You may have noticed by now that I have a big bugbear… it’s teething! From the moment my first son began until his last molar eventually erupted, I despaired. The pain, the crying, the endless symptoms, the sleepless nights, all for 20 little teeth which will fall out anyway! I’ve enjoyed having the break from it all these last couple of years but now the second one is suffering just as badly and I have found myself immersed back in the world of teething and remembering exactly why I wrote my book in the first place!
So, even I have been referring back to it and reminding myself of all the top tips from the other parents, the information supplied by the largest teething companies and dusting off Sophie la girafe. However, different children do show different symptoms and what worked for Jake isn’t always working for William so it isn’t a case of I know it all, it’s a case of learning it all over again and finding out what will help with this baby’s pain and what will comfort him.
Being a blogger, I am in the position of being lucky enough to try out and review products that I may not have otherwise thought of. The Rooba rabbit, for example, was one of my latest finds and one that has been a great teething toy for all of William’s chewing needs. So, I wanted to share with you what I keep to hand during these teething months/years and why having a kit is essential especially when you are out and about and at night.
Daytime Teething Essentials
During the teething process, I will rarely leave the house without these items because I just can’t stand the idea of being out for the day with a baby in pain, grisly, dribbling, upset and so on. I like to be prepared. Yes, some may think I am over-prepared or even treat teething a little OTT but I learnt what worked and if I could react to how Jake was as quickly as possible it would mean that teething wouldn’t ruin our time.
Nurofen- Personally I have found that with both of my boys, Nurofen has sorted the pain very quickly. It has anti-inflammatory properties and as the gums are usually swollen, this is what is needed. You usually see a difference within 20 minutes. (obviously, please do follow the dosage instructions and don’t go over the allowed amount within 24 hours.)
Teething Granules- There are many different brands on the market so I would just try a few and find out which have a positive effect on your baby. I have found Nelson’s Teething Granules work the best for us for calming William and reducing his pain and dribbling.
Muslins- Never, ever leave the house without them during teething! Oh, the dribble… You will also need them for the extra sickness (note not all babies will have all of these teething symptoms) and I also take a spare which I only use to dry my baby’s bum with after changing his nappy. Nappy rash can be worse during teething due to the urine being more acidic from the extra saliva and disposable wet wipes do not help – if you can make the swap, reusable wipes are far better for their skin. So many of us wipe our baby’s bums and then just pop a new nappy on without drying them. Leaving them constantly wet will just add to your issues so a dry, soft muslin is perfect to dab their delicate skin dry before a new nappy is popped on. I would keep this in a separate bag (freezer bag works well) so not to mix it up with the one for the face/hands etc. If you are after a beautifully soft muslin I can highly recommend ones made from a mix of bamboo and cotton.
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Amber Anklet- I used an amber anklet with Jake and I am using one for William too because I do believe they work. Both of my boys dribbled less when wearing theirs and they are most definitely calmer.
Dummy- Whether you love them or hate them, there is no denying that they are a lifesaver (for your ears!) during teething.
Teething Gel- Again, you may need to take a bit of time to work out what soothes your baby’s pain but once you know you will want to use this in conjunction with your other treatments. The key is to find the right balance between what is available on the market, which of these have a positive result for your baby and giving them at the right time in order to help them as quickly as you can.
Chewable Toys- Choose your baby’s favourite chewing toys that will easily fit into your changing bag or have double ups of them so you have a set for in the home and another for out and about. Personal favourites for us is the Gummee Glove which easily fits onto your baby’s hand which means you aren’t at risk of it being dropped and lost. Boo Bunny from Rooba, Nuby Icy Keys, Sophie la girafe and your bog standard rubber duck! Yep, they are the most amazing teething toy and so small that they easily fit in your handbag. The market is awash with choice these days so it should be easy to find a great teething toy that your baby will love!
Chewing Aids- Another of our favourite chewing aids is the Bickiepeg biscuit. Jake was never too sure of them but William loves them and they really satisfy that chewing need. If you haven’t seen these before, they are a biscuit which is baked so hard it cannot be broken but it makes a very convenient and safe teething aid (you can read more about them in my book). Bickiepegs have also come up with a finger brush which saves your finger from being gnawed on and keeps their teeth and gums clean.
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Plenty of Nappies- Ok, this sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it? But I have been out for the day and seen teething poo after teething poo and have completely run out of nappies. When Jake was still in nappies, I was using disposable ones and poo explosions are the worst! Take what you think you may need and then a couple of extra spare. Even if you leave them in the car, at least you’ll have a back up just in case. If you feel like making the swap to reusable nappies as we have now done you will find very quickly that poonami’s do not happen, that you will save money in the long run and that nappy rash will become a thing of the past.
Change of clothes- Just keep a change of clothes in a bag in the car at all times. That way you will be prepared for sickness, excess dribble, nappy problems and anything else that comes with your teething baby.
Dribble Bib- A dribble bib is a must if your baby is really suffering. It will prevent their clothes from becoming too wet which is a big cause of dribble rash. You can even buy bibs with chewable areas like the fab ones by Cheeky Chompers.
Wetbag- I am using a wetbag all the time now as we have made the change over to reusable nappies but having one for those wet or dirty clothes is a must if you want to protect everything else in your bag.
Teething Necklace- I wish I had known about teething necklaces when Jake was teething. I now own three different styles because they are great for your baby to grab onto whilst you are carrying them and make a good item to fiddle with if you are breastfeeding. They are usually made out of silicone which is really nice to chew on, plus they look really stylish too!
Night Time Teething Essentials
So, my biggest tip I can give you is to make life easy on yourself and by keeping a teething essentials kit next to your bed (or the baby’s) is going to save you a lot of hassle in the middle of the night. You are going to be tired, believe me, and you may be rocking, soothing, feeding, walking across the landing repeatedly and so on most nights when teething hits its bad points. The last thing you want to be doing is hunting around for medicines or granules or gels or dummies and trying to remember where you last saw them. Keep a second batch of everything in a box or basket and never move them from the bedroom. Honestly, you will thank me for this one day!
In my box I have:
- Teething Granules
- Reusable Wipes
- Spare Dummy
- Teething Gel
- Teething Toy
Plus he wears his Amber Anklet at night.
Teething is hard enough as it is so you just need to get through it the best way you can and I honestly believe you can make it an easier process if you are prepared. Sometimes being super organised has its benefits!
And don’t forget the final essential item (yep, shameless plug), my book. There is much more information, tips, advice, oral care, eruption chart, information about the teeth and much more AND it is a handy size to pop into your handbag or changing bag so you can refer to it when you are out and about.
Good luck with this stage
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