Parenthings: The teething mystery
4 min read
by Madlena Szeliga • firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, the teething! The ever-ongoing, neverending, mysterious phenomenon. You never know when it has started, you cannot be sure if it’s approaching. You suspect when it’s over. You welcome every tooth with joy and gratitude. One less to go.
Let’s be honest: there is no nightmare of teething. Because in order to experience any nightmare one must actually get some SLEEP.
I was a proud mother of “a baby who sleeps through the night” for around 4 months. And suddenly I become one of those “I never get any sleep” kind of mums. I didn’t know those 2 worlds are so close.
I blame the teething.
It’s been over 7 months now and it’s getting worse. Just to get you a quick overview, this was my night today:
7 pm - baby goes to sleep
10 pm - 1st feeding time
11 pm - I go to sleep (I know, too late. I’ve been telling myself this every morning!)
00:01 am - 2nd feed
1 am - 3d feed
2 am - 4th feed
3:30 am - 5th feed
4 am - there goes the 6th one (or is it still the previous one?)
6 am - GOOD MORNING - baby is up & happy
And here is he graphic represenation of the night, if you, like I, are too tired to read:
I feel that most of those feeds are just for comfort, not out of hunger. And the wake-ups are accompanied by crying and rubbing the gums quite heavily.
3 teeth are out. So much more to come yet.
I’ve been researching teething pain in order to understand how my son feels and work on my empathy and shockingly I found that medical studies showing - IT’S NOT SUCH A BIG DEAL.
Apparently, way in the past, teething was linked to all baby’s sickness symptoms, and even sometimes assign as a reason of death. This is simply because, when we don’t have other evidence we tend to think that things that occur at the same time have some casual link. And as the teething is a continuous story of babies 6 - 24 months old, any fever, diarrhoea, mood swings, and others were (and still are) believed to be just the effect of new teeth cutting their way through soft gums.
Meanwhile, a study completed in 2000, published in Pediatrics journal, shows that we, parents, are overreacting blaming it all on poor, innocent teeth.
According to researchers, there is no association between toothdays and temperature.
The situation was similar with loose stools - staff observing patients didn’t report any association between loose stools and teeth eruption.
Doctors say that the pain of teething is actually a mild one and no much different from the pain of second teeth growing. And we don’t hear about the second teething nightmares, do we?
Why do we experience all the pain, the wakeups & the fevers then? Because that’s just the reality of being a baby - they are extremely vulnerable to infections and go through growth spurts effecting in poorer mood or mild sickness from time to time.
Knowing all that I look forward to the next (what I assume will be) sleepless night with no much optimism, some understanding and a lot of hope that this will end someday. Sure helps to have an older child. You know the day will come when they have all the teeth and don’t want to wake up for kindergarten. But those two facts are in no way linked. Pure miraculous coincidence.
So have you been woken up 5 times last night? What is your WORST teething experience?