Mellow Mummy: Teething Trials – The Results! : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 3 May 2010

Teething Trials – The Results!

A few weeks ago, you may remember that Lara was suffering from teething pain so severe that I was genuinely worried about her. At the time, I received a whole host of tips for how to try and help her through the hard times. The pain and suffering kept going for so long that I had time to try out nearly all of the remedies suggested. So here, for future reference, are the results of our teething trials.

I would like to point out now (in 'Grow your own drugs' stylee) that this was not a scientific experiment and that there are a million and one different variables that can account for the results we've seen and that every child is different, so what works for one, will not work for another. OK, that's the serious bit over.

Teethers & Teething Dummies: Lara doesn't recognise teething toys as things she can put in her mouth. Food goes in the mouth, toys are for playing with. When her teething was at her worst, she didn't want anything in her mouth, not even food, so chilled carrots weren't even an option.

Teething Gel: We have tried Calgel (Lara likes the flavour and sensation but it just doesn't seem to get any relief from it) and we were also given some Boots own brand gel (slightly more effective but she doesn't enjoy the minty flavour).

Teething Powders: We have now tried both Nelson's Teetha powders and Ashton & Parsons powders. They both contain homeopathic remedies which are designed to target many of the symptoms of teething. They always calm Lara down for about 5 minutes (I guess through fascination rather than anything else) but once the novelty wears off, that is the extent of the relief.

Calpol / Calprofen: There is no denying that the paracetemol / ibuprofen medicines we tried on Lara did help to relieve the teething pain. We had been using Calpol to help Lara get just enough relief to fall asleep but the teething was so bad that Calpol wasn't effective enough. Following advice I received in my blog comments, I tried Calprofen instead.

Calprofen certainly had a much more impressive level of pain relief. For a few hours afterwards, Lara was back to her normal, spritely self. However, it had some unexpected, and undesirable side effects. We couldn't use Calprofen to help Lara fall asleep because it made her WIDE awake. She rushed around like a ferret on speed for several hours after taking it. One night, we just had to leave Lara in her cot come midnight because she was still going strong and we were unable to keep our eyes open any longer. A little bit of investigation told me the reason why – Calprofen has a totally different set of E-numbers in it than Calpol. Both contain additives which are banned on the continent and across the world because of the effect they can have on children's health & behaviour.

I like to keep an open mind about these things, but from now on, the Calprofen will be reserved for emergency pain relief.

Amber Necklace: The very last remedy we tried on Lara was an amber necklace that I was sent by the very lovely Little Sunflowers. There is no way I would have bought one myself- it just seemed a bit too quirky. I put it down to co-incidence that the day we first put the necklace on Lara, tooth number 6 popped through and the pain died down; leaving Lara her normal, cheerful self.

Three weeks down the line, Lara started showing the first signs of teething again. She was a little grumbly and I noticed she was dribbling a lot. I started putting the necklace on during the day. Over the past week Lara has been teething a lot; there are buckets of dribble, a sore bottom, the tell-tale scratching behind the ears, she is slightly restless during the night and if anyone puts their hand anywhere near her mouth, they immediately get their fingers gnawed.

The difference this time around is that Lara is still cheerful. We have not had to resort to any of the medical or herbal solutions to teething this time. Lara is definitely a little unsettled but there is no screaming or crying, no misery in the afternoons and no feeling sorry for herself. The difference is remarkable. The one morning when I didn't use the necklace (we were going to swimming and it was one less thing to worry about), Lara was a total nightmare – screaming, miserable and hard, hard work.

Amber necklaces are generally designed to be safe for children to wear. The amber is said to release natural oils onto the skin that have an analgesic effect which soothes and calms them; the longer they wear it, the more effective it is. I am still not certain enough to say that the necklace is solely responsible for Lara's calmer, relaxed nature during teething but I am beginning to be won over (and so are Lara's childminders). I will keep you updated on our progress.

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