It’s 3am and the house is quiet. Everyone’s asleep (or trying to sleep) all except for me and Dylan. It’s the 5th time I’ve had to get up with him since I went to bed at 10pm. I’m not sure what’s unsettling him. I don’t know whether he’s teething, he’s feeling unwell or whether he just wants some company.
What I do know is that I’m the only one at this hour that can comfort him.
As he lays there on my chest, his head rested on my shoulder he instantly relaxes. Whatever was bothering him seems to bother him no longer so long as he’s in my arms. When I think he’s drifted off to sleep I try to gently lay him back in his cot only for him to cry again. It really is exhausting. I never had sleeping issues with my daughter. She was always such a good little sleeper and even now she sleeps 7:30pm-7:30am. I wrote in a post a couple of weeks ago (Dylan – You are 17 months old) that, after 17 long months of wakeful nights, you had finally cracked the sleeping through bit. Well that post came back to bite me on the arse because he’s not slept through since!
What is it about little ones needing you? It’s a mothering battle that I will never win. On one hand I’m at the end of my tether, praying that tonight will be the night he sleeps through and on the other hand I feel an overwhelming sense of love and softness when it’s the still of the night and it’s only us two. Nestled in each other, not making a sound and just enjoying the quiet cuddles. It’s like our own special club. I feel like I’m needed and that I serve a purpose. I remind myself that these moments, however exhausting they are, won’t last forever.
The days without sleep are hard. My patience is short, my energy levels are zapped and I have bags under my eyes big enough to carry the weekly shop in.
But you just cope don’t you?
You do whatever you can to survive and get through the day and do it all again the next night. Because that’s what motherhood, or parenthood, is. It’s surviving. It’s about winging it at every opportunity. You pray to the big man upstairs that tonight will be the night that you get more than a 2 hour stretch of sleep before you have to get up again and when you hear those faint little cry’s (that soon turn it to extra loud wails if your not quick enough!) your heart sinks a little bit. But as soon as you realise that those cry’s were for you and your touch, every little irritated and exhausted feeling goes straight out of the window. That’s motherhood. It’s the good, the bad and the eye bags all rolled in to one and do you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way!
D has been teething terribly lately and I had to wrack my brains the other night on what I did with K when she was teething to help soothe her. Each baby is different and responds well to different treatments. Below is a list of what works for us when we have a teething baby on our hands.
The mother of all pain relief for children. We use the sugar free version. Between 5-10ml (dependent on age) every 4hrs usually works like a charm and if it doesn’t help take the pain away it usually helps take the temperature down which goes along side a teething baby. Plus I find it helps my two sleep the pain off.
Now we have both the Anbesol teething gel and the liquid. Personally I prefer the liquid as I think it does more as an anaesthetic (I’ve tried both on a mouth ulcer I once had) I also find the liquid more fast acting than the gel but I have both of them in my bag just in case. If teething is really bad, I usually apply both!! (Not sure if that’s allowed but works well for us!)
These worked really well when K was little but I haven’t used them yet with D as he won’t let me put anything like that in his mouth. Basically they are little white granules that come in individual packets that you just pore in to the childs mouth and it supposedly takes the pain away…it’s a herbal method. I honestly don’t know if they actually worked or whether they were more of a distraction method (they dissolve oddly in your mouth) but either way they used to settle K pretty well.
Both of mine were and are big fans of Sophie La Giraffe. A rather expensive giraffe shaped teething toy which can be purchased at most toy/baby stores. The legs are shaped so that they can reach even the backs of the baby’s mouth in order to relieve pain. Sophie also squeeks so provides as a distraction tool. She looks quite cute too I guess. Not sure why she works, but she does so it’s always a winner. Usually priced around £13 so like I said, not your cheapest option but an option never the less (Note: Purchase a harness for Sophie *Ahem – Ebay – Ahem* if your baby is taking her out and strap her to the pram etc…last thing you want to do is loose her!) Alternately, if Sophie isn’t for you then you can purchase other teething rings/toys to help your baby. Nuby do a great one (£3.99 RRP) which you can place in the fridge so it’s nice and cold on your baby’s gums. D is a fan of this as it’s quite easy to hold.
This worked well with K when she was a bit older but not really suitable for D yet as he can’t really hold it. You can buy normal ice pops or make your own healthier ones using frozen fruit. Totally your choice.
- Lots of love, kisses and cuddles
Most babies when teething just want to be held and cuddled (which is fine by me) so usually if I have a teething baby and they are particularly struggling one day I will make sure I clear my schedule and we will just stay in on the sofa and chill with kisses and cuddles.
That’s about it for my tips, is there anything in particular that has worked well for you? I’d love to hear from you.