Teething. Basically a four letter word in parenthood. It is an exciting and frustrating time for moms and dads, and babies. Yay the first tooth is coming in, but oh I hate seeing them in pain. So what’s a crunchy mama to do?
I didn’t really want to give my daughter medication or use teething gels that only harden the gums. Sure they work, but they can elongate the process, and I definitely didn’t want that. Not to mention I don’t like a lot of the ingredients. There had to be natural ways to help my sweet girl out. Thus, I began to ask around. The more people I asked, the more I saw a theme developing. Everyone was recommending the same things over and over, because they were tried and true.
What can you do? How can you ease all of the pain and inflammation your sweet one is feeling? First off, know the signs of teething. Here are some of the more common signs.
Signs of Teething
- Pulling their ears and rubbing their face (specifically around the jawline). Some babies will even scratch their heads.
- Decreased appetite/increased appetite. Some babies (especially breastfed) won’t want to nurse because it can hurt their gums, others will want to nurse more.
- Trouble sleeping
- Lots of drool
- Diaper rash, cold symptoms, fever
Teething can happen at a variety of times, but most babies start somewhere around six months. Then there are some, like my daughter that showed signs around 3 months. She didn’t get her first teeth in until six months, but then got a bunch in rapid succession. It’s different with every child. This is a great diagram that’ll show you when and where teeth come in.
So if you are definitely sure that your little is teething. Here are some natural ways that you can try out. Please note, I’m not a doctor. If you are unsure of something please, please, PLEASE check with your doctor first. There were a couple of these I emailed my pediatrician on and felt much more comfortable when she gave the go ahead. Also monitor your baby, if they have any kind of reaction stop immediately. Lastly, follow your gut. A parent’s intuition is a powerful thing!
Basically anything that is cold or frozen is going to help the inflammation go down thus soothing their gums. Here are some examples of things you can do.
- Put breastmilk in an ice cube tray, put a pacifier in it, and freeze. Breastmilk popsicle! Bonus, breastmilk is a natural anti-inflammatory. So it really helps ease the irritation.
- Freeze a spoon and put it on their gums.
- Freeze a wet washcloth and let them munch on it.
- Frozen fruit or veggies. I liked to put them in a silicone teether.
- Rubbing an ice cube on their gums.
So many baby’s just want to chew on anything and everything. Teething toys can be a great way to help with that.
- The Munch Mitt – I love this thing. Bella was so young when she started teething that she had a hard time with other toys. Just put the mitt on their hand and they can chew away to their hearts content.
- SweeTooth Baby Teether – This is currently my daughter’s favorite teething toy. The ice cream side is softer and the cone is firmer.
- Butterfly Teether – Every baby I know that has one of these loves it. I think because it’s easy to grab.
- Wooden toys – Some babies don’t like chewing on silicone, some like to have variety. Wooden toys and teethers are a great options for your little one to munch on.
I’m going to give the disclaimer here to check with your pediatrician on this one, and then go with your gut. Our pediatrician recommended putting clove oil (diluted) directly on the gums. I tried it, Bella hated the taste. So we stopped. It did seem to help her though.
What I normally do is a mixture of clove and lavender (you can also use german chamomile) heavily diluted with a carrier oil, and put it on the outer edge of the jawline. She loves it!
- Amber Teething Necklaces – There are parents who swear by these necklaces, and parents who are so-so about them. Basically the idea is these necklaces are made of baltic amber and contain succinic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. The baby’s body heat pulls out the acid and it helps with teething pain. I know parents who say their kid was basically cured of pain from these. I noticed a difference, but saw more of a difference using essential oils and homeopathic teething drops.
- Silicone Teething Necklaces for Mom – These are great to wear, and gives baby something to chew on while you’re holding him/her.
I highly, highly recommend getting Camilia Teething Drops. They are homeopathic, and worked wonders for my daughter. They come in individual servings and you just squeeze the little bit of liquid into their mouths. As always check with your pediatrician before using them. Our doctor gave us the thumbs up, make sure yours does too.
There is nothing better than a good, ol’ finger to help with teething. Let your little one chew on your fingers. This puts a little bit of counter-pressure on the area that the teething are cutting through and helps relieve some of the pain.
The Old-Fashioned Way
You can ask pretty much everyone over the age of 65 for teething relief remedies and they will all tell you one thing… alcohol. You’re not giving a shot to your baby or anything ha! However alcohol is a great numbing agent. If you dip your finger in it and rub their gums it will help numb them for a while. Seriously, ask any grandma. Most will say use whiskey or bourbon. Last time I’m using the disclaimer I promise. If you don’t feel comfortable with this don’t do it, and check with the doc just to be safe.
So there you have it! Keep loving on your little one and this phase will be over before you know it. They are troopers and will leave you amazed at just how strong they are, and using these remedies will help pass the time a little smoother.
What are some natural teething remedies that worked for you?