Teething is one phase every parent dreads. There is a shift in sleeping routine of the baby, appetite drops or sometimes constant hunger. All these changes in schedules create a very unhappy baby and of course, as a result, unhappy parents. In this blog post, I will list a few natural teething remedies to help soothe babies gums when teething. These are safe and effective ways to help a baby tide through this painful period.
Natural Teething Remedies
- Breastfeeding: Don’t even think, start first by breastfeeding more often. The sucking action helps relieve some of the pain the baby is feeling. You may have already noticed an increase in demand for breastfeeding. Alongside breastfeeding also provides comfort and calms the baby down.
- Cold teething ring or washcloth: Cold teething rings and washcloths are the safest and most effective tools. They numb the swollen gums and provide pain relief. Choose silicone teething rings that baby can gnaw and chew on. You can even use a frozen washcloth. Keep in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and then offer this cloth to the baby. Choose a cloth that has a towel like texture so that it helps massage the gums. Be careful about how cold the cloth or ring is, you don’t want to offer it too freezing cold.
- Cold foods: Cold foods provide the same level of pain relief as cold teething rings. Used for babies above 6 months of age. You can check here the list of cold teething foods to offer a baby.
- Sophie the giraffe: Though overpriced, this is easily the best and most effective teething toy. The giraffe toy has many soft corners that babies can chew on. And it works wonders when they are in a lot of pain. It is made of 100% natural rubber material. There are stories on the internet about mold in Sophie the giraffe toy. The company states that you wipe the toy with a wet washcloth. You should not immerse the toy in a water bath or wash it under the tap. If you do so, water creeps into the opening in the toy and gives an opportunity for mold to grow. If proper care is taken I think this is still a great teething toy for little ones.
- Natural wood teething rings: If you don’t want to buy Sophie the giraffe you can buy natural wood teething rings. They also help relieve some of the pain though they don’t provide corners to chew on like a teething toy. Wooden teething rings work very well for younger babies that have just started to hold onto things.
- Your Finger: Wash your hand thoroughly and use your finger to gently rub the babies gums. This way you can add pressure to the points that are swollen and this method doesn’t cost you a dime.
- Distraction: Sometimes distraction works better at making baby forget all about teething. Get their mind off the pain and irritation by taking them to the park, or start some new indoor activities that the baby has never played before. Anything that helps them forget.
I spoke about what you should do, but there are a few things that I recommend not doing. The first is using amber necklaces, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend that infants wear any jewelry. Suffocation is the leading cause of death for children under the age of one and among the top five causes of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. Other than suffocation these necklaces are also considered a choking hazard. All of the remedies mentioned above work perfectly fine and there really isn’t any need to put your child at risk by using amber necklaces.
For any medication always consult your doctor. Do not self-medicate your child with traditional ayurvedic or other medicines. They are sold as safe and natural teething remedies but are not regulated or tested for safety standards. Also, there is no evidence in scientific literature that these work.
The AAP also mentions that numbing gels or creams that contain benzocaine are not recommended for infants.
If your child is in a lot of pain your pediatrician can prescribe some pain relief medicines. Do not make these decisions yourself.
I hope these tips and products see you through teething. It’s a rough phase for sure, but keep in mind this too shall end. Until then keep using natural teething remedies to relieve some of the baby’s inflammation. Which teething remedies worked for you? Do leave me a comment below.
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