February 23, 2009,
B.J. asks from Spanish Fork, UT on February 22, 2009
Baby with Hoarse Cry
My baby is almost 8 months and has been teething since he was 4 months old. The first two (bottom) teeth didn't seem to bother him much at all, but he just got his 4th tooth on the top, and the last few weeks have been terrible. He is fine during the day, but up several times during the night, and sometimes for an hour or two at a time. I have given him Tylenol and Oragel, but he has cried so hard that his voice is hoarse, and now that this 4th top tooth has come through (I thought we would be done for a while!), he still isn't sleeping well. Last night he was up every 3 hours, and his little cry just kept getting hoarser and hoarser. Has he just gotten in the habit of getting up often in the night? (If so, how do I help him get out of the habit--I can't let him cry for long, because his voice is wearing out!) Or are there still more teeth coming (I mean, I know there are, but do we ever get a break)? Is it possible he is sick? He doesn't have a fever and isn't coughing, but I think his throat is probably sore, and I don't know if it's just from a lot of crying over the past few days, or if it is something else. He is usually a really happy baby and doesn't cry much at all. He is still that way during the day, although his naps haven't been quite as long as usual. Does anyone have any ideas for me? I feel terrible about his hoarse cry, and I am getting exhausted from being up with him so much in the night.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all of your advice about my 8-month old baby who was crying so much his voice went hoarse. I took him to the doctor and they said he looked perfectly healthy; no ear infection, no sore throat, and no teeth about to come through. His voice has mostly returned to normal, but he is still crying a lot at night and not sleeping well. Last night when I tried to feed him, he pulled away and cried until I gave him some Motrin, after which he nursed for 25 minutes (he usually only nurses for 10). I hate to overmedicate my baby, but I have no idea what else to do! This morning when I got him out of bed at 8, he cried for about 10 minutes while I just held him, and then he was back to his cheerful self. Do you think the problem is emotional rather than physical? Is it separation anxiety? How do I reassure him that I love him and will always come back to him, without having to get up with him every 2 hours in the night? I know this is supposed to be about what happened, and instead I am posing new questions, but I still haven't figured out what is going on with my little guy...
C.C. answers from Denver on February 23, 2009
Hang in there B. - it is really tough when they are inconsolable like that. I remember some rough sleepless nights with my first. The hoarse voice is probably just because he's been screaming and he has a little irritation.
Switch from baby tylenol to baby Motrin. It's better for the inflammation and lasts 6 hours instead of 4. It will help both the inflammation from the teething as well as his irritated voice. Some warm diluted apple juice in a sippy cup would help that as well. No honey at this age.
Also, dont overuse the Orajel. I've read that it toughens the gums and can actually prolong teething. Often the hidden pain with teething is ear pain. The Hylands teething tabs and Hylands earache tabs both work well. I would often use them in combination. If the teething tabs didnt seem to be working, I would switch to the earache tabs. One of them always worked. You cant really overuse the teething or earache tabs. My chiropracter directed me to dose initially every 15-20 minutes until the pain subsided and then dose as directed on the package and then repeat if the teething pain came on again.
They really do work. I used some when I had an irritated spot at the gumline. I tucked a couple of the teething tabs in my cheek at that spot and the irritation was gone within minutes.
Good luck and take heart.
L.M. answers from Denver on February 23, 2009
My daughter is almost 9 months old and just got in her two bottom teeth. The oragel and Tylenol didn't do much for her either but I tried both teething tablets and teething drops (I alternated them) and they worked wonders! I picked them up at Walgreen's. My daughter was so exhausted from crying that about an hour after giving her the drops she fell asleep for 4 hours and still slept 12 hours that night. Good Luck!
D.H. answers from Missoula on February 23, 2009
I would suggest possible teething, but your little one may be experiencing some gas pains as well. I would see if a warm bath before bed helps, I would recommend not using J&J bath products for they do contain Q10-Q15 which is formaldahyde and is toxic to our children. I would also suggest making sure he is not directly exposed to cleaners like 409, windex, pinesol, bleach, pledge, bounce dryer sheets, lysol. These products also contain toxins from pesticides to extremely toxic vapors. Also Huggie brand diapers contain formaldahyed. Manufactures put more and more toxic preservatives in these products to mass sell. It is scary if you start reading some of the ingredients or look up the MSDS sheets on what you use, from soaps to cleaners.
M.M. answers from Denver on February 23, 2009
Try Hylands Teething Tablets. I think they have them at Walmart and Target. they are homeopathic and really do the trick!
D.K. answers from Denver on February 23, 2009
Make sure it isn't anything else, like an ear infection or something. They don't have to have a fever for those.
Drainage constantly from slobber can cause irratation of his throat but shouldn't cause it to be hoarse.
I suggest you try motrin not tylenol. Tylenol has only helped my kids with fevers never with pain.
Also go get natural teething tablets, they relax them and calm them down and help relieve pain very quickly. They don't last but a few hours but may help him settle in.
I would take him in to the Peditrician as a precaution it is not anything else!
K.P. answers from Denver on February 23, 2009
Hi- have you tried Hyland's homeopathic teething tablets? We used those with our daughter and had great success. They help them sleep, and she seemed to like taking them. They are little white tablets that melt on the tongue.
S.B. answers from Billings on February 23, 2009
When we were teething we used some of those fizzy tablets. They are in the teething section of your local store. I can't remember what they are called but they worked marvelouslly.
K.K. answers from Denver on February 23, 2009
I would make sure he doesn't have croup. This happened to my son at about this age and I thought it was from a lot of crying, but turned out to be croup. Good luck!
S.S. answers from Provo on February 23, 2009
Have you had him checked for an ear infection? My kids would do that, and never had a fever or pulled at their ears.
Worth a look, anyway!
J.H. answers from Billings on February 22, 2009
I don't have much in the way of advice, except to just tell you to hang in there. My son had a hard time teething too, and was up a lot. It seemed to go on forever! As far as the hoarseness, I bet that he just wore his voice out crying. I don't think there is anything you can do for that, but it doesn't sound worrysome. If you haven't already, try the homeopathic teething tablets. Some people swear by them.
K.S. answers from Denver on February 23, 2009
I would try the Homeopathic remedy Chamomile. You can get min this at Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods or Pharmaca. You can give the baby a 30C potency before bedtime/ This should calm and soothe the teething issues.
I know how frustrating this can be. It is hard to hear your baby so unhappy and it is equally difficult for you not to be getting sleep.
D.W. answers from Boise on February 23, 2009
I've heard that Orajel actually makes their gums harder. Tylenol doesn't do anything on my kids for anything. I just have it on hand to alternate when needed, but I always use Ibuprofen (Motrin is name brand but any brand is same). I love the teething tablets. I've never tried the chamomile. Another thing that works is rubbing Benadryl on their gums with your finger (it's like magic). Best wishes!