Something you can’t avoid as a parent with kids. Teething. Teething. And…. More teething!

My little grub didn’t get his first tooth until he was 9 months old, but from about 3 months old he was a dribbly baby. And I’m talking 3-bibs-a-day dribbly. Ugh. Everywhere we went I was told he “must be teething.” From friends, nurses, doctors, strangers, family…. Everyone had an opinion! And for months we waited. Every time he was niggly or cried a lot for no reason, out came the Weleda teething powder (this stuff is great by the way) or bonjela gel. I was always sticking a finger in his mouth to see if I could feel anything. The poor kid. And yet, we continued to wait.

We had a pretty good routine and in fact his sleep was never disrupted when his first tooth finally did cut. Phew! Did you know that teething often gets blamed for disturbing sleep, but in fact it has no reason too? Read all about it here. But, we did notice that for about a week, he went off his food, he got some nappy rash and he was generally a bit of a nuisance when he was awake. Typical male, a week of fussiness, being clingy and off his food for 7 days for one tooth!

It was worrying when he was refusing to eat, and sometimes he refused his bottle too. But we found that greek yoghurt worked well, cucumber sticks, rusks (here’s my recipe) and serving his food cold, helped. We also put rubber teething rings in the freezer and gave him some ice cubes to suck on (I would hold it for him and he would ‘gum’ the ice cube). I made some yoghurt and berry icicles that he liked too (I’ll share the recipe soon). In the middle of the summer we just had, I was also concerned about dehydration. To avoid this, I made him some smoothies for breakfast with water as the base instead of milk (try it, you can’t even tell the difference) as well as putting ice in his sippy cup to cool the water down.

When it came to nappy rash, there were a few days where it was so sore he had to have pamol. I’ve got a great blog coming out soon on some remedies for skin irritations including nappy rash, but in the mean time I thought I’d share with you that both Sudocrem and Calendula cream worked wonders for us. Layer the Sudocrem on thick, about 4 times a day and alternate with the calendula cream and after a few days it should start to heal. Little grub had a few stomach bugs so I couldn’t pin down the diarrhoea directly to teething, but I do know that this is common, so you might notice this as well.

Then there’s the brushing. We started before he even had teeth as I’d asked my doctor about fluoride and he suggested we could start at about 7 months. When I was little in South Africa, we used to get fluoride tablets and I don’t have a filling in my head! I’m convinced it’s down to those little white tablets, but that remains to be proven. Anyway, my doctor and my dentist assured me that being in Auckland on town supply and by brushing his teeth, he’ll be getting enough fluoride. We didn’t use kids toothpaste as both the dentist and my doctor’s nurse said we could just use a little of ours and to avoid the toothpaste that says ‘for milk teeth’ as it hasn’t got enough fluoride in it. Apparently if you can brush for about 20 seconds you’re in the money – I don’t think we’ve made that yet! But we keep trying – it’s really tough to actually brush; all he wants to do is bite it and suck on the toothbrush. My dentist did reassure me though that he hasn’t met anyone yet who can brush their baby’s teeth for 20 seconds, so not to worry.

So, what are my top tips?

  • Grab some Weleda teething powder. It’s all homeopathic ingredients, with a good dose of chamomile in it. You won’t be doing any harm giving your grub this even if they’re not teething! At the very least, it’ll calm them down 🙂
  • Don’t worry if they’re off their food, sometimes we as adults just don’t feel like eating if we are sick. Offer yoghurt and try not heating their food, it might help. Anything that’s cool on their gums. At the end of the day if they’re not hungry, they’re not hungry.
  • Distract them. Play, take them outside, take them anywhere really. Anything to get them focusing on something other than the pain
  • Nurofen for kids. This is much better for relieving teething pain than Pamol.
  • And don’t forget to brush!

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