Kirsty McCabe: "Teething is such fun… said no one, ever."
Our weekly columnist discusses teething and how to make it through (as pain-free as possible) to the tooth fairy stage
Logan's first tooth!
Red cheeks, rashy chin, excess drool, a spotty bum and nappy contents best not discussed. Can you guess what I'm talking about? Yip, this week it's all about teething. Here's what I've learned from my two little people.
1. It hurts
Some parents claim their children weren't bothered by teething. I am not one of those parents; my boys were not happy teethers. In fact my youngest son Logan still isn't, and I am writing this between applications of teething gel and cuddles.
We don't remember teething but I do feel their pain. Usually manifest as lack of sleep for all, sometimes by them chewing on my fingers, but mostly because it really hurt when I broke a tooth falling off a bike so I reckon teeth cutting into gums is not pleasant.
So what can you do to help? First off I do not believe in the magic of those amber necklaces. I fail to see how on earth that helps and I'd be more worried about possible strangling/choking on beads. I'm more of a fan of something medically proven and a wee bit stronger.
2. Try all the teething options available
Obviously not all at once, though you can mix and match certain products. I'd also recommend dabbing things on your own gums to see how they feel/taste. If it makes your mouth numb then hopefully it'll work a treat on your little one. My more elderly neighbours often recommend a dab of whisky on the gums but I stick to more child-appropriate medications.
We go through phases of different teething powders, gels and liquids. To be honest, I think the teething powders work as a distraction rather than actually relieving the pain but both boys enjoy them. Here I must confess I actually gave some to my eldest son Ethan the other night on the pretence it was a special sleeping powder and he had to lie down quickly in his bed before he fell asleep. We went from feral toddler to docile snoozer in one quick sachet.
If you want to apply teething gel without risking your fingers being bitten off then pop some onto a dummy or a teething ring. When it comes to liquids like Anbesol I get Logan to dip his own finger in the solution and put it in his mouth. Much safer for my digits!
3. As grumpy and clingy as they are by day, teething is usually worse at night. That's when I bring out the big guns of ibuprofen or infant paracetamol such as Calpol. You can alternate the two but watch the doses and amounts.
Incidentally, most people don't realise that infant paracetamol and Sudocrem (for that sore bum) are free through the NHS minor ailments scheme. Just ask your local pharmacist if they are part of the scheme and see what you can get. Depending on your council you can even get things like infacol for free.
4. Sometimes only a cuddle with Mummy will do. The excessive clinginess may drive you mad but savour the moment of just how much your little one needs you. Everyone tells you they grow up so fast, but it is very true!
5. Which brings me nicely to my final point, remember it's only a stage and before you know it you'll be researching the going rate for Tooth Fairies.
Are your children teething? Do you have any top tips for parents going through painful stages? Let us know by commenting below...
Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk every Friday. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine and watch out for the hashtag #somethingfortheweekend to join in with the conversation
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