Wow. Caleb is 6 1/2 months already. I absolutely cannot believe it. While we think that he started teething back when he was 3 months old, we still haven’t had any teeth break through the surface. Every time I feel around in his mouth though, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a tooth poking out. We’ve been keeping a few items in the fridge to help soothe his gums (and him on these hot summer days) so I thought that I would share a few of our, or rather Caleb’s favorite items to help him through his first teething experience.
I picked up this teething gel long before the FDA released its warning in May about teething gels with benzocaine. The Cool Gums Teething Gel is a natural, drug-free formula containing zero numbing agents and it helps soothe tender gums. It has a great flavor to it and Caleb really seems to enjoy it. Sometimes I’ll even put it in the fridge for a little bit to get it a little extra cool. Fun fact: you can also use it on canker sores yourself!
Use “EELLIOTT15” to get 15% off of anything in the Wink Naturals shop!
I’ve mentioned this product before but it is too good to not mention again. This is sort of like a starter toothbrush for those first teeth but it doubles as a gum massager to help with sore gums. It’s never too early to start your little one on the right path to good dental hygiene! The finger toothbrush is super easy to use and it almost seemed like a game to Caleb for me to use it. It’s a completely different sensation to have against your gums and I think he found it funny!
This wooden rattle is made of European beechwood and is such a fun little rattle to play with. I love the sound of it. It’s durable and safe for babies to chew on. Studies have shown that wood can naturally eliminate even most harmful bacteria like e-coli or salmonella from its surface within minutes, so you don’t need to sterilize some wooden toys. Just rinse them under running water or wipe clean. This rattle was designed Montessori style to stimulate baby’s senses, encourage learning and social skills and promote grasping and fine motor skills development.
One of Caleb’s favorite things to gnaw on is my finger! Or rather… my knuckle to be more specific. I don’t mind, especially since he doesn’t have any teeth yet. Even better – fingers are free and easily cleaned!
Yes, there IS an essential oil blend that may help with teething. To 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, add 1 drop of lavender essential oil and 1 drop of roman chamomile essential oil. You’ll want to massage a small amount on the OUTSIDE of your little one’s cheek along the gum line. Again – OUTSIDE. Essential oils are potent and should be treated as such!
What are some of the things that helped your little one when s/he started teething?
The crud has hit our home. Robb and I have both been battling a cold the past few days and with Caleb only 4 months old, we’ve been careful to try not to spread it to him. Thankfully I’ve read that breastmilk contains protective antibodies to help Caleb’s immune system fight off infection and illness. He seems to be good right now but I’ve been keeping a close eye on his health.
Cold’s suck. I’ve never liked taking medicine to begin with but now I have to take extra precautions while breastfeeding. I’ve always preferred time, rest, and a good dose of Vitamin C. Elderberries are a great source of Vitamin C (as well as being said to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-influenza, and anticancer properties) and while I usually create a hot tea with the dried berries and a bit of honey, I also like to transform the berries into an oxymel for easy consumption.
A oxymel is basically a syrup with apple cider vinegar added to give it a sweet and sour taste. This is definitely an acquired taste. I actually like it, it is very reminiscent to a shrub. When I’m starting to feel a bit under the weather, I take about a tablespoon full every 4 or 5 hours. For Robb, I mixed a bit of the oxymel with some tonic water – though I admit, he did not like it one bit. I highly recommend stocking up on dried elderberries BEFORE cold and flu season arrives as they become harder to find and a lot of shops sell out. This recipe also needs to sit for a few weeks so make it early on during cold and flu season to make sure that you have it on hand. Once it’s prepared, it’ll last for about 6 months in the refrigerator.
I’ve also been taking Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Cough Syrup + Mucus. Since it’s safe for infants 2+ months, I figured that it would be safe for me to consume. It has a delicious grape flavor and helps to clear mucus and soothe irritated throats. There are no artificial flavors/sweeteners/drugs/alcohol/dyes, only organic agave syrup, English ivy leaf extract and a few other items.
Now that I’m over this cold… it’s time to prepare for allergy season~…
Breastfeeding can be hard for so many women, myself included. I still have days where it hurts or I just feel drained, literally. Typically those days come after a long night and in my hurry to get Caleb back to sleep, I don’t take the time to make sure that he is properly latched. On those days, I find myself switching out one of Caleb’s normal feedings with a bottle of formula just to give myself a break.
Those days are thankfully fewer and fewer now that I realize how to correct that issue. Overall, I believe that breast is best but when it comes down to it, I’d rather make sure that Caleb isn’t going hungry.
My biggest piece of advice to you as a breastfeeding mom (or mom-to-be) is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. If you find yourself having a difficult time breastfeeding and are in pain constantly when you nurse, don’t be afraid to speak with a lactation consultant in your area.
