John Adams is a married father of two young daughters, Helen aged five and Elizabeth aged 18 months. John’s family is a little unusual in that he is the main carer for his children while his wife works full time and is the breadwinner. He blogs about his experiences about being a school gate dad at

Teething:  what a dad thinks you should know 

As a parent, teething is one of those milestones you will have to deal with at some point. Although you’ll have a rough idea when it’s going to happen, it is still likely to catch you unaware.

I clearly remember my first daughter, Helen, screaming at night when she started teething. No matter what I or my wife did, she was inconsolable. We tried giving her milk, cuddles and winding her but nothing worked. Eventually we tried some teething powder to calm her down.

We had a similar experience with our youngest child, Elizabeth. Of course second time round we were that bit more experienced and so when we heard that distinctive scream that says “something odd is going on in my mouth and it hurts,” we had a better idea what was causing it and took appropriate action.

So what exactly can you do if your child if your child is teething?

Teething powders

Although we have used a few different teething powders, Ashton and Parsons was the first powder we ever tried. It’s been around a very long time and it turns out my mother in law even used it with her children.

As I say, there are others on the market but Ashton & Parsons would be my starting point. It’s been used for generations and does exactly what it says on the box.

Infant paracetamol

Infant paracetamol and ibuprofen are available and can be given if your baby is in pain or has a temperature however you should always check with your GP or pharmacist and never exceed the dose stated on pack.

Teething toothpaste

I’m placing this on the list as an option you may wish to explore. It was a complete failure with our daughters but your offspring might get on very well with teething toothpaste. If all else fails, why not try it?

What else do I need to know?

You might want to prepare for your child to get nappy rash or to get very red and sore between the legs. I’ve heard various theories as to why this happens, one of the most common is that infants produce different hormones while teething and this affects their urine. You can also expect some loose nappies. Again I’ve read various theories as to why this happens, I can only tell you that both my children had this issue.

Make sure that you have a good nappy cream and use it liberally as a barrier. This will help keep any urine or poo away from the skin where it can cause irritation.

A few disrupted nights are inevitable. Looking at it positively, however, you will shortly be able to put the bottles and sterilisers away and cracked nipples will soon be a thing of the past as your child moves on to solids. I wish you the very best of luck.


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AL/1742/06.14/0.001. Date of preparation: June 2014.

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