I am pleased to report that at 23 months James has now got all 20 milk teeth and it has been quite a journey.
From about 3 months old James started showing teething symptoms. Chewing on things, red cheeks and just being miserable and unhappy. However, his first tooth didn’t appear until he was 6 months. One day I just put my finger in his mouth and felt something sharp and there it was his first tooth breaking through the gum. I was so pleased that after months of teething misery his first tooth had finally appeared. It wasn’t long before his second one also made an appearance, then the top two also came along.
This teething was tough going, not just for James but for me too. His cheeks would go bright red and he would put his fingers in his mouth directly by where the tooth was coming. I hated seeing James so miserable. At toddler groups he would often just cry or scream so I would leave early. Calpol became our best friend and we probably over used it massively. In the early teething days there were weeks and weeks where he was having Calpol every night. Some days I would even give it to him before a toddler group, in the hope it would make him a bit happier.
Calpol was the best thing we found for James’ teething. It often worked miracles and would ensure our baby was far less miserable for a few hours. Bonjela was also a favourite as it would work quickly until the Calpol kicked in. I know a lot of people love the teething granules, but I didn’t have much success. Getting my child to open his mouth to put food in was hard enough, so he really wasn’t going to open it for long enough for me to pour teething granules in there. In fact, in the early days giving him Calpol was also a battle. We had to hold him down, I would prize his mouth open with my finger and then put the Calpol syringe in, whilst my husband would blow on his face to make him swallow. It was traumatic for us all, but we knew it would help him. Then one day James just decided he liked Calpol and was always happy to have it.
I know a lot of people swear by amber teething bracelets, however I have never been tempted to try these. Amber is produced in Lithuania and there are an abundance of amber shops. I once asked a Lithuanian friend about using amber for teething and she had never heard of it. I thought in a country where amber is very popular that surely they would use amber teething jewellery, but I didn’t hear anything about it whilst we were living there.
Once James’ teeth started appearing, they didn’t seem to stop and he didn’t really get a break from teething. It was horrible seeing him in so much discomfort. I just wanted him to get a break and be happy for a while. The worst teeth for James were probably the canines. He had a temperature the day before the first one came through, and I won’t even go into the details of his nappies.
As James has got older he has started to cope better with teething. One reason for this we think, may be because he chews the ears of his soft toy bunny that he takes to bed with him. I think it definitely helps him with the back molars, as the ears are pretty long and he can chew where traditional teething toys can’t always get to. We were expecting the last back four molars to be the worst, but we were pleasantly surprised, and there wasn’t even any need for Calpol. I only noticed that they were coming through when I saw the back of his mouth during a screaming tantrum. He seemed to get a sort of blood blister over the gums before the teeth started to poke through.
James has never been one of the first to do anything, he didn’t crawl, walk or even begin to talk early, but getting all of his teeth before the age of 2 seems to be pretty early, and I am definitely pleased that the teething stage is over. I will have to think of something else to blame his grouchiness on now…