She Says… Pearly Whites

Scratch that. I should say pearly white. Singular.

We’ve got our first little tooth bud coming in over here! You wise, wise, readers were spot on when you mentioned that Owen’s weird poop issues might be related to teething. Not having been through teeth before, I had no idea they affected the whole body, right down to the poop. Babies’ bodies are amazing [and confusing!].

Anyway, after about a week of weird poop and two or three of the fussiest days we’ve seen in a long, long time, I finally felt that little razor tooth bud poking its way up through Owen’s gums. Front left. It’s going to be so darn cute.

Luckily it hasn’t really affected his sleep, but instead caused an inordinate amount of whining over the last few days. Prior to this I had never heard this frustrated/whiny/pathetic/annoying sound. In the last few days I’ve heard it enough that now it sounds like nails across a chalkboard to me. Boy, do I hate whining. I hate it even more than full-on crying. But I gotta say, I’ve heard others say that teething wrecked sleeping and wreaked havoc on their happy baby in lots of different ways, so I am definitely thanking my lucky stars that, once again, Owen was a little trooper. Through this one, at least.

Apparently there are 19 more teeth to come (for baby teeth). Humph. I’m starting a petition to propose that they all come in at once so we can get the whining (and pain) over with in one fell swoop. Who’s with me?

In other news, since I think I’ve identified that Owen has a sensitivity (allergy, intolerance, hypersensitivity… whatever) to wheat, I checked the box of the baby oatmeal I’ve been feeding him since we started solids and although the ingredients just say “oat flour”, it also says “CONTAINS WHEAT”. What in the world?! Why would a manufacturer put wheat (one of the top 8 most allergenic foods) in BABY’S 1ST FOOD?! Back when we started solids I thought I was doing all the right things by starting with rice and oats and homemade fruits and veggies, and here I was feeding my child something contaminated with WHEAT for the last 4 months. It’s my own fault, really. It has the wheat warning right there on the box. But honestly I had no idea I had to even be looking for that, when it also says “Perfect for baby’s 1st food” right there on the front of the box.

Given this new information about a possible allergic reaction, though, I’m beginning to wonder if the wheat in his baby oats are the cause of the eczema we’ve been dealing with since November as well. While I hope and pray every day that this sensitivity doesn’t turn into an allergy that he has for the rest of his life, I would actually feel incredibly relieved and happy to know that his eczema is 100% preventable if we stick to a wheat-free diet.

Still, all of this is based on my own detective work, so it’s not necessarily correct. And, if he’s allergic to wheat, it’s possible that he has other hidden allergies that I haven’t figured out yet, too. This is all new territory for me, since neither Benjamin nor I have any food allergies. I’m half hoping I’m totally wrong, and he doesn’t have any sort of food allergies, and I drew conclusions based on coincidence rather than cause-and-effect; but I’m also half hoping that if food allergies are to blame for his poor eczema face, that we can figure it out, fix it, and move on, with or without certain foods in our diets.

Being a child with extreme food restrictions was always one of my biggest fears for Owen when I was pregnant with him. Maybe because I love food so much and it makes me so sad to think of my child growing up with fear as a big part of their relationship with food. So I’m really, really, really hoping these issues all fall into the bucket of “weird things kids have as babies and grow out of in a year or two”.

In the meantime, I’m thinking of taking Owen to an allergist so that we can get these food issues (and possibly the eczema) figured out sooner rather than later. Before I had a baby I always sort of thought going to an allergist was a recipe for creating problems in your life. Maybe you had no idea you had an allergy to peaches, but an allergist tells you you do, so you avoid them forever, but maybe you never would have had a reaction if you ate one? I hate the idea of using the information from one test, on one day, to diagnose something for a lifetime. On the other hand, if we can find out things that Owen is allergic to now, I don’t have to expose him to them anymore to “test” my theories. And as  mom who fiercely loves my child, I would do anything to keep him from pain and sickness. I don’t know. I’m fairly conflicted about going at this point.

Have you had experience with baby allergies/sensitivities? What are your thoughts on seeing an allergist at this early stage of the game?

