Tag Archives: teething

Episkey

10 points to the house that can correctly identify the reference of the title of this post.

If I’ve lost you, don’t worry, I am going to speak English and come back to this world pretty quickly.

Inspired by Davi’s post going over her adventures in homeopathy and by her urging, I decided I would delve into our journey into the same world.

It’s obviously no secret that I tend to do things a little differently, like having babies at home and making my own diaper rash spray. My journey into natural home remedies and homeopathy has been somewhat slow, but I am getting more and more confident lately with trying out different things for the various things that ail our family. As I said in the diaper rash spray post, the introduction to my new book on the subject really inspired me when it pointed out that up until fairly recently most ailments were treated at home with ingredients found in the garden or pantry and there was at least one person in every family with a fairly good knowledge of healing.

I guess the first toe dip into homeopathy for us was when I started using Hyland’s teething tabs as a first and majority of the time responder to teething difficulties with my kids (when is the recall going to be over, by the way? Waaah I miss those things!).

The next time was when our pediatrician at the time mentioned she had been doing a lot of research on the subject and started explaining some of the principles of it to me during our visit. She also gave us a handout that she made up for immune support before, during and after vaccinations. I was slightly skeptical, but I have seriously noticed such a difference in the way our kids respond to vaccines since implementing the stuff in the handout. There have been a few times when I forgot or didn’t realize the kids would be getting a vaccine at the appointment and noticed their reactions to be much more dramatic as well. So it isn’t just a matter of them getting older and handling things better.

So for vaccine immune support this is what we do (the handout sites Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book and Dr. Lauren Feder’s The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations as the source):

-Being really diligent about the kids taking their vitamins the week before and after getting shots. Sometimes I forget on a day-to-day basis, but if I know they have an appointment coming up I will set the alarm in my phone to remind me if I have to. The two pointed out as being most important on the handout are Vitamin A and C. I have our kids on a cornucopia of gummy vitamins though which pretty much covers both those. Our kids take: Omega 3 Sea (fish oil), a multi-vitamin, a calcium (though now that the kids are back to eating dairy I will probably eliminate this one next time we run out), a D3, an immunity one (Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea), and probiotic chewable tabs. I know, I know, that probably seems like overkill.
-Ledum palustre 30C (for puncture wounds): 1 hour before the shot and then two more doses every 12 hours
-Arnica montana 30C (for local swelling, bruising and soreness): Twice a day for two days following the shot
-Thuja occidentalis 30C (for vaccine side effects): Twice a day for three days following the shot
-Chamomilla 30C (for fussiness following the shot): As needed

So this is really what started to inspire me to start looking into other “cures” and remedies. Another thing was that a lot of the “drugs” for infants’ and toddlers’ colds, coughs, etc. have pretty much been taken off the market. Which leaves not a whole lot of options when you have a sick toddler or infant except to run to the pediatrician that will likely just prescribe an antibiotic. I really, really think antibiotics are way over-prescribed so I try to avoid them as much as possible unless I feel like we absolutely need it. But when you have a miserable babe on your hands you need some help.

The advent of modern medicine, together with its many miracles, also led to a much greater dependency on our physicians and to an increasingly stretched healthcare system. The growth of the pharmaceutical industry has meant that there are indeed “cures” for most symptoms, and we have become accustomed to putting our health in the hands of someone else, and to purchasing products that make us feel good. Somewhere along the line we began to believe that technology was in some way superior to what was natural, and so we willingly gave up control of even minor health problems.

So these are some of the homeopathic remedies we’ve tried for various colds and coughs:
-Hyland’s Sniffles ‘n Sneezes
-Pulsatilla 30C (for colds with thick yellow nasal discharge)
-Allium cepa 30C (allergic or viral runny nose)
-Kali sulphuricum 30C (colds with yellow nasal discharge)
-garlic oil drops (for ear infections)
-apple cider vinegar (helps thin out mucus): 2tbsp in 8oz warm water twice a day
-Boiron’s Chestal homeopathic cough syrup
-Elderberry syrup
-Sambucus homeopathic cough syrup

Like Davi pointed out in her post, I have noticed that sometimes you have to be a little more patient with the homeopathic remedies though. I do still use some of the things I used to for pain and sickness, but I also feel the homeopathic remedies help things out and we can avoid using the heavier “drugs” a lot of the time.

