How do you ladies feel about frequent use of Tylenol or Ibuprophen? I ask because I hate how much Ibuprophen we use.
Zoey is a terrible, terrible teether. She's just awful with it. When she's cutting a tooth she's absolutely unbearable. She can't sleep. She won't eat. And it seems as though the more over tired she gets, the worse her vertigo episodes are.
I rarely give anything during the day. She's often fussy and whiny but I do my best to use distraction to help her cope with it. However, it's become routine to dose her at bedtime when she's cutting a tooth. Otherwise, we get into what's been going on this whole week. She wakes up every 30-60 minutes screaming/crying. Most of the time, she'll fall back to sleep on her own before I can get to her (I jump out of bed, rush to the bathroom to empty my always full 3rd trimester bladder, and usually by the time I get halfway down the hall she's quiet again). Though she's not getting up per say, she's waking up and she's horribly upset. I decided to count these episodes Tuesday night, and she did this 7 times. 2 of those times I had to console her because she was not going to be able to do it herself. Obviously the following morning she was a tired wreck (as was I). You cannot be well rested if you're waking up more than once per hour!
Last night, I knew we both needed sleep so I gave her some medicine at bedtime. It lasts 6 hours. She slept without making a sound for 5 hours and 45 minutes before waking the first time. After that, I ended up getting up with her 4 times because she was so upset.
It's obviously not behavioral. If she sleeps almost 6 hours while medicated but then wakes up frequently after the medicine wears off it would seem likely that the cause of her waking up so much is pain, right?
My concern is that this has been going on since December. I cannot fathom giving this child Ibuprophen every night for 3-4 months at a time. So what do I do? Let her suffer, or medicate her nightly until this passes? When I give her medicine, she sleeps. When I don't, she's up all night, fussy all the next day, and her eyes are rolling around in her head and she's stumbling everywhere. My gut tells me to make sure she sleeps no matter what it takes, but I also don't want her to take so much medicine. I don't know what to do!
I won't do CIO with her. I believe in it 100% but since October, this child has not been having behavioral sleep issues. Between the vertigo and the teething, she's in so much discomfort that there is no way I will ignore her needs in the night and let her cry. I know my child, and I know she needs me.
It's the same way when A is teething - she'll be up every 60-ish minutes if we don't give her medication. If I give her ibuprofin, she'll sleep about 4 hours straight (which is better than she does on nights when she's not teething). In fact, I believe that before 2011, I could count on one hand the number of times she slept longer than 3 hours in a row when she was not on a pain killer.
Here's what I do to try to cut down on the meds we give her. I do a 3-night rotation. Night 1: ibuprofin (which is stronger and lasts longer). Night 2: tylenol, with a second dose in the middle of the night if necessary. Night 3: nothing, or maybe an herbal tea.
The reason I do this is because tylenol and ibuprofin are in different classes of medication, and they wear on different parts of your body. For example, tylenol is rough on your liver, but NSAIDs, like ibuprofin, are harder on your kidneys. By doing a rotation, I'm hoping to avoid any of the side effects associated with chronic use. And, of course, that's why I put the night with no meds into our rotation. Though, I must admit, there have been weeks where she would. not. sleep. without pain killers, and I was dosing her every night.
We've given A chamomile tea, which is safe for children and also has been proven in clinical studies to help post-op patients sleep better. If you haven't tried that yet with Zoey, it's worth a try. If she doesn't like it plain (A and her 29 mo old cousin both do), add some honey to it instead of sugar. Another option is cloves. In high enough doses (maybe a tsp per quart?), it has an analgesic effect. I've used it for sore throats in the winter before - add lots of cloves to my homemade cider, for example. I don't know if you can use it for teething, but, again, it's worth a try. Cloves are safe to ingest, after all. (Wikipedia says that "Western studies have supported the use of cloves and clove oil for dental pain" So there you go. I still don't know if I'd use that on a toddler without doing more research.)
Harmony, JM, A, & M Our preschool-at-home blog
6w5d on 6/19/07 hb of 107 bpm 10/1/07. Lost at 7w6d
I would def talk to your pedi about it. My thinking is this: if it helps my kid, they're more comfortable, & better rested - I'm doing it. I used to have to give DS Benadryl to help him sleep. I refused to do it nightly, but he definitely needed it & it was the only time he ever slept. It wasn't so much an issue of "i'm not getting enough sleep", it was an issue of my son is an absolute wreck because he's only getting 4 hours of sleep a night. Fortunately, he outgrew that phase a long time ago, but to this day, if he really needs it, I will absolutely give him Benadryl.
I really like Harmony's suggestion, actually. I totally understand where you're coming from, because on one hand you both need the sleep but on the other hand, you don't want to medicate her ALL the time. And I don't know if you've noticed it with Zoey, but any time I've taken ibuprofin for extended periods (once for a pulled muscle, and after both deliveries to help with pain from tearing and afterpains) it loses its effectiveness after a while. But maybe if you tried rotating it with tylenol and tea/homeopathic teething tablets/whatever it could help lessen the potential negative effects?
Jessica & Daniel
Harmony that's an excellent suggestion. Thank you, I will def. try that. We gave up long ago on Tylenol at her doctor's suggestion because it is not as strong. But you're right, and I am so concerned about how taxing ibuprophen is on her kidneys and stomach lining.
As for talking to the doctor, she told me this: She would rather see Zoey spend a few months taking ibuprohoen frequently than to see her not sleep and therefore not function, and walk around with her eyes rolling back in her head all the time. She is really, really sensitive to lack of sleep and when I told the ENT that there's a huge correlation between her vertigo episodes and lack of sleep he said that's very common with children. She often gets dizzy and falls, and the other day she fell into the corner of a wooden chair and whacked her head. I feel like with her, I'm constantly trying to choose between the best of two really crappy options. Neither are appealing to me, and both have serious cons, but I have to do something.
To clarify, she doesn't get it every night. And we struggle every night with the decision to give her some. It's not like we pass it out without serious contemplation and discussion about how her day has been, how her mood is at that moment in time, how much she's gnawing on her hands, and so forth.
I have also found 2 things that help her a great deal. And they're bad habits and I'm not thrilled to be using them, but in light of the situation I find them better alternatives. 1. I let her have a pacifier now. Until December, she didn't really rely on one much except for sleeping now and again. But it seems to really help. Whether it's comfort (psychological) or if sucking on something helps her teeth feel better--I don't know. But it helps a lot. And 2. I give her warm milk in the middle of the night and it helps her fall back to sleep and stay asleep longer. Which sucks in some regards because we made enormous progress getting her off the bottles--she fought it so hard--and then what do I do? I start giving her a middle of the night bottle. I can usually do this in the middle of the night instead of giving her a second dose of medicine. And while it doesn't work great, it works well enough that it calms her and lets her sleep for a few more hours.
Thanks for the suggestions and support.
I have to laugh. I never thought I'd have such a high maintenance child. I really thought parenting would be easier than this. What was I thinking!?
I like the sound of Harmony's suggestions too! I hope that she can feel some relief with the Tylenol as well as the Ibuprofen.
Another thing, have you considered getting an Amber necklace? I have one for Maria and it makes such a difference!! She wears it during the day and hardly ever has her fingers in her mouth. If I forget to put it on, she has her hands in her mouth, is more whiney, etc. She obviously doesn't wear it to sleep but the nights she wears it during the day, she even seems better. Just a thought for you!!
Delia - Mama (homebirthing, breastfeeding, cosleeping, baby wearing, cloth diapering type of a Mama!) to
Jeena Kongju (Jan. 20/06) and Maria Konae (June 18/09)