Par­ent­ing col­umn: An­swers for fam­i­lies

Times Standard (Eureka) - - FRONT PAGE - By Krystal Arnot Have a par­ent­ing ques­tion? Send it to let­ters@times­stan­ with “Par­ent­ing” in the sub­ject line.

For the Love of Par­ent­ing: How you and the lit­tle one can sur­vive teething.

Ed­i­tor’s note: For the Love of Par­ent­ing is a lo­cal par­ent­ing ad­vice col­umn co­or­di­nated by Krystal Arnot, di­rec­tor of the Lit­tle Learn­ers Cen­ter in Eu­reka. When par­ents have ques­tions, she’ll share strate­gies here.

QHelp! My child is teething and seems so un­com­fort­able. What can I do to help soothe the gums?

ABaby is fussy? Teeth. Baby didn’t sleep well? Teeth. Baby is drool­ing? Teeth. Baby looked at you funny? Teeth. In the first few years it’s AL­WAYS the teeth. Then they all fall out and you get to do it all over again! Teeth! Teething is such an un­com­fort­able ex­pe­ri­ence and it’s so hard to watch our chil­dren hurt. The good news is that it is all a phase, the teeth WILL pop through and the pain will pass.

In the mean­time, there are a few things you can do to help your child feel a bit bet­ter. You can of­fer teething toys, es­pe­cially the type that you can put in the re­frig­er­a­tor to soothe the gums. A cool damp wash­cloth or a clean fin­ger can work in a pinch! If your child is eat­ing solids, you can of­fer teething bis­cuits or cold foods such as chilled yo­gurt, sticks of fruit, or ap­ple­sauce. I used a sil­i­cone or mesh baby food feeder that con­tained frozen fruit for my child to suck on. If your child is not eat­ing solids yet, try to be avail­able for com­fort nurs­ing as much as pos­si­ble. My son wanted to be held con­stantly while teething so I would put him in a car­rier to be able to get things done. Snug­gles can help so much! Also, Baby Motrin has been a life­saver for us on a few par­tic­u­larly rough nights.

There are vary­ing opin­ions on top­i­cal reme­dies (and the FDA warns against most) so be sure to con­sult your child’s doc­tor be­fore us­ing. Some par­ents have had suc­cess with top­i­cals that in­clude things like clove oil or chamomile. Don’t use numb­ing prod­ucts that con­tain ben­zo­caine as it has re­cently been linked to some pretty se­ri­ous health prob­lems.

Teething is such a hard part of par­ent­ing ba­bies and tod­dlers. Make sure you check in with your­self to be sure that your needs are be­ing met as well. We parent best when we take care of our­selves, too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from part­ners, friends, or fam­ily so you can take a lit­tle break to re­fill your cup. Take a walk around the block, have a cup of tea, take a nap! You can do it! — Tali

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