These are some of the products that have saved my sanity when it comes to breastfeeding.
Kindle E-Reader with Built-in Light – When you’re breastfeeding, there really isn’t much else you can do at that moment (unless you have a sling or a carrier and then it’s game on). My Kindle has been a lifesaver, especially at night when Caleb needs to be fed and I don’t want to cut any lights on. It’s easy to control a Kindle with one hand and it allows my brain to relax/focus on something else for a bit. I’m currently working my way through Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family which was recommended to me by Robb’s cousin.
Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner – The Boppy pillow was one of the first items that I added to my baby registry. I didn’t use it as much as I thought that I would the first week or so but I’ve been using it more and more lately. It helps me put Caleb in the perfect position to feed. It also gives my arms a break from holding him and Caleb likes to rest in his Boppy pillow.
Milk Drunk – Chocolate Protein Powder for Breastfeeding – This is a delicious protein powder for smoothies filled with lactation-boosting ingredients such as fenugreek, flaxseed, brewer’s yeast, and oat flour. Bonus – it’s vegan! I also recommend Mother’s Milk Tea by Traditional Medicinals as well for lactation support. I’ve used both to help boost my milk supply. I still haven’t managed to have enough extra milk to start storing some for when I go back to work but that’ll be my goal for February.
Nursing Bra – I’m not going to lie, I didn’t see the need for a nursing bra until I actually purchased one for myself. When I’m at home, I don’t bother with a bra unless I feel that I am needing the compression support. But I’ve found that with a nursing bra, I can wear it out in public for just in case or wear it around the house and it leaves me feeling a little less exposed to the elements. With the temperature in the house around 65°, that’s a pretty nice feeling to have.
Medela Tender Care Lanolin Tube – There are dozens of nipple creams out there for your tender bits and I recommend that you have something to keep your nipples from being chapped. I’ve been using Medela’s because I have received so many samples of it (nearly time I went to the doctor, I received more samples). Medela lanolin (lanolin is wool wax) is a thick, almost salve-like consistency that provides soothing relief. I’ve also developed my own nipple butter that I will transition to once I’m all out of Medela lanolin (coming soon to my Etsy shop).
Did you have any issues breastfeeding?
It’s amazing how valuable sleep becomes when you are pregnant. It never seems like you are able to get enough of it, at least for me. Over the course of my pregnancy, I’ve discovered a few items that have helped sleep come a little bit easier. Hopefully some of these items will help you as well.
• Belly Butter – I apply a moisturizing belly butter to my skin every evening after my shower. This not only helps to reduce stretch marks but is a very relaxing ritual that helps to relax my body for bed. I have a recipe coming soon for my belly butter, but in the meantime, you can purchase it at my Etsy shop! I typically like to use an unscented belly butter but you can add a calming essential oil, such as lavender, to help relieve stress and reduce anxious feelings [check out my Lavender Linen Spray DIY as well].
• PinkBlush Maternity Pants – I LOVE these pants. The fabric feels so soft against my skin and they are cozy enough for both the warm nights of summer all the way through a crisp winter evening. Though they have plenty of room for my expanding belly, they don’t look like maternity pajama pants so I also am planning to wear them post-pregnancy. PinkBlush Maternity is a dangerous website for me to visit as I love pretty much everything that they have to offer. A lot of the clothes, even if they say “Maternity” are styled in a way that you can wear them even after you give birth.
• Tums – Before I became pregnant, I would get bad heartburn on occasion. Since becoming pregnant, I have experienced horrible heartburn during my second and third trimesters as I was trying to get to sleep. Some nights it would get to the point where I have to stuff so many pillows behind my head that I was basically sitting upright – and that is no way to catch some zzzz’s. After suffering through it for way too long, I finally broke down and picked some Tums up. It’s amazing the difference those chalky little tablets made.
• Belle – Don’t laugh. A lot of pregnant women tend to use a body pillow of some sort to help support their hips, back, and stomach (like this one) when they are trying to get to sleep. I just use my dog. She is the perfect size and has this amazing ability to know exactly how I need her to lay. As the weather starts to cool off, she generates enough heat to keep me comfortable and provides the right amount of support for my body. Plus, I think it helps her to be so close to Lil Bean and feel him move around.
• Hot Tea – Even before I found myself pregnant, I enjoyed a nice cup of hot herbal tea before bed. Now that I am pregnant, I have to be careful about what sort of herbs I’m ingesting as not all are pregnancy-friendly. I like to create my own blends but in a pinch, I enjoy the Peaceful Mama Tea from Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics. It contains lemon balm, calcium rich oat straw, calming Chamomile, red raspberry leaf and orange peel herbs traditionally used to help calm and relax during pregnancy.
What are/were some of your pregnancy nighttime essentials?