Let's go backwards in time to the four month well baby visit on Nov 16th:
Me: "I think she's teething. She drools, chews on her hands, and is irritable sometimes."
Physician's Assistant: "Nah... She's too young."
Fast forward to the week after Thanksgiving. What's that, there on the bottom gums? A tooth? No.
Two teeth! There on the lower jaw are two of the sharpest things on the planet. What's better is that she's decided that Christmastime seems like the perfect time to start anew with some more teeth.
We all have our methods for dealing. I like the Hyland's route- it's easy and natural and Gianna likes it a lot better than the teething gel, which burns like a mo-fo (I tried it on my own gums- yeeeowch!) When the times get tough, good old Infant Tylenol does the trick, albeit in a less crunchy (but much more direct) way.
Mr. Clarateaches likes the Jim Beam method. He fills up his shot glass, generously douses the sprout (who LOVES whiskey and happily licks it off her gums- good grief, who knew?) and then shoots the rest down and heads happily to sleep, while I spend the night feeding a slightly buzzed baby.
Gianna has decided that she needs to chew fabric, and will also only suck her thumb after carefully maneuvering her sleeve or a blanket over it. It's like a moth attack, but whatever works.
Alas, this also means she can do some serious damage to me now. She bit me in her sleep a few days ago, and I almost passed out trying not to scream (I didn't want to wake her up, and I'm so sleep deprived, a wildebeest could have torn off a limb and I wouldn't have woken her up). Last night though, she was crabby and potentially sprouting a new tooth (or God help me, new teeth) and she bit me HARD. I screamed like I'd been shot, and the look of anguish on her face broke my heart. We both cried, and then when we pulled ourselves together, we went ahead and put an earring into the little hole she made.
She clearly has no idea that Mommy has feelings of her very own, and won't know this for a while, so I feel bad. We're going with the "stop nursing when it happens, and eventually she'll equate biting=stop nursing immediately" and that'll be the end of it. I've heard some random goofballery about poking or thumping or flicking babies when they bite, but it sounds like a quest for more ways to need to comfort a hurting baby. Or ignore a hurting baby, which is more sad.