Mellow Mummy: Toddler Teething : A Whole New World of Pain : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 21 February 2011

Toddler Teething : A Whole New World of Pain

Lara is teething again. Lara got her first 16 teeth between around 5 months and 13 months. Since late summer, the teething pain has gone and Lara has been (generally) a very mellow little girl. A few weeks ago, the signs of teething returned.

Lara suddenly went off her food. This is always something to worry about with Lara who normally has an insatiable appetite. When she is teething, Lara tends to be more fussy at mealtimes. She had lots of very unpleasant nappies and constantly has her fist in her mouth (or anything else within reaching distance).

I blogged before about how teething pain breaks my heart. Lara changes from a smiling, bouncy little girl into a miserable, whiney clingy little lady. Teething during toddler-hood is so much more draining on her, and on me. Where Lara is now able to entertain herself with books and toys on a normal day, she will instead require constant attention on a teething day. Without 24/7 cuddles and play she starts whining and moaning and generally being grumpy. Even when we sit and play with her, the whining simply subsides rather than goes away.

The nights are restless. Teething seems to bring with it a level of night-terror. Lara will regularly stir with whimpers during the night. Sometimes as often as once every half hour. She is never awake, just crying. Occasionally, the pain or fear is so great that Lara screams. Loudly. I rush to her room and try to wake her from whatever it is she is experiencing, but I simply can't wake her, despite all my best efforts. I simply have to hold her and comfort her through the pain until she settles.

As part of my partnership with Boots Parenting Club for Cybermummy, I'm planning a carnival of teething blog posts tomorrow. If you have a post you would like to share, add it to the comments below or email me jumblyMummy AT gmail DOT com

Boots Parenting Club pharmacist, Angela Chalmers (who has very recently become a mum herself) spoke to me earlier this year about the ways you can help your baby or toddler through the pain of teething. Angela recommended a three-step approach:-

  • Firstly, try a teething ring or toy as the gnawing action often gives relief to the gums and can help the teeth to break through. A teething ring that you can put in the fridge offers a cooling relief to tiny teeth.

  • Next, try a teething gel which offers topical relief when applied directly to the gums. Teething gels contain small quantities of local anaesthetic. Teething powders such as Ashtons & Parsons (which contain tincture of chamomile) also offer relief to some children.

  • If your baby is in real distress, you can offer an Ibuprofen suspension but check that it is suitable for the age of your child and always ensure you give the correct dosage. If you are in any doubt about what medication to offer your child, you can always talk to your local pharmacist for advice.

Angela admits that coping with teething is very much trial and error. What works for one child, may not work for others, even within the same family! In my experience, you need to try a wide range of products and brands to find what is right for your child and give them all the support they need to get through the pain. Stay mellow - it will get easier (I'm told)!
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