When we have something going on, I either head to the natural foods store that has the homeopathic vials and look at the chart for what goes with what or I look online. Now that I have my book I also will tend to find something online and then go get more “reliable” information from my book as well as see if there is anything else we can be doing.

Something else we use that was mentioned above is arnica montana for bruises. Having two toddlers, and clumsy ones at that, there are a lot of bumped heads, scraped knees etc. I usually just use Hyland’s Bumps ‘n Bruises with arnica in it.

Another area that homeopathy has helped out is with pregnancy. Being pregnant, I don’t really feel comfortable taking a bunch of stuff unless I have to. So the homeopathic remedies have been great for colds and things. I will admit that I still take an Advil here and there, I am still taking Unisom at night for morning sickness prevention (every time I try to wean myself off I feel so lousy, I still have not felt as sick as with the other two, but it is enough that I just can’t do anything really), and I also take Tums or Famotadine for really bad heartburn. So I am not anti-medicine. I just try natural or homeopathic remedies first if I can, especially since they have no side effects and are generally much safer.

During my first trimester when I did have some morning sickness I also used some homeopathic remedies to combat the yucks. I found a chart on the old site I frequented when I had the really bad (hyperemesis gravidarum) morning sickness with Bean. It was really helpful in narrowing down which ones to try based on my symptoms. The ones that I used were:

-ginger capsules
-nux vomica 30C
-sepia 30C
-pulsatilla 30C

But like I said, the chart breaks down various “types” of morning sickness and morning sickness symptoms. Every woman is different and the morning sickness can even be different day-to-day or throughout a day. So you should really look to the chart and see what fits you best, not just go off what worked for me.

Recent ailments in our household have included teething with Sprout which has produced acidic, runny bowel movements (BMs) that give him terrible diaper rash. You already know about my diaper rash spray, but I also have been giving him chamomile tea orally and that has helped things in the BM department. The book said it helps reduce the acidity of the BMs and firms them up and I have found that to definitely be the case in the last few days that I have been giving it to him. I also noticed that he is a bit less fussy and grumpy. We usually “cut” the kids’ juice in their sippy cups anyway, so instead of water I’ve been doing half juice, half chamomile tea that I brew a large batch of ahead of time and keep in a pitcher in the refrigerator.

The other ailment has to do with me. I had a bit of a scary episode yesterday, but part of it has been “normal” pregnancy stuff I’ve been experiencing for several weeks now and that I also experienced with my other two. I did some searching online to make sure I’m not weird and was glad to find out I’m not. When I get Braxton Hicks contractions I usually feel like I can’t breathe or that my breathing is constricted. I have to really, really concentrate on just my breathing and it takes a lot of effort. I have been getting more and more of these suckers lately. It’s super annoying when you feel like you really can’t do anything except lay around and breathe. Like this morning I was trying to mix up some oats and nuts for granola and I kept having to stop every few seconds, hunch over the counter with my belly hanging down and just breathe. I felt so pathetic and annoyed. I know I’m pregnant and everything, but I have a life to live and kids and a family to care for. I’m not just going to lay around my house all day. I have things to do. Not even super strenuous things, just the stuff of every day life.

So anyway, back to yesterday, I planned a playdate with a couple of friends that morning. I had been having my usual annoying Braxton Hicks that make me stop and breathe. I was resting a lot. Drinking a lot of water. But then Sprout needing a diaper change could not be put off any longer and I needed to get us ready for our playdate. I got upstairs and the Braxton Hicks turned into super monster contractions. It hurt soooo bad. All I could do is lay on my bed. Finally I was able to get back up in between and grab the house phone. I called Stephen’s cell (the only number I have memorized and my cell with all the numbers was back downstairs) over and over and over again until he finally picked up (he was on another call with a client and not near his cell, but someone else in the office noticed that it kept ringing). I told him what was happening and he came right home.

I started timing things and they were 1:30 long and 3 minutes apart and oh-so-painful. I could feel tugging at my cervix too which was really making me nervous. I called one of my midwives and she had me try taking some calcium and magnesium, a warm bath and more water and relaxing. Nothing changed. So she had me call into the backup OB’s office here in town and they wanted me to come in to have things checked out. An ultrasound showed no changes to my cervix and the fetal fibronectin test which tests to see if labor is imminent came back negative. He also prescribed something to stop the contractions. Everything calmed down and I just ended out the day pretty sore and tired.

