Our little guy has been drooling more than usual lately. He’s also been more difficult to soothe and can take an hour to fall asleep and stay asleep. These signs point to one inevitable conclusion: […]
Our little guy has been drooling more than usual lately. He’s also been more difficult to soothe and can take an hour to fall asleep and stay asleep. These signs point to one inevitable conclusion: He’s teething.
Don’t worry, we’re not freaking out. We’ve seen this before. Every developmental milestone is still very exciting and fun to witness, but the experience of such things is different with each kid that comes along. I vividly recall the first evidence of teeth with our first child. That’s when we did freak out. First, we took tons of pictures and video because we were sure it was the cutest and awesomest thing in the whole history of mankind. Then, we realized that the advent of teeth had a big impact on lots of other things (e.g. breastfeeding, sleeping, etc.). That’s when we started panicking, wondering if we would ever get a full night of sleep again. Oh how young, naive and short-sighted we were then.
Now, with more experience under our belts, we can delight in the joys of the milestones while also knowing that this too shall pass. The first time around, it seemed as though the fussing and crying would never end. We were sure that we were doing something wrong. Those were the days of baptism by fire.
I’ve heard people talk about their excitement over their child’s development in terms of the law of diminishing returns. It’s mega-super-duper exciting for the first one, and then less and less so with each kid after that. I beg to differ with that analysis, though.
I think witnessing things like first teeth, first rollover, first step and so forth are equally exciting for all kids—but less unnerving with each successive child. Each milestone means that progress is happening, and that never gets old. But with progress come new hardship and new challenges as well. The degree to which those difficulties affect us is what is subject to the law of diminishing returns.
This is simply a function of acquiring experience as a parent. You were probably freaking out the first time you went skydiving, too. But with each jump after the first, it got easier and easier to throw yourself out the door. The rush never goes away, but the feeling that you’re about to die diminishes. So it is with babies.
This is baby No. 5 for us, so we’re feeling pretty confident that we aren’t going to die while he is teething. Sure, my wife has moments of frustration when he wakes up right after she just nursed him to sleep. The discomfort from the teething makes it harder for him to stay asleep. Bummer. This too shall pass. And yay for teeth!