When Abby got to 6 months, I knew something had shifted. Our relatively quiet girl was starting to change. She began to get irritable and too fussy, which for a parent to twins, was becoming too much to handle. This new experience was also characterized by a slobbering that needed a change of towels every few hours.
I would be lying if I said that I was prepared for this phase. Out of reading online, I had an idea of what was coming but I dreaded it. (Too much research on baby development can do this to you.)
The dreaded teething period for Abby had arrived. While it would be a great developmental milestone, I knew it would be hard for both of us.
Four months after Abby’s not so subtle changes, Matt started his own set of signs- increased levels of fussiness, and all the nerve-wracking problems that came with teething.
Teething is one of the most difficult parts of parenting your twins as compared to the other phases, as there are existing tried and tested techniques, to reduce the discomfort in these other phases. Eg. when they are in the hungry phase – pureed food or breastfeeding would do the trick. If they were in the weary phase then, you could give them a bath and massage etc.
For teething, parents stand a small fighting chance against the sharp little painful monsters cutting through your babies’ gums.
You need to know the Teething Signs in Twins
Most parents don’t realize that their babies are teething until they see bleeding and sore gums. Knowing the signs will help you comfort your baby through the teething period.
The drools and dribbles become a new norm
When teething, an extra dose of saliva from your baby is inevitable. Their shirts will be wet and their cheeks will turn rosy. A rash around the mouth, cheeks, and chin may arise because of excess moisture.
Everything in sight goes into their mouth
Your baby wants relief and chewing their way into everything will provide some relief from the ache and soreness. Babies might chew on toys, clothes, their fingers, or even their cribs. Sometimes, even the other twin is not an exception!
No more following the routine
Discomfort is at its highest during the teething process. There’s sore gums, rashes around the mouth, and sometimes a low-grade temperature. Which aching baby wants to take a nap?
Routine disruption is not intentional. It’s your babies’ way of trying to adjust to the discomfort.
Nappy rash and stool
Medical practitioners argue that the above symptoms are not related to teething. For most twins, including Matt and Abby, nappy rash and the loose stool was part of the teething process. You can take a rectal temperature if you feel like your baby has diarrhea that’s not related to teething.
A low-grade fever of 99 F is normal. If it’s higher than that, consult your pediatric doctor.
How do you soothe a teething baby?
You can’t stop the tooth from cutting through, but you can help comfort your babies using several remedies. First, you want to consult your doctor and get their go-ahead. These are the couple of things that helped Matt and Abbey when they were teething.
Keep them safe from the rash
Remember the drooling? Well, your baby is too young to wipe after drooling. Saliva strips down natural oils from the skin resulting in a rash that may be painful for your baby. To seal these oils, rub jelly around the chin, mouth, and cheeks.
Vaseline pure jelly worked for our twins.
Give your baby chilled foods or washcloths to chew on
Your baby needs to chew on something when teething. It’s an instinct. They want to rub their sore gums and relieve the ache. If you don’t provide something safe, they’ll turn to items that might cause choking.
Experiment with different chilled foods and use the ones they like best
Frozen crackers and biscuits are a safe option. The two will melt softly as long as you cut them into small pieces that are easy to chew and swallow. Frozen washcloths and rubber teething rings are also a good option.
Offer more cuddles and hugs
When in pain, your baby will appreciate the closeness and comfort that cuddling and hugging provides. Cuddles will keep them calm and act as a distraction from the discomfort. It’ll also assure your baby that you love them and that you’ll be with them through the teething period.
At other times, one baby may need the cuddles while the other wants some other form of distraction. I know it’s hard but try enlisting the help of others to help you with the other twin.
More sleep, less fussiness
When your twins are teething, taking a nap is something they’d rather not do. Yet, a nap will help you and them by reducing the chances of fussiness. You’ll need to enforce a specific nap time for your twins, even on days they don’t want to nap.
Use a pain reliever
Pain relievers like baby Ibuprofen and Tylenol will come in handy when trying to relieve sore gums. Ensure to use the prescribed dosage.
Disclaimer: Oral Gels have become a go-to for parents when dealing with teething in twins. However, medical research has shown that they contain substances that may harm your baby. If home remedies work for your babies, steer clear from OTC self-medication.
Rub a wet cloth over their gums after morning feeds and before bed to keep the mouth clean.
Even though teething in twins is a difficult period, don’t forget the rainbow moments in the gloom. Snap pictures of their first toothy smiles and celebrate each new tooth. It’s only a matter of time until the period ends, and they start hitting the next developmental milestones.