My teething journey by uki.be Founder Gillian Bennett
10 min read
Hi I’m Gill, Founder of uki.be and mummy to Suki, Rex and Wolfe, who are five, three and one years old. The wonderful Babease who, coincidently, are based down the road from me asked me to do a blog about my teething journey.
So, firstly a little bit about me and how I started my little teething business uki.be. I had an idea after my daughter was born: as soon as Suki showed signs of teething there was one thing I couldn't find, the right teether. I love design and I wanted a teething toy that was simple and effective, while appealing to both Suki and myself. Basically, something nice to look at that you couldn’t necessarily be sure was a baby toy if left around the house. When I couldn't find anything I liked, I designed and made my own.
While researching teething, teethers and what babies and parents should expect, I was experiencing first-hand the somewhat tricky teething periods. Teething is absolutely rubbish for everyone involved: there is lots of crying (from both baby and Mummy) sleepless nights, sore bottoms, red cheeks and so much more. It has been tough every time but one thing I can say is that after three kids, all babies are different and each tooth is a little mine field of it’s own.
As I write this, I’m on holiday, something I have been excited about for nearly a year, but the reality is that I have a baby cutting both an incisor and a molar; he is upset, needy, angry and in a lot of pain; he screams if he’s not in my arms, naps are not happening and he will only sleep stuck on my boob like a limpet.
As you can tell, I’m not a massive fan of teething right now (nobody is) and when I first entered the world of teething I was in shock, no one had ever really talked about teething. Yes, we chat about our pregnancies, our birth stories, good and bad, breastfeeding to an extent but I had no idea about teething.
One thing I will say, if you are in the midst of teething right now, be mindful of the fact it goes in peaks and troughs, they cut teeth for a few days or a week and then it settles. You will soon forget the crappy nights sleep and screaming, until the next tooth starts to cut that is. One thing I have learnt with my babies is to take one day at a time, concentrate on that one day. If it’s good, it’s amazing. If it’s crap, you have tomorrow. And nap, nap as much as possible. As Steph from @stephdontbuyherflowrers says #napssavelives
Teething is a very important period for a baby, it is really hard for them. Some babies are distraught with pain and screaming fits, for others it’s relatively pain-free and gentle. The latter being the exception of course. For most there is a middle ground depending on what tooth, or more commonly which two teeth are coming through, as most come through in pairs.
I thought it might be helpful to put down a few points on how to identify teething and what I did to help my babies.
A few signs that your little one is teething
• Sore tender gums
• Trying to bite and suck on everything
• Drooling (a lot)
• Irritability and restless
• Low appetite
• Nappy rash
• Trouble sleeping
• Ear pulling
• Teething fever
• Rash around the mouth
Things that I found helped with teething
• Sorry, but it has to be my number one!! uki.be teething toys - our teethers are smooth on one side and textured on the other, perfect for gently massaging tender gums. They can also be cooled in the fridge for added relief. The textured side is also perfect for applying teething gels.
• Realistically these medicines are my number one teething aid: Calpol and/or Nurofen, they can be given to babies from 3 months old. Giving both together is baby’s best friend: the medicine eases their pain and stops lots of the tears and upset and more importantly helps with their sleep. It also works wonders on teething temperatures.
• I rubbed my babies gums, obviously only with clean hands (I never allowed anyone other than myself to put their hands in their mouths, but that could be me being overly cautious) *side note watch your fingers, it can be Russian roulette with those razor sharp teeth. On the plus side though, you can figure out what teeth are coming through.
• Breastfeeding, my little ones find relief and comfort from feeding. Wolfe has felt like a new born again this holiday as all he wants is the comfort of suckling. Also, something to be mindful of, with every new tooth coming in, both you, and your baby will have to learn how to breastfeed comfortably with the new teeth in the mix, there is pain and discomfort for everyone but you will get back into your groove again within a few days.
• When my kids were over 6 months, I gave them healthy snacks to chew on such as raw fruit and vegetables; chilled cucumber and watermelon are big winners in our household, another favourite is a cold fruit purée.
• When dealing with the irritability, crying, clingy times I try and give (as hard as it is sometimes) lots of cuddles, playing and distracting helps too. I always feel like I need to get out of the house, take them somewhere they love to go, somewhere I can have a coffee and chat with other mums and dads. It makes everything better, getting a bit of fresh air, having a rant or a giggle with a friend.
• They dribble A LOT. I am not a fan of dribble bibs, mainly because I never remember to pack them. I tie a muslin around Wolfe’s neck and try to dry the dribble as much as possible which helps prevent a rash. I also use reusable baby wipes, I always have a tub of wet ones in my bag and periodically give his chin a wipe throughout the day.
• My babies didn’t really suffer nappy rash often but lots of my friends’ babies had such sore bums. When I saw any kind of red rash I used Sudacrem. Friends swore by so many different creams, I think it’s really a personal choice.
• Suki and Rex were terrible eaters, so teething really threw them off their already precarious feeding routine. I only gave them what they loved. Suki loved cooled fruit and vegetables and Rex loved only one food pouch: Babease. With Wolfe, even when he’s teething he eats EVERYTHING, always has and I really hope that he always will. I deserved an eater this time.
To refresh, teething is totally rubbish, for everyone involved, but thankfully none of you will remember it. Use all the medicine and teethers you can find. Give lots of cuddles, meet up with you mates to laugh, cry, vent.
One last thing, I couldn’t resist sorry, many parents don’t realise but you’ll find it so much easier to look after your children’s teeth if you start looking after them daily as soon as they arrive. Our first stage 2 in 1 spoon and toothbrush is ideal for cleaning new teeth 🦷.
Gillian Bennett, Founder of uki.be