Inevitable, always at the wrong time and sometimes heartbreakingly, teething will always be a part of growing up. Some babies (so I've heard) don't really suffer too much, but for the majority, teething will be a massively traumatic experience for you both. My two started teething very early (3 months) and both suffered equally. Bright red cheeks, constant dribbling and crying all night long. Yup. Those teeth are evil little things. But now I've been through it twice, I feel like I can give out a little advice, in the hope that it helps at least one new mum through this pretty awful time.
Firstly, how do you know if your baby is teething? You'll find tons of advice on this online, but let me tell you how I know mine are/were.
Red Cheeks, on one or both sides.
Dribbling. Like, everywhere. All the time.
Biting. Nibbling. Putting anything they can find in their mouths.
Runny nappies. Not like... ill with diarrhoea runny... but slightly runny.
A cough and bad chest. Tommy gets a cough every time he teeths. I don't know if they are related.
A raised temperature. Not an actual one, but they feel a little hot.
Crying, whinging, high pitched screaming.
Gone off food.
Waking up at night with a high pitched cry.
These are the things that happen every time my children have gone through teething. Not all at the same time (poor things) but at least 5 of them.
So what can you do?! Here are my top tips for surviving teething:
1. It doesn't last forever. In my rule book, if it lasts more than 3 nights, it's probably something else. The first night is the worst, and it will usually be a surprise. The second, you're prepared. By the third, they are sleeping a little longer (probably because they are so knackered!) and then it's all up hill. Until the next bout of teething hits... or a tummy bug. Don't get me started on them...
2. Don't be afraid to use call/ ibuprofen/ teething gels. I used to be so afraid to give my young baby medication, but honestly. Follow the instructions, give your GP a call if you're worried and let them have it. They are designed to help.
3. Stick to routine. As much as you can. Especially if they were doing well with it before teething happened. Put them down at the same time (if you can) and don't be tempted to put them in bed with you or rock them back to sleep at night if you weren't doing it before. Teething won't last forever, and you don't want a whole heap more trouble when it does end!
4. Ask for help. Screaming babies are HARD. Blooming heck, the amount of times I've wanted to burst into tears myself. Don't go through it alone. Get someone to help, take a bath and de-stress. Eat something substantial and take care of yourself.
5. Keep an eye on their ears. Teething and earache are so similar. If your baby doesn't settle after 2 or 3 nights and is pulling on their ear (which they can do during teething anyway) go and check it's not an ear infection. Remember, 3 night rule!
There you go! Hope this helps someone or other out there who may be struggling. I know, it's hard. It's so hard when your baby is waking in pain, and you stand there holding them for 3 hours, and you feel like it was go on for the rest of your life. Hang in there mum.
You're doing great!
Anyone have any other tips?!