Your Baby’s First Year

Discovering that you’re having triplets always comes as a shock, but nothing prepared me for how overwhelmed I would feel after my babies arrived! However, even though my experience was more extreme than most, I soon discovered from talking to my friends that all first time moms feel this way, no matter how many babies they gave birth to!

Six months on, and I’ve learned a lot about baby’s first year, but I’ll be the first to admit I’ve still got a lot more to find out! Still, I thought I would share some of my helpful hints so that other first time moms out there know that other women really do understand how you feel. These handy tips will help you to make the most of your baby’s first year of life – I certainly wish I’d known some of these things 6 months ago!

Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help

When my little ones arrived, I felt that if I asked for help I would look incompetent, however now I wish that I’d spoken up. Remember that other mothers have been there before and will never judge you for asking for advice and support. If it helps you to feel less guilty, bear in mind that at some point in the future you’ll find that you’re in a position to help out someone else in the same situation.

Don’t Buy Everything

While it may be tempting to invest in a ton of new baby equipment, in fact babies need a lot less stuff than you might imagine. Keep clothing to a minimum – remember how fast babies grow, and remember that items which are used for only a short time such as Moses baskets and bouncy seats could be borrowed from a friend or bought second hand to save money. There are a few items that are essential however. Of course you’ll need to buy a new mattress and a new car seat, and another piece of equipment that is worth investing in is a room dehumidifier. Room dehumidifiers ensure that your baby is sleeping in an environment with good air quality and will help to prevent allergic reactions.

Don’t Be Competitive

Too many parents are worried about the rate at which their baby is developing and the urge to become competitive can be overwhelming, especially when others around you are bragging about how their little one can roll over or sit up much earlier than expected. Of course it’s normal to compare your child to others, but don’t worry about it if your baby isn’t hitting their milestones just yet. Remember that all children develop at their own pace.

Mom Knows Best

While there is a mountain of advice out there about how to raise babies, nobody knows your baby like you do. Of course it’s worth getting opinions and reading information about different stages of development, but you are the best judge of whether something will work for your family. Every mom is different, but we are all doing a great job!

Surviving Teething – Barely

Although every mom knows that at some point their little one will start teething, it’s still surprisingly stressful when it happens. Most infants begin teething at around 4 to 7 months of age, and my triplets just started sprouting their first teeth a couple of weeks ago. Although it was a cause for celebration, I wasn’t prepared for all the drooling, crying and sleep problems that came along with it. In this article, I cover the signs of teething and how to deal with the issues that might arise.

Tooth Development In Infants

Some babies develop their first tooth from around 3 months, however others take over 12 months for their first tooth to appear. In fact, your little one’s teeth began to develop in the womb, with buds forming inside the gums. Usually, the two middle bottom teeth are the first to appear, followed by the top middle top ones. After that, those in the back and sides appear. Sometimes teeth appear individually and sometimes several appear at one time. Don’t worry if your baby’s teeth look crooked since often they straighten over time.

Signs Of Teething

Although a few babies apparently sail through the teething process without any symptoms at all, most parents find that their baby shows signs of discomfort as soon as those pearly whites appear. Some of the key things to look for include:

  • Fussiness and irritability
  • Drooling and facial rashes
  • Sensitive and swollen gums
  • Chewing and gnawing behavior
  • Refusal to eat
  • Difficulty sleeping

Although some people have reported that their infant has diarrhea or a fever before they begin teething, there has been no scientific evidence to support this. Apparently, teething can cause your little one’s body temperature to rise a little, however fever and diarrhea are not linked to teething and if they occur alongside other symptoms like vomiting, lack of appetite or lethargy you should see your doctor.

How To Help Baby With Teething

One of the best ways to help a teething baby is to give them a teething ring or chilled washcloth to chew on. You can also rub their gums with a clean finger as this will temporarily ease their pain. A baby that is able to eat solid food may get relief from eating something cold such as yogurt or applesauce, and if they can manage finger foods, gnawing on a teething biscuit can bring relief.

Is Pain Medication Safe?

If none of the above methods work for your little one, it is possible to give babies over 6 months some infant ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You should check with your doctor first however to determine the right dosage. Never give a baby aspirin as it can cause Reye’s Syndrome, and you should also avoid using any homeopathic teething gel or tablet since they may in some cases produce unwanted side effects. Also avoid using any medication or gel that contains benzocaine.

Watching your little one in pain is never easy, and dealing with all of the associated problems such as sleepless nights and endless crying can be challenging and stressful. However, it is important to remember that this stage, just like every other, will eventually be over and then you can look forward to the tooth fairy!