Debbie Fazo 

If you can imagine the worst tooth ache you have ever had, coupled with a headache and ear ache and times that by 3…that’s what your tiny little baby is feeling when teething. Teething can cause so much distress for baby and parents alike. The common signs of teething are biting and drooling but unfortunately that’s not all your baby may feel when going through active teething.

Active teething is when your baby’s teeth are cutting through the layers of their gums. Once you see the teeth break through the skin, the pain will usually start to subside. A great way to tell if your baby is teething is to put your finger on his gums and rub for a minute. Babies are born with an instinct to suck so if your baby sucks on your finger, then he’s probably not feeling much pain from teething. However, if your baby tries to bite down or grind on your finger while it’s pressed on his gums, then he is probably actively teething and experiencing some discomfort.

If your baby is actively teething he may show signs of being agitated and grumpy and this is common for a teething baby and…this is common for any adult who is feeling discomfort! Your baby will drool much more than usual, sometimes causing little pimples or a rash on his face. Some parents will notice baby tugging at his ear or hair and commonly mistake this reaction as an ear infection or headache. Pain from teething can travel up the face to the ear and the head and cause baby to react by tugging and pulling in those locations. Some moms have noticed babies refuse feedings when teething and again this is common because baby is experiencing pain in his mouth and will often associate anything near his mouth as the reason for the pain

My favorite way of helping a baby through teething pain is by tossing a wet facecloth in the freezer and letting baby chew and bite down on the cloth for a few minutes.  This will not only help wear down the skin faster and allow the tooth to break through sooner, but it will also numb his gums to help relieve some pain. This is great to do before feeds and sleeps to help baby feel less pain. Teethers and traditional medicinal methods will also work but it’s important to always check with your doctor before offering any medication to ensure you are treating the right problem.

Usually teething happens for a few days and then will give you a break before the next tooth starts but sometimes you do get back to back teeth, and the teething process can take a few weeks. Comfort your baby, offer him relief and be understanding that his mood may be different until the pain subsides.

Debbie Fazio 

In my travels I have come to realize that parents are a bit confused about what cry-it-out means. Cry-it-out is not a method in itself. There are so many different types of sleep training methods that use cry-it-out but there are so many different ways and variations of it. Cry-it-out simply means that with whichever method you have chosen to use for your sleep training process, that there will inevitably be some crying involved. 

There are 3 major training methods that all use a form of cry-it-out. The first method is the Pick up/Put down method. This is when you pick up your baby every time they cry and put them down when they stop. The second method is gradual distinction. This is when you start off on the first night by being right at your babies side, patting and shushing him till he falls asleep. Then each night after that, you move further away from the crib and shushing progressively softer and less often. The third method is Guided Training. This is when you check on your baby for a few minutes and then leave, returning into the room at greater intervals to console your baby. An example of this is you would check on your baby in 5 minutes and then in 10 minutes etc. 

Each method of training involves crying. Each method also involves the parents offering consoling at some point to their baby. The crying is NOT because your child is being neglected, starved or abandoned. They are simply being given the opportunity to figure out what your baby needs to figure out to fall asleep. Some babies may discover their fingers where as some may stare at a light on the ceiling. Allowing your baby the opportunity to learn how to soothe himself is vital to learning great sleep skills. If you are a parent that is not happy with your child's sleep habits and feel that training of some sort is necessary for the happiness of your baby and your family, then it is important that you find the right method for you. If you are a parent that is content with your baby's sleep habits, then there is no need for change as your family is happy.

In retrospect, it is important to understand that a crying baby doesn't mean bad parents. This is quite an unfair statement. Allowing your baby to learn how to self soothe, which involves some crying, is a very hard thing for a parent to do. If you have a family member or friend who is currently sleep training their own baby, please remember this and offer them your support, not grief.  

Debbie Fazio
President & Baby Parenting Coach
Precious Moments Babeez 416-508-4406