Anyway, this morning the Braxton Hicks and the shortness of breath were back. I knew to take it easy, but I decided to see if there were any homeopathic or natural remedies that could help things out. I also felt like what I was experiencing this morning didn’t really warrant taking another of the pills. It definitely wasn’t of the caliber of yesterday’s bout in the slightest.

So I looked up homeopathic remedies for Braxton Hicks online, read a bunch of stuff there and then confirmed and got more information from my book. I made a tea of red raspberry leaf, ginger, and chamomile and then put in drops of a tincture called cramp bark. All of these things help to tone, calm and relax muscles with the red raspberry leaf and cramp bark having specific implications in the uterine muscles. It’s also supposed to help with menstrual cramping. I’ve definitely noticed less activity in the few hours since I drank it so I am a fan. One thing I did read said not to take the cramp bark for more than three days consecutively because it could cause nausea after that point. So hopefully I can just take it here and there as needed and not get the nausea.

Sorry there are no fun pictures to accompany this post. Anyway, I hope this is informative and helpful and maybe inspires you to try out some natural remedies with your family next time some minor illness or injury comes up.

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Daily, 11/11

At just shy of 10 months, I am fairly certain Sprout’s one year molars are coming in. All four at once. He’s pretty miserable right now.



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Sprout at six months!

Dear Sprout,

What a month! Half of the first year is over and I just can’t believe it went by so fast. In many ways I am thankful for this since it was something I was pretty terrified of while pregnant. So here we are at six months.

We spent Father’s Day in Bakersfield with both of your grandpas:

There was a lot of teething, which, for the most part, you did not handle as joyfully as you did in the past months:

The teething has produced six teeth:

We hung out with cousin Avory quite a bit:


(Avory is teething too, so us mamas had our hands full while your Papa was away on a camping trip)

A few weeks ago I decided to ignore my intuition and go with the crowd. Everyone I knew that had a baby about the same time as you were born had been trying food. I knew you were not ready, but ignored my own advice given just a few weeks prior to my sister and decided that you “needed” to be starting to try food. Over a two day period I forced you to try oatmeal that your sister was having, rice we were having with dinner one night and avocado. You hated it. Gagged on it. Your tongue thrust reflex was still clearly in place. You weren’t even sitting up yet. I knew you weren’t ready and yet I did not listen to what I knew and went with what everyone else was doing. I felt so dumb afterwards.

I talked to our pediatrician about it at your appointment this week. She said food wasn’t a big deal and that clearly you are thriving on just my milk alone. (Have I mentioned how much I love your pediatrician?)

I’ve also been doing some reading on the subject. It seems grains aren’t that great a first food in some circles. A friend (one of the ones already feeding solids) mentioned this to me a few weeks ago and I was honestly shocked that she gave egg yolks as a first food to her baby.

Then I read Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck (I read her first book a few months ago) and it all made sense. Since their true first food is milk, baby’s digestive systems are designed to mostly break down protein and fat. So meat, eggs, and yogurt are better first foods according to this theory. I think I am understandably still very wary of the eggs and cow milk products though.

Planck also advocates a baby lead transition to eating solid foods where you basically put the food in front of them and let them feed themselves. No mashing. No spoon feeding. I have to say I pretty much was already on board with this idea. After all the eating troubles I’ve had with your sister, I am just so far beyond trying to shove mashed up food into your mouth with one of those teeny baby spoons. Your pediatrician likes this idea too.

Whatever we’re having, you have a little. If you put it in your mouth, no big deal. If you don’t put it in your mouth, no big deal. When you are ready, you will be ready.

This morning I decided to try again. For breakfast I made an open faced egg sandwich and grilled sausages for your papa and I and oatmeal for your sister. I put a spoonful of her oatmeal on your tray and a slice of sausage.

At first you were not too sure about the sausage you managed to stick in your mouth:

But then you warmed up to the idea:

You also threw quite a bit of it on the floor and your sister stole some bites.

So anyway, that about sums this month up. We love you little boy, you are such a joy and make our family so complete. I can’t imagine our lives without you.

Love,
Mama

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Lets compare.

Bean 15-16 weeks:

At this point she started rolling over and could sit up in the Boppy. She was also starting to notice her toys and play with them.

Sprout 15-16 weeks:

So far he doesn’t do any of that stuff, but he did get his first tooth in…

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Random, 12 weeks pregnant, etc.

