Is your happy go lucky toddler all of a sudden acting cranky and irritable? Is he whining and fussing, refusing to eat or sleep and drooling more than usual? He just might be going through the rite of passage of toddler teething.
Your little one’s first year molars will usually start to make their appearance somewhere between the ages of 13 and 19 months. These teeth will help your toddler to eat a whole new range of chewy foods. However, as these teeth push their way through the tender gums it can be uncomfortable and can lead to swelling, sensitivity, drooling, disrupted sleep and more. This will leave you with a very tired, sore and unhappy toddler on your hands.
Teething in toddlers can mimic an ear infection, so to tell the difference you should determine whether the pain seems to come and go or continues to get worse. If it gets worse then you should get your child checked out by your doctor as it might be an ear infection. Another indicator is a fever, if it is constant and climbing rather than low-grade then suspect an ear infection and call the doctor.
Once you have determined that teething is the problem that you have on your hands, what can you do for your little one to help them during this period? Here are some ways that you can soothe their pain:
Cool It Down
Cold foods and drinks will soothe the pain of tooth discomfort and will offer your toddler a feeling of relief. Offer them chilled yogurt or applesauce or ice water to drink in a Sippy cup. You can also place a plastic teething ring in the freezer or the fridge so that your child can chew on it.
A clean washcloth soaked in water and then placed in the fridge or freezer is also a comforting thing for a teething toddler to suck on. Avoid giving your toddler too many teething biscuits as they have a high carb and sugar content which can cause tooth decay if they suck on it all day long.
Your toddler might not have a big appetite because of the pain, so make sure that they still get their nutrients by offering smoothies and soft fruits like bananas and mashed mangoes.
If your toddler is very uncomfortable and the usual teething aids aren’t helping, you can give them a dose of acetaminophen with a medicine dropper. You could also try a topical teething gel. Before doing so, speak to your doctor from the National Health Service or a private center such as Blossoms Healthcare first to make sure that you are giving the right dosage.
Wipe Up Drool
When your child is teething they will be drooling a lot more than usual and all of this drool can cause an irritated red rash around their lips, chin and cheeks. Keep an eye on their face and wipe up the drool as frequently as possible using a soft cloth.
You can also use a gentle moisturizer to sooth your little one’s chafing skin.Also, make sure that the sheet in the crib is absorbent so that your toddler doesn’t end up sleeping in a puddle of drool. Change the sheet often to keep it clean and sanitary.
Teething at this age is a normal thing that toddlers go through and some suffer more than others. Give them a little bit more TLC, find lots of fun things to distract them and have lots of patience. Going through the ordeal of toddler teething can be stressful for both you and your little one, but it won’t last for long and your happy and easy going tot will be back to normal soon.