduced to amber teething necklaces.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with amber teething necklaces (like I was), they’re the latest homeopathic remedy to go mainstream.  Baltic amber contains a “natural analgesic” that can, in theory, be absorbed through your skin to relieve pain.  OK…  When it comes to teething I’d try anything!  After doing a bit more research, I found two big issues with these necklaces.  Many that are sold are mostly resin and contain very little actual amber unless you’re willing to pay the big bucks for the pure stuff.  The second, and most important issue I have with these necklaces is that your child has to wear them around his or her neck.  Some parents put them around wrists or ankles but putting anything around a small child’s body part is just a bad idea in general.  It’s absolutely not worth the risk to me.

So what should I try?  The short answer is EVERYTHING (except for maybe the necklaces).  Each child is different so what works for each child is different.  Use your best judgement.  Do your research.  Luckily you don’t have to wait too long.  It takes just a few days for the tooth to pop through and then instant relief.  Only 19 more to go!!

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