Today I am 12 weeks pregnant. The end of the first trimester. What has that landmark looked like? Well I’ve pretty much felt awful. Woke up at 5:30am to barf.

Stephen stayed home and worked from home because Bean is teething (AGAIN!) and there was no way I could handle that feeling the way I do.

Around 11 I started to perk up a bit and felt guilty for having Stephen stay home.

Because of the teething Bean has been as usual a terrible napper. She’s napped a total of 2.5 hours today. 1 30 minute nap at 9 after crying for half an hour straight in my arms. Nothing would consol her. Then an hour nap at 1 and another hour nap at 3:30.

About 4:30 I started feeling yucky again and I’ll probably throw up again soon.

I really hope I’ve only got a couple more weeks of this, if that.

I guess I should be thankful that it isn’t as bad as it was with Bean. I haven’t had to get an IV yet. I’m not dehydrated. I can usually still manage to eat enough food.

We also started having problems with our dryer again. It was taking on average about 2-3 cycles to dry a single load of laundry. Last night we had a load that took 4. It’s pretty ridiculous. Today the fix-it guy came and said there was a bunch of lint in the wall. They just cleaned that out when they gave us the new dryer. I have noticed that this dryer does not trap as much lint as our old dryer at the house used to. I just hope I’m not going to have to have them come every few months to clean the lint out of the wall. That’s just silly. Anyway we’re not completely sure that this is the reason, but he said 90% of the time it is. We’ll see.

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Week Thirty Three

Don’t let that smile fool you.

This is what kind of day it has really been:

These shots were taken within a span of five minutes. That’s how it’s been all day. She is volatile!

I even had to call in reinforcements in the form of Papa on speakerphone at one point (the sound of his voice and the phone itself helped to calm her down).

She got plenty of sleep last night and she’s taken three naps today.

I know the real culprit is teething though. Sometimes I wish I could press fast forward on the whole teething thing. So sick of it.

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Week sixteen

Dear Bean,

Today you are sixteen weeks old. You change so much every day.

I think we are getting a bit of a reprieve from the teething business because you definitely have not been as cranky this week. Your teeth still have not broken through, so I know we are in for some more eventually. I’ll take a happy baby for now though.

I think last week was your most photo and video documented week yet. Not necessarily because you did anything spectacular, but because I have found a renewed interest in photography and have been using you to practice with my camera.

This past week I noticed that you were kind of getting bored with the toys we’ve had out for the past month or so and I brought out a couple of new friends for you to play with.

As a knitter, it is pretty dang satisfying that your new favorite is the doll I made.

Today during our photo shoot I probably deserved to get the worst mother of the year award. Or that is how I felt anyway. Ever since your grandpa brought over my rocking horse I’ve been dying to get a picture of you on it. The temptation was far to great today and so I put you on it.


Not too sure about the rocking horse, with good reason.

I probably should have waited a couple more months until you are better at sitting up because you toppled right off of it (even though I was trying to help you balance) onto your bum. Thank God for thick and cushy cloth diapers. You weren’t hurt, just a little scared and that was quickly remedied by a little nursing. Thank God for breastfeeding. Anyway, it probably could have been a lot worse and I felt so dumb afterwards for even attempting it.

Things did not end there though. While we were doing standing practice you wriggled out of my hands and fell head first onto my camera which was sitting on the ground right next to us.

Yep. I’m a superstar mom alright. Even though I think that probably hurt worse you didn’t even cry and were up and giggling in a second. I’m sure you won’t hold a grudge against me for it when you are 16, so I’m not too worried. It was just a good reminder to be more careful with you because you are still little.

This summer your papa’s whole family is going to Mammoth, which they do every three years. I’m still trying to imagine what it will be like this year with a 10 month old. My first Mammoth experience happened when your Papa and I were engaged. I remembered being overwhelmed at meeting the WHOLE family for the first time and also thinking it was so neat that Papa’s family had this tradition. I can’t wait for you to experience it this year, and hopefully for many years to come.

Tomorrow we are going to meet up with some other families that my friend Emily says are “crunchy” just like us. They are part of a homeschooling group and they get together every Thursday for a park day. It will be so nice to meet some other families that don’t think it is weird to use cloth diapers, carry babies in a sling, or have homebirths. I can’t wait!

You are such a sweet and happy girl and I love you so much.

Love,

Mama

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