Whenever a baby/toddler is a bit grizzly or under the weather, you’re likely to hear mums say, “must be their teeth”. I think it must be the most commonly used phrase by us mums – everything seems to come down to teething. It can feel like they’re just constantly teething! I suppose they are though, they have a whole set of teeth to come through and it’s not a painless process (for baby and mum). I guarantee most mums have a cupboard stocked full of products claiming to ease the relentless pain (and whinging) from teething. We buy it all because we hope and pray that we’re going to miraculously discover THE product that actually works. Unfortunately, I’m yet to discover this product.
I think we just have to accept nothing is going to completely eradicate the pain from teething, we just have to find coping strategies! When Molly was younger, she’d quite happily just suck a dummy with some calpol gel or baby bonjela on it. That definitely helped for about an hour or two. She would also feed a lot more which seemed to soothe the pain. However, now it’s pretty tricky because she will quite literally throw the dummy at me or the floor. The only things that seem to work are chewy teething toys and a frozen wash cloth. I will sometimes rub the gel on her gums, but it feels like i’m dicing with the fate of my finger – those gnashers are bloody sharp!
I feel like everything is amplified when you go from the baby stage to the toddler stage. Things such as, the fear of your baby suffocating themselves with the covers turns into a fear of them catapulting themselves off the bed head first (if you’re co-sleeping). Or, the stress of them crying when they’re a baby whilst you try to make your lunch turns into a game of ‘catch me if you can’ and ‘watch me pull everything off the clothes horse and throw it across the room’. Everything feels like a game! I suppose you can’t blame them though, they’re learning new things and everything is really exciting and fascinating for them. It doesn’t make it any less annoying at the time though!
The same goes for teething – a toddler can really tell you about it when they’re in pain. Molly does this new thing where she will spread out like a starfish and cry when something annoys her. I have to try not to laugh as it does look funny, but I mustn’t encourage it, oops! Molly often refuses food when she’s teething, so I stick to things I know she likes. Don’t try to be too adventurous. I’ve made this mistake and you just end up sitting there feeling frustrated and disheartened that your lovingly made meal looks like road kill on the floor. Molly loves courgette fritters and pasta so that’s what I stick to giving her when she’s teething. Sometimes I even give her the Ella’s kitchen pouches if she’s in a lot of pain as she really loves them and I know they’re well balanced meals. Just don’t worry too much about what they eat or how much they eat when teething – give them more milk and yogurt if need be!
With regards to teething toys, the most effective ones for Molly seem to be the ones that have different textures. I always go for silicone as it’s much softer on the gums. I was sent a lovely teething toy by Matchstick Monkey. It’s the perfect shape – Molly loves chewing on the monkeys head). The back of the head has little bumps on it which is designed to hold in place whatever pain relief gel you choose. This is such a life-saver as I previously mentioned it’s tricky to put my finger in her mouth! The bumps are also great for encouraging early oral hygiene skills. The great thing about this teether is that it’s dishwasher safe and freezer-friendly. A lot of toys she’s had before are not safe for the freezer, but the cold definitely helps her gums so it’s ideal. I try not to use medication for teething, unless they’re in a lot of pain. Mainly because it’s actually help that much and i’d rather use medication when she really needs it.
I’m intrigued to know what tips you have for a teething toddler, let me know in the comments below or over on my Instagram!
Big love x