This post is brought to you by QALO and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
To set the scene, it’s 2 a.m. and I’m currently writing this post while nursing Margot. She will probably wake up again and struggle to get back to sleep. She slept better as a newborn, but, alas, teething is getting the best of this little one. In the past week Margot has been cutting not one, not two, but FOUR teeth!
Her bottom two teeth appeared this week. Just when we thought we were in the clear, we realized the top two are sprouting now, or cutting through…. is there official teething language?
We’ve tried everything this time around, but I found she only truly wanted one thing.
Can you see those cute, little tooth buds?
We worked so hard to create a good sleep pattern after moving for Margot. I think that’s made this tough round of teething especially hard. I’m sure there’s a sleep regression, growth spurt, leap, and other things thrown in there too.
I remember teething being rough with Ruby, but this time around it’s been our biggest struggle yet. Our normally happy, laid-back baby is constantly fussy, taking short naps, and waking up at night.
I scoured the internet and asked friends for all their tips, and through it all everyone seemed to be in agreement. Things like cold fruits, cloths, teethers, medicines, they all help, but they don’t fully solve our baby’s teething woes.
So, what does your teething baby needs most?
I’m sure you guessed. It’s you. Of all the things we tried, above all, my little one just needed constant comfort. Even after offering Margot some pain medicine, she still struggled and just wanted to be close to me.
At first, I didn’t realize she was teething. I have been suspecting teeth for the past two months and they have yet to appear. So, when I noticed her gums were red and swollen, I felt so bad for my impatience.
But, when our baby needs so much from us, it can take its toll. Especially when a lack of sleep is involved. It’s caused me to be impatient, easily frustrated, and angered, and to lack the empathy I need to fully provide for my teething baby.
All of these mama duties can feel a little overwhelming. I’ll share below with what I’ve been doing to take care of myself during these tough weeks. While I wish sleep was on the list, it’s not, but everything else helps to give me a little life back.
We’ve talked about what baby really wants now. So, let’s talk about one of those things that do help ease our littles with the teething discomfort.
I know you’ve heard of QALO before, you know, they make the silicone wedding rings. They’ve created a family line with a brand new collection of silicone teething necklaces. They purposefully created stylish designs that work for both mamas and papas.
I have been so surprised by how functional this necklace has been. Not only has it kept Margot’s gums soothed, it keeps her occupied as well. Now I always have something within Margot’s reach that’s just for her. I love being able to say, “Yes, you can play with this”. Instead of keeping her away from my not-kid-friendly necklaces.
On one of the necklaces, I was able to customize it with a phrase. I chose my little one’s name, because it’s mostly for her after all. It’s to remind me why I strive to be the best mama I can be for her. She’s felt so far from her normal self. I know now because of the discomfort cutting four teeth is causing. It will take some time, but we will get through this round of teething.
These are just two of the options QALO offers, the top is their V Pendant and the one I’m wearing is the Hex and Barrel. They also offer a Dog Tag necklace which works great for dads too! I love their marbled and gray combinations, those are the ones I picked, but they also have different varieties with teals and blues. You can check out for yourself to find one that suits your style.
It’s comforting, all the care QALO takes when crafting these necklaces. Making them with 100 percent food-grade silicone and durable nylon paracord, making it safe for little ones. Safety was their main priority when creating these and all products are tested by a third-party lab to make sure they meet or exceed all safety standards.
And in case you’re like me and care quite a bit about these things, each necklace is BPA, PVC, Phthalate, Cadmium, Lead, and Heavy Metal free. To take care of your teething necklace, please hand wash with mild soap before your first use and after each use. It is also top rack dishwasher safe!
The biggest thing I’m learning through these tough few weeks, is that I still need to be all there, present to my children.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, mama
I often don’t realize I’m pouring out of an empty cup until I absolutely have nothing left to give. I run myself to the ground and that’s not good for anyone. I am realizing faster when I’m getting there and changing what I am doing to not only care for my children, but also for me.
In turn, taking care of myself too means that I can be a better mama. It’s not full-proof, and I wish a full-nights sleep was on the list, but I hope these things help you get through these long days.
Because, what our children truly need is us, and what a gift it is to be fully present and healthy for them.
Obviously, the first step is realizing when you aren’t functioning at your normal level and when you need a little more. Motherhood has helped me grow in this area tremendously. I once was so oblivious to my own needs, which is incredibly naive.
Take a moment, right now, to evaluate your heart, your soul, your mind, your body.
Start filling up your cup
I often make the mistake of not starting to care for myself, because I don’t know where to start. I’m practicing figuring out where I’m lacking and just beginning.
My soul is fed through time in prayer and my own religious studies. And my body through getting acupuncture, massage, hot baths. I focus on my mind through seeing a counselor and taking anxiety medication when needed. My heart through being honest with my own emotions, especially through taking with my husband.
You can search on Pinterest for all kinds of fun self-care ideas as well. Do what you need to to take care of yourself in this season, but make sure first that it’s really filling you up.
What do you really need?
An hour scrolling through Instagram or an hour with a counselor to process your postpartum anxiety?
A new dress or house cleaner to do this chores for you this week?
A thirty minute Netflix session or a relaxing bath? (Maybe better yet, both?!)
Anyway, we have the time and resources, I know some better than others, but it’s important to use them.
Above all else, extend grace
In difficult times, it’s ok to be a little less than perfect. We’re human after all, just like our children. Give grace to yourself, extend grace to your children.
I’m still sleep deprived, but caring for myself gives me some perspective and space. I know that intense round of teething will (hopefully very soon) come to an end. While not perfect, I’m able to focus more on my children. I get it right more often than when I’m running on fumes.
So here’s to the hard moments of motherhood, the long nights with a teething, fussy baby. May we remember that they are short and it means that they’re growing. Growing babies don’t keep, so let’s take care of yourself, so that we can snuggle that fussy baby without resentment. 😉
If you’ve made it this far, it must mean that you too, have a teething baby. Or know what it’s like to be in the throes of motherhood. I’m grateful to be doing this alongside you.
Prepare for this crazy motherhood journey, here’s more information on the new family line at Qalo.
p.s. here’s a photo of baby ruby with her two bottom teeth 🙂