Of course, as the co-founder of a company that creates (awesome) teething toys, and being the mother of three kids, this is a subject that’s clearly close to my heart!
Teething was definitely challenging for my kids and me, and I’m still not sure how I managed to summon up the creativity for product design whilst at the end of my tether. How did I type with my toddler bitten fingers and fuzzy, sleep deprived brain? I’m still not really sure…
I’ve put together these 5 handy tips that really helped me when it came to coping with my teething babies!
There’s so much advice out there when it comes to teething babies but the thing is, all kids are different and that really, REALLY, is true. You shouldn’t ever beat yourself up about it if your friends children all seem to take teething in their stride.
It’s natural to compare as a new parent as you don’t have a reference point for what’s normal and what’s not. You haven’t done this before! Other parents and babies might be finding it easier, sure, but you’re also not there to witness the sleepless nights, howls of pain (usually from the parents) and general grouchiness that might be happening behind closed doors! Regardless, the only child that you need to worry about is yours, so I try hard not to compare.
Do what works for you and your kids, you don’t have to justify it
If parents at your nursery don’t believe in using medication for teething, well, fine, maybe they just haven’t been bitten through the finger enough times yet?! Jokes aside, find what works for your baby and don’t feel like you have to make excuses. You don’t need to feed your baby 100% homemade teething rusks to feel like a good parent. Sometimes that’s just not possible. I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat homemade rusks and my teeth are still fine!
Don’t go crazy reading internet diagnoses!
If you’re worried about your child’s health, or teeth, make a doctor's or/and dentist appointment. I am the worst for this! Staying up late into the night reading about symptoms and all the possible illnesses they could relate to can seem like responsible parenting, but it’s probably just making you worry unnecessarily.
Find a way your children can alleviate their own discomfort
Babies and toddlers don’t put things in their mouths all the time for no reason. As well as wondering what everything tastes like, they have an irrepressible need to chew! Chewing things alleviates gum discomfort and also helps teeth to make an appearance by pushing the gums back.
Obviously, not everything makes for a great chew and ideally you want your toddler to enjoy chomping on something safe that won’t do any damage to their teeth, gums, themselves (or your stuff) so, look for something specially made for little mouths.
I couldn’t find anything that fitted the bill perfectly when my little ones were teething, hence the idea and creation of the original Matchstick Monkey teething toy! I needed something that was easy to wash, safe to chew, hard-wearing, attractive for babies, easy for them to hold and (the best bit) allowed me to put medication onto sore gums without getting my hand bitten off.
It won’t last forever
Just as you’re getting to the end of your patience, remember that this won’t last forever. As babies can only express any pain they are going through by crying - it can be frustrating for a parent not to know exactly what they can do to help! Once teeth are through, the pain stops and won’t come back until the “two year molars” come through. By this time your child will be old enough to express what they’re feeling in a much more easily understandable way!