Teething and the power of oxytocin

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies

truman getting oxytocinHe's drooling... he must be teething!

Fevers? He's probably teething.

Oh, look at your baby chomp on those toys! He's surely teething.

I've been listening to the old, and not-so-old, wives for pretty much the whole eight-some months of Truman's life. To date, though, he resolutely refuses to make good on any of their prognostication. What's more, he's just such a happy little guy, waking up in the wee hours of the morning to smile at me and his daddy as we sleep.

I fear, though, my time has come. Thank heavens for oxytocin.

I've read that oxytocin relieves pain. Oxytocin, if you'll recall, is the "cuddle hormone," the one that babies stimulate in their moms, and vice versa, during skin-to-skin contact, nursing and other lovable behavior. There was a study involving babies who were getting their vaccinations; if they breastfed during the shot, they showed fewer reactions to pain.

I truly believe it. Truman's been terribly fussy these past few evenings, chewing on his finger and anything he could get his hands on. It's chew, cry, chew, cry. Very much not like him, and with the diarrhea (never definitively linked to teething, but the anecdotal evidence in my own experience seems overwhelming). I'm almost certain he's teething - this is exactly when his brother, Everett, started cutting his teeth. But every time I pick him up - or his Daddy holds him - he's fine.

I think it's that vaunted cuddle hormone. It just works really well with Truman. Of course, it makes it hard for me to do anything else... say blogging... but how can any mom resist that sad, hurt cry? Oh, dear, there go the hormones again.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.