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15 responses to “She Says… Pearly Whites

  1. congrats on the tooth! i really fear the teething thing because our sleep still is struggling around here. i dont have any baby allergy tips but i have to disagree with the comment, “I always sort of thought going to an allergist was a recipe for creating problems in your life”. during my 2nd grade year i missed school EVERY SINGLE MONDAY. i always had another ear infection / something totally wrong with me. went to an allergist (who did drops, not shots) and got things under control and i pretty much have been a different person ever since. the drops built up the antibodies they should have and i’m pretty much not allergic to anything anymore. i had perfect attendance in high school and in 6 years of work i only had 1 sick day and it is because i threw up in 1st period (ok TMI).

    bottom line = good allergists are MIRACLE WORKERS!

  2. Way to go Owen on the tooth! Things to keep in mind:

    1. Once the tooth cuts, everything gets better
    2. Teeth come in pairs, so you’re not done yet.

    I agree, the whining is the worst. But Motrin is the best. If you don’t have some for the nighttime, it’s great (plus, the baby loves the sugary taste).

  3. Aww, way to go Owen on the tooth! I hear that each tooth is a trial, and I know that the first ones suck because I’m going through the same thing! Fortunately it doesn’t see to affect my baby’s sleep. He just has about thirty minutes in the evening where he is in bad pain and I feel awful and helpless.

    My son has eczema too but it’s not an allergy for us at all….it’s genetic. Mommy and daddy both have it but daddy has had it BAD his entire life so we were hoping against hope our son wouldn’t have a severe, life altering case. Fortunately I’ve been able to treat it with nightly baths using only coconut oil rather than soap and then rubbing him down with a Eucerine/hydro-cortisone cream. It works perfectly. He has absolutely no symptoms when I follow that regimine so I totally understand you wanting to find out if it’s an allergy so you can follow one too. It’s a relief.

  4. what an eventful few weeks this has been for you!!!

  5. Unfortunately wheat and grains are the worst things to give a baby and for us grown ups too.for some eye opening info, do some research on the Weston A Price foundation website and search for baby’s first foods. Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina planck is another great read.

  6. The first tooth! Yay! It really is crazy how a baby’s whole body is affected by teething. I don’t know much about allergy testing in little ones, but we had a friend whose doctor recommended that they wait until a certain age before testing so that they could correctly identify the allergens. I guess some take awhile to develop and it’s practically useless to do it too early. I don’t remember the particular age that they were given, but you might see what your pediatrician recommends.

  7. @christy, That’s so great to hear about how the allergist helped you! Clearly I don’t have experience with this or I’m sure I wouldn’t have that preconceived notion… not even sure why I feel that way.

    @Kara, I had no idea. Good to know! And you’re right… I thought today would be better, but it’s not. Wah.

    @Diana, I’m sure you are working with your doctor about how to treat your eczema and I certainly don’t want to stick my nose where it shouldn’t be, but my doctor warned me against using hydrocortisone often. Owen’s eczema clears up beautifully in 2 days if I use hydrocortisone, but I’ve been warned that it thins the skin and is a steroid, so should not be used regularly. Perhaps genetic eczema is different, though, and can be treated this way. Just something to think about!

    @Elizabeth, I know, I keep thinking that myself. But I’m beginning to think that this is just how having a baby is — one thing after another 🙂 I’m getting used to it now.

    @alex, Great point. I’m actually very familiar with Weston Price and follow a lot of their guidelines in my own diet and for Owen. The amount of grains that he was given was teeny tiny compared to the other fruits and vegetables, however.

    @Sarah, I’ve definitely heard the same thing about allergy testing in little ones, so I’m going to check with my pedi. Even if she says “go for it”, I still have some reservations, but I’ve heard the same think your friend did as well.

  8. Just wait till the top ones come in! We have been working on them for WEEKS and nothing yet. The bottom ones came in so easy too. I agree, the whining is awful! Even my husband looses patience and that is really unusual!

    I think my 9 mo old has an egg allergy. I gave him some fried rice on Saturday (just a few of the grains) then I realized it had egg cooked with it and he might have eaten some. Cue sneezing, caughing, runny nose and a splotchy red rash-y looking think on his head and face. My FIL is really allergic to eggs, so we are going to be super careful a wait to introduce them again for a long time. It’s really hard on my FIL to not be able to eat eggs and I do NOT want C to have to live with that! Like you and Ben, my hubby and I don’t have food allergies, but it’s such a guessing game with the kiddos. I’m sure Owen will grow out of most things if you are careful and introduce them once he is better able to handle them with a mature digestive system. I would hate to put my little one under the stress of the testing unless it was necessary.

