Of all the difficult stages of childrearing, teething can be one of the more painful for both mom and baby. Proving that no one is safe from this stage, a desperate Serena Williams asked Twitter for teething advice and moms were quick to jump to her aid. Offering moral support and helpful hacks, this army of maternal commentators brought a wealth of wisdom for the famous first-time mom.
Williams' daughter with husband Alexis Ohanian, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., was born on Friday, Sept. 1 and Williams has been keeping fans apprised of each of baby Alexis Olympia's adorable milestones ever since. In her few months of motherhood, Williams has shown herself to be an honest and straightforward voice of the struggles of parenthood. She has expressed her concern about her emotional response to breastfeeding, asked about "push presents," and looked for advice on packing a hospital bag, and more.
Most recently, she tweeted about her experience with teething, including a list of remedies that she has tried so far. Amber beads, cold towels, mommy's fingers, all to no avail. "Teething- aka the devil - is so hard. Poor Alexis Olympia has been so uncomfortable. She cried so much (she never cries) I had to hold her until she fell asleep. I've tried amber beads... cold towels.... chew on mommies fingers.... homeopathic water (lol on that one) but......" she tweeted on Sunday, adding:
Nothing is working. It's breaking my heart. I almost need my mom to come and hold me to sleep cause I'm so stressed. Help? Anyone??
She was understandably concerned about her baby's suffering and asked the moms of Twitter for their recommendations. Suffice it to say, she is in good company. Moms flooded her tweet with advice and empathetic responses.
Moms Shared Their Own Experiences
Many moms offered up their words of encouragement to Williams, explaining that her experience wasn't out of the ordinary. One mom told her that it was OK to have a hard time during teething. Another offered the important encouragement of "You can do it."
Williams looked to an online village of mothers for help, and one responded by telling her that it was only natural to need help.
Along with encouraging words, the moms also provided her with a number of tips and remedies of their own to hopefully soothe her babies aching gums. While what works for one baby doesn't necessarily work for another, I'm sure that Williams appreciated the help. And besides, anything is worth a try, right?
A common theme within the recommendations was giving baby Alexis something cold to chew on. Sticking chew toys and other items in the freezer before passing them on to baby seems to be a little more effective.
As it turns out, all of this advice about using something from the freezer has merit. Baby Center explains that, "In the same way ice works on a sprained ankle to numb pain and reduce swelling, cold compresses and other items soothe sore gums." Putting that teething ring in the freezer might make it a lot more effective after all.
Along with frozen household items, a few moms recommend that Williams freeze her breast milk into popsicles to ensure that little Alexis isn't going hungry on top of being in pain. Hunger and dehydration are common symptoms of teething, according to Livestrong, so there's no harm in covering your bases.
One person recommended teething cookies as a means of pain relief, but this requires a bit of a warning. If babies are teething before they are old enough to eat solid foods, they shouldn't be given teething biscuits either, according to Colgate's life stages webpage.
Gum Massages & Orajel
Another popular suggestion was rubbing Alexis' gums and/or using Orajel or a similar oral pain relief medication. Many of the moms who responded to Williams' tweet swore by massaging the pain away.
For those who are looking for something more natural than Orajel, one user recommended massaging with honey every day to provide relief.
Regardless of which pain relief method works, if any, new parents like Williams can find comfort in the fact that teething doesn't last forever. Between ages 1 and 3, most children have a full set of teeth, according to Parents. Until then, Williams can rest assured that she has an entire legion of followers behind her.
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