This is a collaborative post
It’s funny because I don’t really remember much about the teething process with Zach. It felt like he almost breezed through it, with a few moments of red cheeks, a lot of dribble and a lot of gnawing. But I don’t remember him having bad nights and saying ‘oh he’s teething’. I mean, it may be that I have just forgotten, but I feel that if it was bad, I would still have the memories of it.
With Oscar – oh I knew. I wouldn’t say it was horrendous, but boy I knew when that one was teething. And there were moments when those teeth seemed to take forever to come through. I could see them there, the big red swollen gums, the sign of a little white spot. But I would feel and feel and it just took forever to actually cut through. And when it did, I would do a happy dance. A hallelujah – up until I realised the next one was coming!
Both of my boys started teething early – around about five months. But the signs were there even before that, with the drooling and the gnawing on their fists. It’s around about six months that most babies start teething – but it’s completely normal to be earlier or indeed, later than this. My friend’s little girl didn’t get her first tooth until she was one, and I remember another friend of mine constantly wondering where her son’s teeth were when Oscar already had half of his. As with all things that babies do, they develop at completely different rates and how one deals with teething will be completely different to how another does.
The first teeth that tend to appear are the bottom middle ones (also known as the lower central incisors). We all have that first photo of our toothy babies don’t we?
These are usually followed by the upper middle ones (upper central incisors) and then it’s time for the ones right next door to both those top and bottom ones to pop through (these are called the lower and upper lateral incisors). And then, just when you think that’s the worst of it, it’s time for those dreaded first molars – which all tend to come through in one go. I have to say though, the first molars seemed to come through far easier than some of Oscar’s other teeth that he really suffered with.
Of course, just when you think you have come through the whole teething stage, those second molars show up (yep, there are two sets!). Oscar has had all of his other teeth for absolutely ages now, and with most of his teeth, there was two or more coming through at once (at one point he had four coming through together!). It’s easy to think that they are all through and that no more teething happens until their adult teeth come through, but the second molars don’t come until around the 26 month mark. So we should be expecting them in the coming months!
As I mentioned above, all children will teeth at different rates, but as I have also learnt, they all deal with it very differently. Some, like Zach, just go with the flow, whilst others (Oscar I am looking at you), struggle more with the pain. There are several things that you can do to help alleviate the pain if your little one is suffering.
Cold is good
Pop a teething ring in the fridge or freezer. You can get ones that have water inside to make them super squishy and super cold, but even just a normal teether straight from the fridge will really help your little one when they are struggling. Don’t forget to pop it back in the fridge, or when you take it out, immediately replace with another so there is always one ready to go.
Similar to a cold teething ring is a cold spoon or cold (clean) washcloth. Anything that has that ice cold sensation to it will really help them out.
A gentle massage
Ok, so you might get your finger gnawed off, but a gentle massage of the gum can really help to alleviate their pain. Pop your finger in and away you go.
Try some teething granules
If you go down the route of medicinal treatment, teething granules like those from Nelsons Baby Range should do the trick. For babies over 3 months old (so apologies if your little one is teething from birth), it’s a homeopathic product for the symptomatic relief of teething pain and the symptoms associated with it. Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules cost £5.85 and available from Boots, Holland and Barrett, selected grocers, Lloyd’s pharmacies and all good independent health food and pharmacy stores. Do make sure you always read the label and why don’t you head over and join their Facebook community for all the advice and treatments to help you out.
Teething rings, cold spoons and granules are all well and good, but probably one of the best things that you can give to your baby is all the cuddles. You might find that if you are breastfeeding, they need nursing more regularly for comfort. You might find that you have to do a bit more rocking to sleep. You might find that daytime naps happen on you rather than in their cot or pushchair, wherever they normally nap! And whilst you may feel like this teething period is never ending, that the sleepless nights are wearing you down, that the velcro baby is going to end up the clingiest child in the world (FYI, they won’t) – at this time, give them all the cuddles. It will make them feel better knowing that Mummy or Daddy is there to soothe them throughout what really is a painful old time for them.