Teething

Rough Day of Teething Leads to Shopping Therapy

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Does this hat come in suede?

Maddie was up at the crack of dawn to take care of her morning schedule that was packed with stair climbing exhibitions and multiple steps around the house. She was definitely very crusty and even her morning walk could not break her out of the funk.

Surely a little breakfast would help her turn the corner. Nope, not happening. Maddie was extra-crispy with two sides of attitude and had no interest in eating. We wondered if those baby molars were ready to make a push.

We got to lunch with the grandparents with the hope that Maddie could keep herself together during the meal. That apparently was wishful thinking. Maddie started crying as soon as we sat down and wasn’t interested in being comforted by either parent. This is also when we realized that Maddie’s back teeth were knocking at her gums.

The restaurant staff and patrons seemed quite relieved when we began packing up our gear to roll. Once we were in the car, it didn’t take Maddie long to pass out. Once she was asleep, it was time for a stealth mission to Target. The only problem was that Maddie was awake as soon as we pulled up.

We popped her in a cart and she was ready to roll. She had a great deal to say to her fellow shoppers, but at least the crying had stalled. We hit the baby wagon wheel snacks first and Maddie was happy to partake.

We made the rounds and somehow, some way – the baby was at peace. The shopping trip must have been just what the doctor ordered because Maddie spent the rest of the evening laughing and playing with her parents without a care in the world. We are delighted that this put Maddie in a great mood, we just have no idea why it worked.

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First Swipe at Teeth Brushing Falls Flat

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I’d actually prefer a lollipop

The dentist advised us that we needed to start brushing all eight of Maddie’s teeth. This seemed a bit excessive since the baby is only 11-months-old. But since I’m obviously no expert on the finer points of a baby’s dental hygiene, we decided to let the games begin tonight.

Maddie came out of the tub with a wicked gleam in her eye. She knew that something strange was afoot and was ready to meet the challenge. Hah, that what she thought. First I started with a personal demonstration with my own toothbrush. Maddie knew I was faking it because she knows that my electric toothbrush makes a loud buzzing noise.

I continued with the show just before it was time for Maddie to feel the tingle of her brush inside her mouth. Keep in mind, this is a girl that will put almost everything she can find into her mouth. But when it was time for the tooth brush, her mouth slammed shut and for all purposes was hermetically sealed.

Her locked jaw and steely-eyed determination told the tale of the tape – the brush was not going to be an easy sell. The more we tried to brush the baby’s teeth, the more Maddie got her little lips brushed. This was stunningly cute, but horribly unproductive. Brushing Maddie’s teeth is obviously an acquired taste – but we are already working on some new strategies.

Crusty Baby Sentenced to Full Slate of Outdoor Adventures

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Bask in the glory of these amazing toes!
I could tell when Maddie woke up this morning that she just wasn’t feeling it. The baby was a little bit off and just a bit too crusty. I usually don’t dress Maddie in street clothes until around 10am. This morning I had her dressed and ready for action at six.
 
After her bottle and a short bout of playtime on the floor, the wheels began to come off. I don’t know if it was fatigue, teeth or something else, but her good cheer was evaporating before my eyes. I wasted no time pulling the trigger – It was only 6:20am, but it was time to go outside.
 
Once we hit that chilly morning air, the whining stopped on a dime. This girl was born to be a rugged outdoorswoman. We weaved in and out of the morning commuters on our way to no place in particular. But as we got closer to Grove Street, I could feel the inexorable pull of the Golden Arches. Ronald and the boys just had to be cooking up something good, so
that was our first stop.
 
The girl behind the counter fell all over herself as Maddie lit her up with her brightest smile of the morning. Maddie and McDonald’s, what better way to start your morning? Then it was on to the waterfront where Maddie could mingle with the transient fisherfolk already casting their lines into the murky Hudson River. The slight breeze coming off the water actually carried some fresh air and Maddie’s doldrums had long since been swept away.
 
However, she had a date with some bananas and watermelon back at our kitchen. It was time to catch the train and head for home. Even on the train ride, Maddie was smiling from ear to ear.
 
As soon as we got home and walked inside, Maddie got crabby all over again and begrudgingly worked her way through breakfast. After a two-hour nap, we repeated the same process all over again. Grumpy Maddie downed her bottle and we were forced to head out for another elongated outdoor adventure.

This next trip was the just the ticket we needed to put Maddie’s case of the Mondays out to pasture for good.

Baby, Grandparents Begin Pat-a-Cake Training

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As soon as Maddie opened her eyes this morning, it was obvious that her gaggle of new teeth were not treating her very kindly. She’s been grinding these enamel barbarians against one other for almost 48 hours now.

It’s frustrating as a parent to have such a happy baby who is struggling to stay in good spirits even when she is in obvious discomfort.

This morning we took Maddie to Panera to munch on a bagel and give her teeth a rest from all that grinding. This was one of many distractions we tried with the baby to distract her from those erupting teeth.

Maddie’s grandmother MiMi came up with a great distraction technique when she engaged the baby in a winner take all game of Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake Baker’s Man.

Maddie seemed to be getting the hang of the Baker’s Man hand motions when she turned the tables on MiMi. Once Maddie got the moves down, she grabbed her grandmother’s hands and started instructing her. It’s always reassuring to have a 9-month-old who is so ready to pull from her vast pool of knowledge.

Next up was naptime for the baby, but Maddie wasn’t having it.

