Some toys that Pauric loves at the moment, which can keep him busy for hours, are: Play-doh, books, Lego, colouring, train tracks, jigsaw puzzles and stickle brick. He also loves figurines that he can hold in his hand, such as Thomas The Tank Engine, Peppa Pig or Spiderman.
Alessia loves books, clothes and playing dress up. She enjoys putting items into bags and taking them out – she got a picnic basket for her 1st birthday and she still loves this. I gave her a Mr Potato head recently, which was a big hit too.
Emilia, like Pauric, loves anything she can hold. I might give her a rattle or teether that feels funny by texture, or a set of plastic keys for example. I also put something at her feet, such as a crinkly book that she can kick and hear. With Emilia, I sometimes put items just out of reach, to encourage her to move and get them herself.
I think that activities where the children can use their imagination make the best toys, for example stickle brick. I had three pieces in the car one day, and Pauric managed to make about ten different items out of it: a plane, a boat, a monster, a bird, etc. This kept him busy for over an hour.
How to Deal With Teething
Believe it or not, some babes are born with teeth! However, for most, the first tooth will start to pop through from about 6-8 months old. And some will not have teeth until well after their first birthday. A few babies, like Alessia, show no discomfort while teething, while for others it can be a nightmare. Pauric was very unsettled when he was teething. He was generally very irritable, for two weeks, he might have a temperature, sore red bum and wake up in the night. Then we would see a tooth and understand why he was acting that way. All unexplained crying is put down to teeth in the first year. It’s a very common topic and if your baby is fretful and showing no signs of sickness, teething is always blamed.
General signs to watch out for are:
• Red flushed cheek or cheeks.
• Dribbling much more than usual, and gnawing at everything.
• Trying to put their fists in their mouth.
• Slight temperature.
• Be more cranky than normal.
The general order that teeth come through is: front bottom teeth pop out first, then the front top two. The top teeth on either side of the front two come next, and are followed by the bottom teeth either side of the bottom front, and so on. It’s not always in this order, so don’t panic if they come through differently.
To help your baby, you can get several different types of teething toys. Teething rings are one of these options and you can put them into the freezer or fridge to help soothe your baby’s gums. I must say, I’ve tried loads and never found any that effective. However, they are great for helping your baby to push their teeth through. ‘Sophie’ the teething giraffe was very popular with some of the babies I knew and seemed to work very well for them, but not for mine.
Homeopathic sachets – I tried Teetha. They are meant to soothe and calm your baby. I only ever found that they calmed your baby for the couple of minutes that you were giving them to my baby, more of a distraction than anything else for me. But again some other mothers swear by them.
Teething necklaces are very popular. I have not tried them myself, as I was always too fearful of having anything around my baby’s neck. However, the amber necklace seemed to be very popular, and I know that some mothers believe they make a real difference.
Teething gels – which you rub onto the gums of your baby. This numbs the gums, as it contains anaesthetic. I tried Bonjela and didn’t notice any difference with Pauric. I think that if your child suffers from teething, there is little you can do to help with the discomfort, but every baby is different.
The only thing that helped Pauric was paracetamol, which I didn’t like giving. However, if at bed time he had a raised temperature, I would give him a little, and twenty minutes later he would be calm and go to sleep. If he was particularly bad, he would wake again four or five hours later when the paracetamol had worn off. I would then check his temperature again before administering anything else. In the day, we would cuddle with his favourite teddy and read books, he just wanted to be held.