There have been many tough areas of parenthood for us but dealing with a teething baby has got to be one of the most challenging. Poor little ones, it’s got to hurt to have teeth poking through your skin. And believe me, if baby is in pain everyone’s in pain. (Kind of like the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, no one’s happy.” But I digress.)
Being the (mostly) crunchy people we are, we seek out natural or alternative remedies for pretty much everything. Here are some of the solutions we’ve tried to help ease teething discomfort, and a few others we have heard about but not tried. (And the little ones are saying, “Discomfort my %^&! Teething bites!”)
1. Homeopathic Teething Tablets
In a nutshell, homeopathy is a natural approach to medicine that uses tiny amounts of substances to stimulate the body’s natural immune response. Homeopathy is safe and holistic and the amounts of medicine used are extremely dilute. We used Hyland’s Homeopathic teething tablets starting when our son started teething (about five months old). We noticed immediately that he calmed down. We always have a bottle in our refrigerator.
Tip: Even though the bottle says to take 1-3 tablets, you really only need to take one at a time. Extra ones have no benefit, besides going through the bottle faster.
2. Breast Milk Popsicles
Freeze breast milk in ice cube trays and then put a cube into a mesh feeder bag for the baby to chew on. Or put breast milk into popsicle molds to make popsicles! It’s cold, which feels good on the gums, and it tastes great!
See my article on how to make a breast milk popsicle.
3. Cold Wet Cloth
We kept a baby washcloth in a bowl of cold water in the fridge. When G needed some relief, we would give him the cold washcloth to chew on. He really liked that, although it did warm up fairly quickly. I’ve also heard about putting an ice cube in a wet washcloth and securing it with a rubber band. That would seem to help the coldness last longer.
Another spin on this option is to take a new baby sock and dip the foot part of the sock in water and then put the whole sock in the freezer. When baby needs relief, they can hold on to the top part of the sock as a handle and chew on the wet/frozen end for relief. Aaah!
4. Liquid Echinacea Extract
Our chiropractor recommend rubbing some liquid echinacea extract on G’s gums to help with teething pain, as it has a numbing effect. Just be sure to use only a good quality liquid echinacea extract. How can you tell if it’s good quality? Try it yourself. Put a few drops on your tongue. If it’s good quality, your tongue should feel numb. You can find liquid echinacea extract at your local health food store.
5. Frozen Apple Slice
Another option along the lines of ‘cold is good’ involves slicing apples and then freezing them. Let the baby/toddler chew on the frozen apple slice. I was always too paranoid about choking to let my little one chew on anything that could break off, so we never tried this method like that. I have some good friends who did this often with no problems, though.
What I did do was cut apple slices into smaller pieces and froze them. I then put the small frozen apple chunks into a mesh feeder bag, mentioned in method number two above.
6. Teething Necklaces
I have heard many amazing stories about two types of teething necklaces working wonders in helping little ones deal with teething pain. These necklaces work by touching the baby’s skin; be sure they are not allowed to chew on them.
- The first type of teething necklace is a Baltic amber teething necklace. The necklace needs to be touching the skin to release the natural analgesic oils. It also needs to be true baltic amber. There are so many kinds of amber and not all of them are even a real gem. (Sorry, no photo. There are many photos online.)
- The second type of teething necklace is a Tlismi Moti teething pendant (sometimes spelled tlismi moty). It is made from five metals and acts as a natural harmonizer of energies around the face and oral cavity. It is an ancient ayurvedic remedy that has helped countless babies in India teethe naturally. For better results, two tlismi moti pendants are recommended. Again, this needs to be worn against the baby’s skin preferably at the base of the throat.
G wearing his Tlismi Moti pendants
With these teething necklaces, one might wonder about the safety. Make sure the necklaces have breakaway clasps so that if any pressure is put on the necklace it will break open. Many parents leave the necklaces on all day and all night with no problems reported; however, I am not comfortable with that. Use these at your own comfort level. And of course, the child should be supervised while wearing the necklace. As always, ask your child’s doctor for their opinion. (I am not responsible. Read my disclaimer.)
7. Clove Oil
Cloves contain oils that have warming, numbing properties. Clove oil can be rubbed on sore gums to relieve pain. But only use a few drops as too much can upset your baby’s stomach.
8. Pure Vanilla Extract
Rubbing pure vanilla extract on the baby’s gums can help in a couple ways. The alcohol in vanilla creates a warm sensation that is temporarily comforting. And vanilla has calming properties itself, as it is known to reduce anxiety and help stomach distress.
9. Boiron Homeopathic Teething Relief
Another homeopathic option I found is Boiron Teething Relief. The main ingredient is Chamomilla. I’ve heard it works wonderfully! There are several individually dosed vials of the liquid. Simply open one and put into baby’s mouth. One place I found them online was here.
10. Cold Carrot
Another food option is to have the baby gnaw on a cold carrot. It’s cold, which feels good, and chances are they wont be able to break off a bit. Of course, I am too paranoid about choking to try this one but I know many people have.
Teething is a hard process for our little ones. Hopefully some of these solutions will provide relief for your baby, which should in turn provide relief for you.
Wendy – Parenting Tips 365