It's happening again. Or at least, I think it is. It always takes a few days of observation to be sure.
Toddlers chucking a wobbly isn't a rare event. But this time, it was seemingly over not much at all and none of the tried-and-true calming techniques worked. Then I noticed the hands in the mouth.
Every single finger. And they were jammed right back in there, so far in, I thought he'd gag. After that, it dawned on us. He's definitely teething. Two-year-old molars this time. Some children's paracetamol and it was like we had a different child. It really helped.
Teething sends a shiver down most parents' spines and with good reason. For our family, the arrival of those little chompers changed everything. Ezra was a relatively easy newborn. He actually slept pretty well for a newbie right up until about five or so months. Then with the rumblings of those first gnashers (and a number of other things!) – his sleep fell off a cliff. (But that's a topic for another month!!)
Bang on six months, two tiny teeth popped through the bottom gum. In the weeks leading up to it, he'd been unsettled at night and there was drool, SO much drool. But until those teeth appeared, we were really uncertain about what was going on. When they did come through, it suddenly all made sense!
Ezra has always teethed early, and it really affects him, poor poppet. He gets all the symptoms.
Disrupted sleep, irritability, goes off his food, hands in the mouth, drool, slight temperature. He had 16 teeth by the time he was 16-months-old. Almost a full set!
I think the roughest trot was with those first molars at the start of the year. (The canines weren't far behind!) We had many sleepless nights. On one of them, the three of us ended up in our bed reading books as a family at two in morning until Ezra eventually crashed out. On another, Carl took Ezra to the couch to watch middle-of-the-night TV as a distraction. One night, our little man was up every hour he was in that much pain.
It's hard as a parent because it's awful seeing your baby struggling, plus it is so tiring, and it seems to go on forever. But I always try to remember that it would be even harder for him. Imagine having all these sharp, spiky things constantly erupting from your jaw. Ouch!
And to any expert who says that teething shouldn't cause that much discomfort. Well, they are welcome to come and overnight babysit at our house during the process! Also, how many babies have they spoken to lately for research purposes?
We've found with Ezra, the most helpful things are children's paracetamol or ibuprofen along with some teething gel. I'm in no way advocating the use of these medications for your child. That's just what has worked for us. This article is more of a support piece for other mums and dads going through teething right now. I know how it feels and I'm with you!
One more thing, when those little teeth come through, they are razor sharp. And teething can also lead to biting. When they chomp down, it hurts and draws blood. Ouch again!
The other day, when I felt around in Ezra's mouth, dodging potential bites, I noticed one of those second molars had begun to surface! It kind of feels like a grain of rice, right? One down, three more to go!
Now, I just need to figure out how to convince my toddler to brush his teeth properly. It's a nightly battle that we are currently losing!