Just when you thought parenting a baby couldn’t get any more “fun”, along comes teething.
There’s a reason why so many jokes and memes are created about babies and sleep in the first year. It’s because if we didn’t laugh we would cry. A lot.
When teething strikes you know about it.
The signs are very clear. There’s the red cheeks. The never ending stream of dribble. The grizzling and crying that can last for weeks and weeks. The frantic animal-like chewing on anything they can get their hands on.
And these things don’t just strike in the daytime. They are 24/7. It sucks. Big time.
If you’re going through this torturous time right now, there are a few things you need to know:
You will buy every teething remedy under the sun – they won’t help
Everyone has a remedy for teething. Your granny will swear on whisky. To be fair to her, alcohol will help your baby sleep. But on the other hand, it’s because they’re drunk. So this is one to avoid.
Mum pals will recommend various goodies. Some will provide temporary relief and some won’t work at all if your baby has a tooth on the cusp of popping through their red gums.
But when you’re desperate you will fork out for all of them. The granules, the gel, the teething rings that go in the fridge and the chamomile (yes, apparently this can help too!).
As you throw everything you can at the problem to see what will stick, it becomes painfully obvious that nothing will.
You will count down the hours to the next dose of Calpol
Administering Calpol is an anxious process. As you drip it into your baby’s mouth, you’re desperate to not lose a single drop – because the situation is so dire that every drop of the good stuff counts.
Once it’s all down, you’re wondering when it’s going to kick in.
Once an hour goes by and you’ve had about 10 minutes of silence before the grizzles start up again, you’re now counting down the hours until you can give the next dose.
You will despair as you look at the clock
It’s 3am and the baby is crying again. Teething pain can be constant and babies are not the type to suffer in silence.
The trouble is while their to-do list for the next day consists of filling a few nappies, blowing a decent raspberry and attempting to steal your phone, yours is a tad busier.
Babies can be grouchy all day and no one judges them. You have to be a functioning adult who conforms to social niceties.
Teething toys need to be attached with an unbreakable chain
Is there a Sophie La Giraffe out there that hasn’t been chucked on the sticky floor of a supermarket/restaurant/soft play a million times?
Babies love chewing on poor Sophie, but they also love to throw her to the ground and watch you pick her up again. This can be repeated on loop dozens and dozens of times. Chew, throw, pick up, repeat.
We need all teething toys to be attachable, like those dribble bibs with rubber chewy bits at the end. Although my baby has even figured out how to yank these ones off.
This is not a fast process
After weeks of agony and crying you breathe a sigh of relief when that little tooth finally appears. However, the following week another red spot has appeared on their gums and once again they’re biting down on everything that comes anywhere near their dribbling mouth.
Sorry to break this to you, but children have 20 baby teeth. Yep, you heard me, 20.
You will need the parental version of Calpol
Your baby needs painkillers to numb their gums. You need something to numb the frustration. Wine, chocolate and a good bubble bath whenever you can are the way forward.