So you had a baby and she’s finally started sleeping though the night. Yay! You think you’re in the clear… until… teething. Ugh!
Now it’s like your starting from scratch. You have an extremely moody and upset baby that doesn’t seem to be soothed by anything.
After fits of crying and screaming, and non-stop wining, you’re at your wits end. Feeling absolutely desperate, you reach for the baby Tylenol. Your baby settles down, maybe even sleeps and you feel like you’ve won. Except for the fact that as soon as the Tylenol wears off, you’re going to want to reach for it again. And again. And again.
Then you start thinking about what you’re actually giving your baby. And you realize you have not won.
There’s got to be a better way to get though teething, right?
Well, there is. There’s actually a bunch of better ways to deal with your baby’s sore gums. There’s all sorts of alternatives to traditional pain killers.
My daughter is 14 months and was a late teether. She popped her first two teeth at 11 months and has pretty much been teething since then.
I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been that bad, we didn’t even realize she was cutting more teeth until my husband was playing with her and tipped her back to reveal 4 more teeth coming in! Maybe we got lucky, or maybe what we’ve been doing has helped ease the pain and avoid the wining and crying fits.
Either way, I thought more people should know there are options out there for this unpleasant time in your baby/toddlers life.
Seven Natural Remedies for Teething
1. Frozen fruit and veggies
Nothing feels better than something cold against your baby’s gums when teeth are on their way. Lots of mamas just throw a stick of celery or a large carrot in the freezer until it’s cold for their baby chew on.
Another thing you could try is those fresh food holders by Munchkin and put a piece of frozen fruit inside. That way if they manage to get a piece off, they don’t risk choking. I used this for my daughter a few times and just put a slice of frozen peach in it, she loved it!
2. Teething rings
This might be a bit obvious, but even I didn’t know how many varieties of teething rings there are out there. Anything from wooden rings to the kind you can put in the freezer, silicone varieties (my daughter loved the Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether), or even the ever-popular Sophie the Giraffe.
In the thick of her worst teething episode (full on fever) I gave her a frozen teething ring and that was one of the only things that calmed her down (while also cooling her off!). These are definitely worth a shot.
3. Amber Necklace
I feel like this one is either a real hit, or a real miss for people. To me, it’s amazing. I basically give all the credit to this guy right here. I’ve had an Amber necklace on my daughter since we first thought she was teething at around 8 months.
I’ve never taken it off so I wouldn’t know how bad things would be without it, but I definitely think it’s contributed to my daughters endurance through teething the most!
If you’re one that doesn’t think they work, that’s completely fine, but if you ask me it’s worth a real good try.
Many people don’t actually know how the amber helps with teething, I didn’t until I looked it up. And it’s actually quite interesting.
Amber is a natural resin that has been fossilized, (not a stone) and retains many of its original chemical compounds. When the amber is in contact with skin, the warmth of the body heat causes the amber to release succinic acid. This acid is a powerful antioxidant and an all-natural anti-inflammatory with antibiotic and pain-relieving properties.
The best amber comes from the Baltic regions of Europe and contains the highest levels of succinic acid. There are a ton of look-alike stones and glass jewelry that might be advertised as Amber, but only the real deal contains the succinic acid. And even then, you want unpolished amber so that the acid can be absorbed into the skin.
Some people think amber for pain relief is a myth, but in Europe it’s been used in a variety of forms for medical treatment for hundreds of years and is even sold in pharmacies. (not a myth!)
Anyways, if your child is teething, give amber a try. Worst case scenario they just have a cute necklace.
4. Chamomile hydrosol
This one is kind of interesting. I hadn’t heard of a hydrosol before reading about teething remedies. A hydrosol is the leftover fragrant water from the process of essential oil distillation. It isn’t nearly as potent as the essential oil itself but still has the same great benefits.
If you’re an essential oil fan, you probably know some oils are too strong for a baby’s gentle skin. With most oils in fact, dilution with a carrier oil is necessary even for adults. And this is exactly why hydrosols are so great for babies and young children, it’s already very diluted so it’s safe on their skin.
To use chamomile hydrosol on a teething baby, simply spray some on your finger and rub it on their gums. It’s always a good idea to try it on yourself first (you can never be too careful!).
5. Lavender Essential Oil
As you probably know, Lavender is a very calming scent. It can be found in all sorts of relaxation and spa products. But it also works on a teething child.
Before I jump in to how to use lavender for teething, I just want to mention that not all oils are safe for children under 2 years. If you look it up, you will find much controversy on this subject, but personally I follow these guidelines on Mommypotamus.com. I would always rather be on the safe side when it comes to my child.
In those guidelines Heather states the ratio of essential oil and carrier oil for children under two and so on. For this age group the ratio is .25% (1 drop per 4 teaspoons carrier oil). This is the ratio I would suggest when using lavender for teething.
Once you’ve diluted the oil and poured it into a roll on glass bottle (I use these) you can roll it on your child’s jaw line, behind the ear (teething can sometimes trigger ear aches), on the bottoms of their feet (for a soothing effect), or diffuse it into the air.
Some people also blend it with other oils such as white fir, roman chamomile, or melaluca to aid in the teething pain.
6. Bach’s Rescue Remedy
Yet another alternative to traditional medicine, Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a blend of wildflowers diluted five times, created to bring relaxation and calming to stressful situations (like teething!).
Bach’s wildflower blends were created by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1920’s. He uses 38 different wildflowers to create several blends for emotional balance. The Rescue Remedy is made up of five of these blends.
All of his blends are safe to use on children and have been used for over 80 years. The recommended dose for children is actually the same as adults. Remember, this is not a drug, it’s a very mild flower water!
Children and adults are to take one drop in a glass of water four times a day. This is not meant for long term use, but for short term stressors, that’s why it’s perfect for teething!
The original Rescue Remedy is preserved in brandy, but there is a non-alcoholic version available as well.
7. Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets/Gel
Hyland’s brand is a form of homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicine originated in Europe and was brought to North America in the early 19th century, and although it’s not mainstream medicine anymore, doesn’t mean that it’s not effective.
Hyland’s website describes the basic principle of homeopathic medicine as,
“… substance that produces a certain set of symptoms in a healthy person can cure a sick person experiencing those same symptoms. For instance, onions make your eyes water when you cut them. If you have a cold or allergies and your symptoms include a runny nose, the likely remedy to treat your runny nose would be Allium Cepa, which is made from onions.” (source)
I find this way of thinking very interesting! Hyland’s website goes on to talk about dosage, saying that unlike traditional medicine, homeopathic medicine works better when diluted and shaken, and that the more it is diluted, the more effective it becomes. With that being said, the more diluted it becomes, the safer it becomes for all ages.
I’ve used the Hyland’s teething tablets on my daughter numerous times in the last few months, and I can say that it has definitely helped. And it’s super easy to use, you just dissolve 1-3 tablets in water and give to your baby up to twice daily.
I just use a plastic syringe (similar to the kind that come with baby Tylenol) and use that to make sure she actually gets it in her mouth. I’ve never had to use it more than once in a day, but like I said, my daughter has been teething really well.
If you’re going through the teething process with your child, I hope this has helped and maybe opened you up to a few more ways to deal. And hopefully your little one can find some relief from the nagging pain of cutting teeth with a safe, all-natural remedy.
If you have any more all-natural teething remedies I would love to hear about them in the comments!
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