I put her down to sleep and the waterworks broke out just a few minutes later. It was strange because for the past few months, Maddie has insisted on putting herself to sleep.

Today was a different story. I went up to the crib and it was obvious that Maddie needed some company. I rested my hand on her tummy and she held onto my arm until she finally drifted off to sleep.

Luckily she woke up in much better spirits and enjoyed a great day with all of her aunts and uncles.

Baby Bites the Hand that Feeds Her

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Fingers make nice floss too!

Just shy of her 9-month-birthday, Maddie snuck in her first official bite on her dear old dad. With the recent addition of her top teeth, I knew it was just a matter of time.
 
Last night’s sweet potato dinner was the catalyst for Maddie’s chewing breakthrough. The sweet potato is much thicker than the other foods she has been working on. So after some fits and starts, Maddie actually started using her top and bottom teeth together in that age-old activity called chewing.
 
The honey badger downed an entire half of sweet potato. However, this doesn’t mean she has given up her habit of storing unchewed food in her mouth. Sometimes when her mouth gets too packed, I have to use a finger to sweep her tongue clear so she can start again. I always realized that this could become a hazardous activity. But as long as there were no teeth on the top, I didn’t worry too much.
 
However, when we switched from sweet potato to applesauce, the danger signs were impossible to miss. The little piranha actually began biting her spoon. Clearly you should always wash down the applesauce with bitten off plastic spoon chunks. Once Maddie got the hang of biting her spoon, the meal devolved into a tug-of-war between the two of us.
 
Once the soft stuff was gone, it was bananas for dessert. Maddie loves to store banana chunks in her teeth for snack time at a later date. As her little cheeks began to puff out, I realized it was time to go in. I gave my index finger a kiss goodbye as I went into clear out the baby’s mouth.
 
After all the hi-jinks with the spoon, an unsuspecting finger was just what the doctor ordered. Just as I put my finger past those gnashing teeth, she clamped down. Two little teeth on the bottom and two on the top. The bite was surprisingly sharp and I could not help but be impressed with her new skill. But time was running short. I had to extract the banana build up with out losing the finger or hurting her little chompers.
 
I removed the banana and my finger to inspect the damage. Two tiny impressions of her bottom teeth tattooed the bottom of my finger. This is obviously the beginning of a brave new world during feeding time.

Baby Suspends Sleep & Eating for New Teeth

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I already have two teeth - that's plenty!

Even after two major trips in a row, Maddie’s schedule at home was really coming together nicely. Full nights of sleep and a fairly regimented eating schedule had the entire household living the dream.

But things swerved a bit off kilter yesterday and today all that consistency went up in smoke. Maddie spent the day boycotting any feeding or nap attempts. This caused me great concern because my parents were coming in to babysit Maddie.

Once they arrived, I was nervous about leaving them alone with the Mad Madster who was smack dab in the middle of her simultaneous hunger and sleep strike. However, the baby was full of smiles and squeaks and showing no signs of criminal mischief. After some urging from the grandparents, I decided to let Maddie be free of me for a couple of hours.

I gave my mom the scoop on Maddie’s odd behavior and finally left with a heavy cloud of guilt over my head. At this point, I still did not know the origin of the baby’s stranger-than-normal behavior.

Finally I broke down and called my parents for the scoop. They said that Maddie had taken a decent nap and was playing on the floor with my mom. Maddie’s grandfather told me to take my time, but I know that the baby’s mood can turn on a dime. I hurried home and when I walked in, I asked my dad how things were going.

When Maddie heard my voice, she let out a powerful screech. According to my parents, she had slowly started to come undone about 15 minutes before I got home. The baby didn’t need anything in particular, she just wondered why I wasn’t waiting on her hand and foot.

My wife had arrived home about the same time I did and informed me that Maddie has a pair of top teeth that have begun to break through the gums. That’s why the happy baby has been suddenly out of sorts. Maddie is fighting the good fight against this most recent invasion of the teeth, but we will have to see how tonight goes for all us.

Teething Trouble Taking its Toll on the Baby

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Are we in the right place?

I’ve always heard that the teething process is no picnic. Maddie is driving that point home while her bottom gum line is under assault by an erupting tooth.

Her eating and sleeping schedules are in complete chaos as she searches for some balance during this process. Maddie is such a good girl, and it makes it all the more difficult that she really is trying to be sweet despite her obvious discomfort.

At this point we are all about the distractions. We are trying everything from juggling clowns to large jungle cats to keep Maddie’s mind off of her aching mouth. We took a long walk this morning, but by the end, the offending tooth was sticking it to my little girl.

We’ve also been trying a variety of tricky items for Maddie to chew on. Since Maddie likes chewing on her own toes so much, we thought a little fake plastic foot that goes into the refrigerator might be pleasing to suck on for a while – No Dice!

Someone suggested that we freeze or cool off a washcloth and let the baby gnaw on that. Maddie is still pondering what road scholar came up with that one. She took one look at thing all the while giving off that famous McEnroe vibe, “You can not be serious!”

The baby did enjoy chewing on a bagel and gumming up a few slices of pear this morning, but that was the extent of our success.

My wife and I had a pharmacist tell us that soothing medicines for the gums can cause problems for children later in life. This might be due to the fact that many people grapple with the concept of moderation. I’m pretty sure a little Baby Orajel here and there isn’t going turn the baby into a werewolf or a zombie.

So for now, the baby is fighting the good fight – thank god we only have about 6 to 9 months of this to go!