Teething babies are extensively talked about, and any parent knows what to do with the six-month-old with swollen gums. When your toddler begins to teethe again after a long period without a sore mouth – or, as my toddler calls it, ‘a sore hurt in my mouth’ – it can be disorienting and disconcerting, and many people aren’t sure what to do.
The fact of the matter is that children, at that age, aren’t really familiar with teethers anymore. You can carry on offering them one, but odds are they won’t quite get it. And teething can still cause quite a lot of suffering and hardship, but they no longer have the power to reduce their suffering by chewing on teethers. So consider the following facts!
You can often find that your toddler is quite chipper during the day, but crashes at night. Calpol with paracetamol is helpful, but you really want Ibuprofen for the swelling and inflammation teething can cause. You can give these both at the same time to try a two-pronged approach, but be sure you use the right dosage as Ibuprofen is given in smaller or less frequent doses. If you can’t afford to buy them, remember that your doctor can prescribe them for your child, and you won’t have to pay for them. But be sure to pay close attention to the prescribed dosage! Giving your child these at bedtime allows them to fall deeply asleep and lessens the chance of waking up with another ‘sore hurt’, allowing them – and you! – some undisturbed sleep despite the pain.
Children who are teething frequently chew on their fingers to alleviate the discomfort. It’s easy to become annoyed by this behaviour and many parents find themselves fighting an uphill battle to try to get their children to stop doing this as it can be considered impolite (and as the habit had faded out previously, they think their toddlers are able to quit doing it). Just sit back and relax. This habit is in fact an easy way to see that your child is teething once again, and as the teeth coming in during toddlerhood are molars, they can be extra painful. Just leave your child to relieve his or her pain as well as possible.
Cold foods such as carrot sticks and fruit slices can help alleviate the problem, too. Ice lollies may not be the healthiest food imaginable, but they can help relieve the issue and it may be a good idea to give them to your toddler after their meals. Don’t worry too much about creating bad habits; you’ll go back to healthier foodstuffs after the teething problem has passed and you won’t have to worry about tailoring the food to your toddler’s pain problem.
Keep toddler teething in mind, and alert your child’s nursery when it’s going on as it could be your toddler will feel off and you’ll need to pick him or her up early. Just bear in mind that teething isn’t really over until your child is of school age or thereabouts.