I've been blessed with two generally pleasant children. When either of them is grumpy or impossible, it's usually a sign that something is wrong. Which is how I was alerted to the arrival of the two-year molars with both kids. Baby Angry in the house!
The two-year molars (also known as the second molars) are the last baby teeth to come in -- usually somewhere between 18 months and 3 years of age. The symptoms are the same as they were when your baby was an infant: drooling, irritability, refusal to eat, and trouble sleeping. But sometimes, those toddler teeth cause much more misery.
First of all, these are big, pointy teeth, much bigger than the little front incisors that likely started this whole teething bonanza. Also, it's probably been awhile since your toddler got any new teeth, so they aren't used to the pain. They can communicate now, which is nice because they can tell us what's wrong, but also not so nice when the irritability of teething descends into loud shrieks of "NOOOOOOOO" for no apparent reason. And getting up with a crabby, hurting toddler is so, so hard once you've become used to a full night's sleep (I hope).
Luckily, I found that the same things that worked when my toddler was a baby helped: teething toys, cold food and drink, and ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if necessary. I swear by Hyland's Teething Tablets, although I'm not generally a big believer in homeopathy.
Of course, some of the teething warning signs are the same as ear infection symptoms or other common illnesses, so if your kiddo's troubles don't seem to be resolving themselves, a doctor visit is in order. And remember this is the home stretch for teething until their adult teeth come in.
What's your best tip for coping with a teething toddler?
Image via I'mFantastic/Flickr