by Claire Behrmann, founder of Jellystone Designs
If little ones came with a manual, life would be so much easier and the whirling of the mind going ‘What is going on right now?!’ would be quiet. Teething is another special gem of child rearing that will keep you on your toes, mama.
Our two boys, Noah and Benji, sailed through the teething times relatively easily, possibly because there was always one of our silicone teethers close at hand! Due to their straight-forward approach to teething it made me more aware of how varied and challenging many of the other little dudes had it.
Maxie grinned and drooled all the way the his second birthday with two teeth. It involved endless T-shirt changes while his mouth blossomed like a fountain. The only comfort was it reached full-flowing point during the summer months and the dampness was welcomed.
Steph was irritable at all times and all hours. It looked a lot like a bicycle pump had inflated her cheeks and her gums were red and angry. There was so much going on within that tiny space and it correlated directly with how miserable she was.
Archie also comes to mind or shall we call him the praying piranha. He elected to just bite whatever he could whenever he could. Fine for a teething ring – not so fine for the shopper queuing patiently behind the mother trying to manage what largely resembled a scene out of Jaws meets Kindergarten Cop.
There are plenty of weird and wacky remedy ideas out there and like all parenting advice – do what works for you and your baby… yatta yatta… of course. But, when it’s crisis time and you need a go-to fix here are our 10 top tips for wrangling some comfort back into your and your baby’s life.
// TIP 1: Teethers + non-toxic necklace for mum
BEST SUITED FOR: The biter
Of course, we have this filed in first place but something to grab easily and chew on works really well for so many bubs. The extra advantage is having a necklace or pendant to hold while feeding helps your baby to focus on the task at hand – less focus on scratching your neck or wherever else they can get their fingers on!
TIP 2: Wet washer
BEST SUITED FOR: The swollen
A cold, damp face cloth that to put pressure on gums can help to provide relief – particularly for little bubs with little hands, a face cloth can be easier to navigate. Chilled in the fridge can help and as they get older the same idea but with a cold carrot stick or fruit may help.
// TIP 3: Bib up
BEST SUITED FOR: The drooler
Hopefully you have a stockpile of bibs that you never thought could be so handy – particularly ones with a waterproof backing. The carer of the The Drooler often has been experiencing drooling for weeks or months on end hopeful that a tooth is imminent but to no avail – remember this when you comment on her child’s wet t-shirt – they are probably really over it!
// TIP 4: Pain relief
BEST SUITED FOR: The Uncomfortable
Without creating a minefield here about pain relief for babies I’ll just speak from personal experience and that was to give my boys some Panadol in some of their teething patches when they were generally miserable and in pain. It helped to settle them and get some rest and wake up in better spirits.
As someone who takes some pain relief and a glass of chardonnay whenever I get my period this can give you some perspective on my attitudes.
Keep in mind that teething doesn’t cause a fever so see your doctor if your bub is running a high temp.
// TIP 5: Cuddles
BEST SUITED FOR: The sleepless
When it is all too hard, too painful and tough going sometimes just hopping into bed with mum or dad or whoever your bub has a connection with and snuggling is a huge help. The discomfort your bub is experiencing is exhausting (for both of you!) and a cuddle can help to shift that away.
// TIP 6: Numbing gel
BEST SUITED FOR: The Inflamed
Bonjela has for long been a popular remedy however there have been incidents globally in recent years where the ingredient salicylate has posed potentially life-threatening risks. Ah! Pretty scary stuff. The dosage of the product is the biggest concern with teething gels and their absorption into the bloodstream. Teething gels may just have to take a step to the left.
// TIP 7: Lots of fresh nappies
BEST SUITED FOR: The pooer
It might look like all that saliva is pouring out but there is also a whole lot that is being digested too and it has to go somewhere. Fresh nappies at hand at this time are a necessity and some nappy balm too to relieve little bots if they are aggravated too.
Note: separate to many loose stools, real diarrhea is a concern and one you should see your doctor about.
// TIP 8: Your finger
BEST SUITED FOR: The inflamed non-biter
Some pressure added to the inflamed area can often provide soothing relief – of course clean hands are required here. Some bubs might find it uncomfortable at first but you can persevere for a moment longer when they will welcome the rubbing and some light pressure.
Much like this cute puppie!
// TIP 9: Amber beads
BEST SUITED FOR: The hippie
Some mummas swear by their others are indifferent. Promoters of amber beads say that the succinic acid in amber works as an analgesic which is released by the beads when in contact with the warmth of bub’s skin. Those not crazy about amber beads feel they are a choking hazard
// TIP 10 : Coffee
BEST (only!) SUITED FOR: Mamas, papas + carers
It is tough going caring for a little one and teething troubles just add to it. Make sure you take time for you or take any opportunity to rest or clear your head. A coffee, cup of tea or glass of wine bring that perspective back and help you remember this is just a phase.