The trouble with teething

Wednesday 06 July 2016

Baby teeth. Milk teeth. It all sounds fairly harmless until you’re responsible for a baby who’s trying to get them out. A baby who decides to let you know that’s what’s causing his anguish by biting down on your nipple mid-feed so you can feel the sharp slither of tooth that’s cut through his gum. Milk daggers would be a more accurate description. Why the hell does a baby need such sharp teeth?

Ethan has been dribbling like a new foundland, throwing up on anything he can reach (including the dog), gnawing on everything (up to and including my face!), bawling his eyes out every time I put him down and fighting, clawing and punching us both into submission at bedtime for a week or two now.  

We have tried just about everything. Teething powders, teething gel, calpol, Amber jewellery (didn’t take long for mark to call that ‘bullshit’ and find an excuse to remove it). Is there actually a remedy out there that works? 

He’s lost the ability to fall asleep without me wrapped around him and is no longer that chilled out child who doesn’t mind if I put him down to get a brew. He’s gone from being a fairly solid little sleeper to wanting to wake up every few hours for a mummy cuddle and I am exhausted. 

Don’t get me wrong, he is my little sunshine. The apple of my eye. My world revolves around him. I can’t think of any more cliches to illustrate how much I love that little guy but you get the picture. That insane amount of love aside, being a parent to a teething baby is hard, painful (my poor nipples) work. Some days I dream of going back to work for a rest. And then the obligatory mum guilt kicks in for thinking like that…

Last week at a baby group our teacher (?) set us a challenge. Pick a day, any day, and keep a log of what you do. How many times you wake up in the night, how many hours sleep you get, what you manage to eat, what you do with your day etc. 

The results wouldn’t normally have surprised me. I know we’ve been lucky with Ethan’s chilled out attitude. But taking the challenge mid-teething I was quite shocked. If I get two hours of sleep in a row it’s an achievement. I learned that the closest thing I get to ‘me time’  (apart from scribbling hurried blogs while he naps on me) is cooking tea on my own while Mark plays with Ethan. When Mark is at work during this horrid phase I don’t even have the luxury of peeing alone (who am I kidding with a dog as well I never have that luxury!) All housework has been abandoned in favour of cuddles (woe is me!) I now eat breakfast one handed and lunch is at tea time. Tea time is at bedtime. God knows when bedtime is but it certainly doesn’t mean sleep time anymore. But even at 3am all is forgiven when I get up to a flash of that cheeky little smile! Manipulative little so and so…

One tooth down. How many do we have left to go?