  9. I’m supposedly moderately to severely allergic to just about everything in the world(got a RAST and skin test done)…..but I still eat everything, especially seafood(can’t leave that out!). My face gets a little red and itchy when I eat some of the foods listed(only some, not all), but I really don’t care…..it’s not the end of the world for me. So take these tests with a pinch of salt…they are not always accurate.
    My belief is that unless somebody has a fatal allergic reaction or a severe enough reaction from a food that it hinders their life, then they should stop eating it, otherwise just live you life!
    My friend has a kid who had a mild reaction to milk at the age of two. So my friend took her to a doctor and got her tested….and the test supposedly showed her baby is allergic to a WHOLE host of things. And so my friend stopped feeding her baby anything…..she basically eats from 10-15 different things max!

  10. Trust me you do not want them to all come in at once. My son had four coming in at one time and it was hands down the darkest week and a half of my life! At 10 months he already has 8 teeth (the front four on top and bottom) and is currently working on the top incisors, which seem to be giving him even more trouble than the previous ones. Sigh. Half way there at least?

    I second the Ibuprofen recommendation. That seems to work much better for us with teething pain than the Tylenol (I know it’s working because he wakes up exactly when it should be wearing off!) Best of luck!

  11. My son Noah, who is 7 1/2 months, has not been teething yet. Sometimes, it appears as though something might be bothering him, but his gums never appear swollen and thankfully, (knocking on wood here), he hasn’t been out of sorts. My cousin’s son though, he will be 9 months on the 20th, has 2 little teeth already and I think a 3rd is getting ready. They are the cutest things ever. LOL! I know Johnny has been having a really tough time, but boy are those teeth cute. I wish Owen and Noah and all the babies out there smooth sailing in the teeth department!
    On another topic, I noticed your tweets today. I know you spoke about all the different things Owen has tried and likes a few posts ago, I was wondering if you could maybe post some of his absolute favorites and the recipes for same. Right now I have been purchasing Noah’s food (given I never know if he will actually eat or not), I buy the Organic pouches like Sprout, Ella’s Kitchen and Plum. But I would like to make his food once he starts giving it a chance. I’m afraid though that I won’t be able to think of good combinations and will be limited. I want my son to enjoy foods and flavors that I never have. I want him to try everything.

  12. I suggest Hyland’s teething tablets. I know teething isn’t interrupting his sleep (yet), but these are homeopathic and may help to ease his pain. I believe they were recalled last year (concern because they contain belladonna) but were since deemed safe to use. They also have a teething gel that has not been recalled. The company’s been around 85+ years and I use some of their other products as well.

  13. I never usually comment..but I have been reading your blog ever since I saw your youtube video. 🙂
    I have “almost” commented a few times when I kept noticing little Owen’s cheeks……it was all too familiar to me. My son, now 2, started off w/eczema, then when I tried to ween him and put him on regular milk he totally rejected it, and the small amount that I was able to get in his mouth, he threw up and then broke out into hives…………..needless to say, we went to an allergist. He was allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts.
    It is a hard journey as a mom to have a little one w/food allergies. They always recommend eliminating ALL foods that contain ANY traces of those things for up to 2 years……….that is a LONG time!! And it is hard to find things that TASTE good to picky eaters. But there are a few things out there…it is just hard to go ANYWHERE when you need to eat out……and it is very hard as they get older and see others eating things that they would like to try, but can’t. We have finally started letting our little guy have a few things that “contain” milk or milk products…….and his skin does react, but not too badly….so we are easing him into in, and praying for a miracle. I think the milk allergy is the hardest one of all. It is literally in EVERYTHING…..
    milk has different wording sometimes on the labels so you have to be careful.
    Anyway…didn’t mean to type all of that…but….
    I pray that he will be spared from that dreaded list of foods that he should avoid.

  14. Don’t think of a food allergy as a restriction, so much as an opportunity to try so many new foods! I can absolutely recommend glutenfreegirl.com. You don’t have to worry about eating a bunch of cardboard forever…just whole grain flours, and lots and lots and lots of washing hands and brushing teeth. I’ve been gluten-free since my diagnosis in 2008, and my boyfriend went gluten-free when we moved in together last year (we decided not to do two sets of groceries). Also, Whole Foods makes very good gluten-free baked goods on site. Fresh bread, pie crusts, and some ridiculous chocolate chip cookies (for when he inevitably discovers refined sugar)…all divine. Nobody wants their babies to have allergies, but sometimes they’re a blessing in disguise.

  15. @Liz, Thank you! You are so right. What a great attitude.

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