People tend to associate teething as something that affects babies, but you are not home and dry once they turn into a toddler. Their molars may not arrive until they are two or even three, keeping you on your toes for a lot longer than you might expect. And, if baby teething was a trial, toddler teething is likely to be tough too.
Of course, you will speak to some parents who smugly report that they didn’t even realise their child was teething until – pop! – they suddenly had a mouthful of perfect gnashers. But for most of us, teething is a sleepless and draining task.
With that in mind, here are some toddler teething tips on how you can help out your child as they go through the mill during what is a completely natural process that evolution should really have made much easier by now.
Toddler Teething Symptoms
First of all, here’s a bit of toddler teething background. There’s not one surefire set of symptoms that tell you your toddler is teething. Each child is different, but you soon get to recognise the familiar traits that go with the emergence of a new incisor, canine or molar.
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Often their temperature will rise, they might have loose bowel movements, drool a bit more or stick their fingers in their mouths more often. The advantage of dealing with a teething toddler over a teething baby is that your toddler might be able to communicate with you verbally. Encourage them to talk and to tell you what the matter is. You might find that they talk about poorly ears because the pain from the back molar spreads to the nearby ear.
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Many toddlers struggle to sleep through the night when they are teething, which could mean a return to those broken nights you hoped were just part of the baby process.
Toddler Teething Tips
Here are some toddler teething tips that might make things run more smoothly for you.
Medicines and Gels
If you found an effective pain relief method for your teething baby, that should also work with your teething toddler. Many parents swear by Anbesol liquid, which numbs the gums and helps the child settle. Others administer Calpol for the fever and pain killing properties. With any medicine or gel such as these, you should make sure you read the instructions and dosage information thoroughly before you give them to your child. It’s probably good to take in the important info when you are awake during the day, rather than bleary eyed in the middle of the third get-up of the night.
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Food and Drink
Another area that is affected when a toddler is teething is mealtimes. They may become upset about having to chew certain foods, making it difficult to ensure they get the nutrition they need. Here are a few tricks to fill them full of good stuff in a way that doesn’t hurt their sore gums:
- Make smoothies featuring hidden spinach, kale and the like.
- Mashed banana is a classic gum-friendly snack.
- Frozen fruit makes soothing finger food for toddlers.
- Whizz everything up into a soup that they can drink, rather than chew.
You will find that teething toddlers can still find the fun in some of their favourite playthings. Make sure everything they love playing with the most in the world is easily at hand. These can act as a great distraction for a period of time, helping them to forget about the pain in their mouths at least temporarily.
Maybe it’s time to break out some toys you’ve been keeping in store for a special event or to invent a new game involving their favourite cuddly toys. Failing that, the old favourite screen time is always an option.
More Toddler Teething Tips?
Do you have any other tips for helping parents through toddler teething? Let us know in the Comments section below.