Monday, October 26, 2009

Teeth

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: teething sucks. Big time. I hear from friends that some babies aren't bothered by teething, most are only bothered by the first few teeth, and even more are only bothered for a day or two. LL is not one of those children. When he's sprouting a tooth, he is a screaming no-sleep mess for weeks. (He's still charming during the day, for the most part, though the never-ending sleep disturbances all night long for weeks at a time do take a toll on even the most cheerful toddler.) I'm not sure if it helps us or hurts us, but LL also tends to get his teeth in waves. He got the last six of his eight incisors all during two tumultuous months. After a brief break, he is now working on molars and canines. In the last month alone, he has sprouted four of them, and two more are threatening to break the surface any day now. One the one hand, that is an awful lot of pain for a little guy to handle all at once. On the other hand, I suppose it will be nice to get it all out of the way.

As a total aside: on the advice of my dentist (who was shocked when I told him that LL is 13 months old and already has 12 teeth) we bought LL a normal toddler-sized toothbrush, instead of using the fingertip infant brush that seemed to just give LL a reason to bite us every day. He loves it, and is getting very good at brushing his own teeth.

LL is still waking up every single night. We dose him with Motrin before he goes to bed, and like clockwork, he wakes up six hours later when the medicine wears off. The Motrin seems to dull the pain enough for him to sort of fall asleep, but it clearly leaves enough pain that he's sleeping very lightly. He's normally a deep sleeper, but lately, he wakes to every noise and then wants company while he tosses and turns and chews on his hand and moans slightly as he tries to go back to sleep. Though we had never really done it before, we've started co-sleeping after he wakes in the middle of the night. I figure, if he's going to want one of us to keep him company until dawn, we might as well all be horizontal. This strategy is leading to an increased quantity of sleep for everybody, though a decreased quality of sleep for me and S. But I'm so horribly sleep-deprived at the moment that I'm willing to take quantity over quality, at least for a while. Maybe just until the last four canines and molars come in.

In happier news, LL increased his vocabulary this weekend. His repertoire had included: all done, mama (or rather, "Mom-Mom", which I find charming), dada, dai (Russian for "gimme", approximately), dah (Russian for "yes"), no no ("nah nah!"), and when he's feeling particularly communicative: again. (Sadly, it's sometimes hard to distinguish "all done" and "again," leading to a very frustrated LL.) Many children say "dog" early on, but instead, whenever LL sees or hears a dog, he barks. It's a very obvious "arf! arf!" sound. He also does a fairly convincing "ee! ee! ooh! ooh!" sound when he sees a monkey. Either we've been spending too much time making animal sounds and not enough time actually identifying the animals by name, or LL is just a born performer. Either way, in a move towards providing names for the animal kingdom, LL has now added the word "bear." Between wall paper, pictures, books, clothing, and stuffed animals, our house has approximately 8 billion bears in it, so LL is getting lots of opportunity to show off his new word.

LL has also suddenly developed a taste for exploration. For a long time after he learned to crawl, he refused to do it outside. If we put him on a blanket in the grass, he stayed on the blanket. Which was kind of handy, actually. Now, he has discovered that sidewalks are fun. If I set him in the front yard, he takes off for the sidewalk, then proceeds to visit all the neighbors. If I can just teach him to stop trying to take headers off the curb, he'll be ready for his own paper route or something.

6 comments:

Jen said...

Poor LL! That is a lot of teeth. Jillian is just now getting her 3rd tooth. I guess the only good thing about being ahead of the curve there is that he should be finishing up for you very soon.

Sunny said...

Getting it over with is the way to go, if it's going to disturb his sleep. Then you get a break before the storm comes again, instead of enduring 12 months of teething terror!

Bean has never ever said "dog" -- he always goes WOOF WOOF. And he recently started pointing to every dog in books we read and saying, "EE-eee." (His way of saying Evey, the name of our dog.) I just love toddler talk!

Karina said...

That's cool he's got Russian words too. If I recall correctly, dogs say "gav gav" in Russian. At first I thought it was so weird to learn that animal noises are approximated differently in different languages, but gav is just about as good as arf or woof for some dogs. i suppose it depends on the dog.

K @ ourboxofrain said...

Poor LL and his teething troubles :( And poor you and S :( Harry is working on more teeth right now, but thankfully it has just left him prone to random crying (as in, happily playing one minute and crying big tears the next) rather than causing too much sleep disturbance. We have started giving him teething tablets before naps, which has finally gotten him taking real naps again. I hope LL finishes up teething early and gives you guys a break soon!

Fertilized said...

I am so sorry - I am so late in reading and catching up. We have gone to war with Every Tooth ..It SUCKS ... makes me crazy, can't find a remedy.

You have my sympathy .. ALL of it!

Intrepidgirl said...

Teething makes me crazy too. The night wake-ups were killing us. This past week we just started letting our son cry-it-out. For months we had been going into his room and consoling him. Well he was inconsolable. So for an hour in the middle of the night he would thrash in our arms, arch in our bed, and be generally miserable even in our arms. We finally just had to not respond even though it killed us. Well, the little guy cried for 20 minutes the first night, but then the next nights he has had brief outbursts, maybe 5 minutes of crying, and he's back asleep. Teething for us has been h*ll but like another commenter said we're hoping that we get it out of the way early like this.