Toddler Tuesday: Teething

Teething. A word that makes any parent cringe. Any cold or bug your child has in their first few years will always be excused as “teething” but when is it ACTUALLY teething? It’s so hard to tell in the beginning when your child has a new tooth coming in.

In the beginning, you are anxious and excited for the tooth to come in. It is of course a significant milestone. But once you realize the amount of sleepless nights, fussiness, drool, runny nose, screaming that goes along with that tooth . . .  you cannot wait for it to be over with!

As this week kicked off with a new tooth coming in  in our household, I thought it would be helpful to share my experience of teething with all of you. For me, it wasn’t until our little one’s two front teeth came in that I could FINALLY recognize the signs of teething.

The Signs of Teething

  1. Boogers running down the face
  2. Rosy Cheeks
  3. Shirts soaked in drool
  4. Shoving everything into the mouth to chew on including: shoes, books, blocks, kitchen utensils, furniture, etc.
  5. Anger/frustration
  6. Warm to the Touch
  7. Disrupted sleep

If you are lucky, these symptoms will last a few days. But most likely, they will last for a few weeks.

Teething Relief

  1. Something cold to teeth on. We use a solid ice pack that easy for her to hold and won’t leak.
  2. Medications (like Tylenol & Ibuprofen) – Speak with your Doctor before giving your child any medications. We give our daughter benadryl at night to help with her congestion and Tylenol and/or ibuprofen for fever and pain management throughout the day.
  3. Quiet Time. Lay down on the couch with them and watch their favorite show. Read them their favorite book. Your child doesn’t feel well. The peace and relaxation and comfort of being with you will help them feel better.
  4. Nose Frida the “Snotsucker” for sucking out the boogies. It sounds gross, but your little one is not going to be able to blow their nose properly. They’ll most likely cry, but the sooner you get those boogers out, the better their congestion will be. It does work best to do it after a warm bath. You can learn more about the Nose Frida’s here.
  5. Humidifier in their bedroom for bedtime and naps.
  6. Cuddles. Some parents are strongly against co-sleeping. But I strongly feel that if my little one is not feeling well and having a hard time sleeping, I will bring her to my bed so we can both get a good night of sleep. You have to do what you believe is best for your child and you.
  7. Try to get them to bed early. They need their rest.

As a parent, always trust your instinct. If your child doesn’t seem well, call your pediatrician. If your child is constantly crying uncontrollably, especially at diaper changing time and bed/nap time, call your pediatrician. Your child may have an ear infection. Unfortunately in our household, the last two batches of teeth have come with double ear infections. As a new tooth has started to come in this week, I have my fingers, toes, arms, legs crossed HOPING we do not get another ear infection.

Teething can make parents vulnerable, stress, exhausted, and emotional. It takes a lot out of everyone. Remember to find a few minutes for yourself to relax: have a glass of wine, take a warm bath, go to bed early. I shower at night when our little one is teething.  I know sleeping will be questionable and if she wakes up too early or ends up in their bed, shower time is not happening for Mama in the morning. The more pro-active you can be with planning around your child’s teething, the easier it will be on everyone.

It takes a few years for the teething era to pass, but I promise it will get easier as you become familiar with the signs of it and know how to make your child comfortable. Good luck!

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