The teething rusk of doom


‘I am lying on a rusk,’ said my husband. They were words uttered in a tone of such disapproval, I couldn't stop myself cracking up.  Of course, this may not have been the most obvious nor appropriate reaction during a passionate moment.

‘It wasn't me, Baby,  promise...!’ I giggled. And there it was, another night of failed romance, brought to you by none other than our favourite little teether.

The truth about rusks (apart from how they find their way into Mom and Dad's bed), is that they seem to have virtually no effect on how well Baby handles the whole teething situation.  Despite their grand reputation, our little dribble factory is still in full production. Sleep patterns are majorly disrupted- and wailing is the order of the day.

Granted, you can't really blame the kid. He sprouted 2 teeth at 5 months. Now he's now popping out 3: all at the 8 month mark (not to mention 2 more lurking just beneath the surface). After the first set, we turned to the doc for some advice, at our wits end when it came to helping him through the pain.

‘Oh please!’ she responded irritably, ‘there's no pain involved. At the most it's a pleasant, tingling sensation.’

Fear of rusks

Well, there's no way I'm an expert on this – but there's something distinctly unpleasant about the effect those little choppers are having on my normally laid back little man. Which is the whole reason I tried those rusks in the first place.

‘Just stick one in his mouth,’ a friend suggested, ‘not only will it help the teeth come through quicker, but it'll keep him busy for hours!’

Of course what I didn't expect were the panic attacks I experience every time he bites a chunk off. The first time, I spent half an hour (with the CPR manual at the ready) watching his every move. Would I be able to scoop it out in time? Would I be able to tell the difference between a normal cough and a serious choking incident? It seems all this rusk-chewing is bringing out my paranoid side.

‘How about a frozen teething ring?’  Advised another friend. While it kicked my fear of him choking, it took just one session to realise a plastic polar bear was not the answer to my problems. My little one was way more interested in fingering the little polar bear's scarf, than sticking the actual teething ring part of it in his mouth. With this being a mere momentary distraction, he was soon back to screaming about his ‘tingling sensation’.

I've tried cold carrots and I've tried teething gel. While the former usually ends up on the floor, the latter may as well be a breath freshener, for all the effect it has. So while it's not been the most successful option, the rusk seems to be the best one I'm left with.

Probably the toughest part for me, has been seeing the sleep training go out the window. And as Murphy would have it, the latest bout of teething coincided with his Gran coming to stay. As the sound of yelling filters down the passageway, I'm pretty sure she's wishing she'd checked into a hotel by now. Then again, I suspect this particular 'Ouma' is less prone to crumbling than your standard boxed variety...

What helped calm your teething baby? And do you think it’s a ‘tingling sensation?’

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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