So, I finally figured out that my baby (5 months old) is teething. Poor thing! I've been trying to rock him to sleep for his naps, but I have a chronic back problem (and wrist/hands are not far from there) so I can't do this all the time.

Some background: He has been soothing himself to sleep since he was about 3 months old. All I need to do is swaddle his lower body, sing him a lullaby, and leave the room. Usually he'd fall asleep within 10-15 minutes. Plus, he was able to put himself back to sleep if he woke up in the middle of his nap.

NOW: He is sleeping WAY less than he normally does (anywhere from 3-4 hrs less than he normally did), and he's awfully cranky from less sleep. He can't put himself back to sleep like he used to, and what’s worse he can rarely put himself to sleep. Since he’s having so much trouble I tried to rock him for a bit then put him down when he's drowsy, but not fully asleep. He used to be able to go to sleep like this... but now he'll start to fall asleep then suddenly wake up - wide awake! I’m assuming this might be from the teething. I tried leaving him alone... but even after 20-30 minutes... he's playing while he's rubbing his eyes because he’s sleepy.

At night, he's so exhausted from getting too little sleep all day, he'll usually fall asleep right after his feeding. Just to make sure he gets some good sleep in, I've been feeding him lying down and co-sleeping so I don't have to move/wake him, but I'm afraid this will become a bad habit. (Today, he fell asleep in my sling at around 4pm. I tried to put him down after 30 minutes (hoping he got into his “deep sleep”), but he woke up crying to be put back to sleep. After trying to leave him alone for a bit (and it didn’t work) I put him back in my sling and he slept the rest of the evening straight into his nighttime sleep. That’s like sleeping from 4pm til tomorrow morning (hoping he doesn’t wake up in the night)!

I feel like I'm going through a horrible cycle with him in regards to the holding and what someone called the “butt alarm”, and my back and arms starting to hurt again (I was just starting to see my chiropractor less).

Suggestions for helping my baby get his naps in during this teething stage? Suggestions for comforting him through his teething stage without hurting my body (so I can continue lovingly taking care of him as he gets older)?

Teething Reliefs I've tried... tylenol (I'd like to avoid medication, if possible), teething ring, my knuckle (helped him go back to sleep last night), breast feeding (luckily, he hasn't bitten yet... and it seems to soothe him)

asked 24 May '10, 03:02

ekim's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

+1 for trying to avoid medication.

(25 May '10, 10:43) Emi

Teething may be only part of it, so it's worth checking he hasn't got an illness that's making him feel upset. I find checking their temperature the most reliable indicator.

I wouldn't worry too much about the cosleeping becoming a bad habit. Firstly because many people think it's a lovely habit and secondly because the pain of getting him to sleep on his own once he is no longer teething will probably be less than trying to do it now when he has the additional discomfort of teeth.

As far as naps go - can he have them in your bed? Then you can lie down next to him until he is asleep and then sneak out once he's completely zonked. I use times like that as a good excuse to catch up on some reading. If you're worried about him rolling out, it is possible to get bed guards that you attach to the side of a normal bed, or you may be able to improvise something.


answered 24 May '10, 13:00

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

Thanks! I don't mind the cosleeping, but my husband gets scared that he'll hurt the baby in his sleep (he's a pretty deep sleeper - almost never hears the baby crying at night). I think we'll resolve this once I get back home (on vaca at the grandparents with the baby =D).

I think I'll try your napping idea in our bed!

(27 May '10, 21:32) ekim

Since you're breastfeeding him, I would say continue to nurse him to soothe him. I still nurse my year old to sleep, and it's great for both of us. Don't worry about it becoming a bad habit -- he's only 5 months old! At this age he needs you to comfort him when he can't get to sleep.

If it helps, my boy was a fantastic sleeper right up until around 5 months, when he started waking up more and more at night (never been a great napper, though). There's a lot going on: he's learning new things, teething, maybe getting sick more. Be patient, take care of yourself, and take care of him. This too shall pass.


answered 24 May '10, 13:58

Anne's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

I think you're right, the breastfeeding has really been helping him and me. There's not much I can do for his teething, and I don't like to give him medication all the time, so I've been breastfeeding him to see if that helps - and most of the time it does! =D

(27 May '10, 21:34) ekim

My preference with teething pain was to use product designed for teething and give pamol (childs paracentamol)in addition if necessary. Here in NZ there are two main products that most parents use Bonjela (see here) which you rub on the gums and a natural product Weleda Teething powder(link text which you apply to their tongue. Weleda is made in NZ. It contains Chamomilla root according to the jar. The teething powder is my preference as you can apply it more frequently and seems to calm down (my observation).

I am not sure if either of these products are available where you live but I would go to your pharmacy/drug store and see if there is anything similar.

This question on moms4moms gives some other ideas about teething relief.


answered 25 May '10, 01:42

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

+1 for massaging the gums. The link really does offer many ideas about how to make your baby more comfortable during the teething process with natural remedies.

(25 May '10, 07:09) Emi

Thanks for the links!

(27 May '10, 21:38) ekim
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Asked: 24 May '10, 03:02

Seen: 17,692 times

Last updated: 25 May '10, 01:42