Friday, May 5, 2017

15 Home Teething Remedies

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Aside from sleep issues, I have to say that I think that teething is by far, one of the hardest things that parents of babies/toddlers go through. The teething phase with my youngest two were vastly different. Bear was inconsolable, in pain for days at a time.  Sunny, on the other hand, didn't bat an eye. I never even knew when she was getting a tooth. The difference? With Bear, I mostly used Hylands teething tablets and Orajel, products that have both come under fire as being dangerous for teething babies. With Sunny, I was more informed,  much more naturally-minded, and utilized natural home teething remedies.

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Though there is some deviation from child to child, there is a general timeline for teething that most babies follow. Below is the diagram that I followed with Sunny to anticipate when teeth were coming in. Teething symptoms can usually start around 4-6 months of age.

Teething symptoms can vary from baby to baby, but some of the most common symptoms are:
  • Drooling: Who has turned on the faucet in your baby's mouth? It seems like overnight, a switch is flipped and there is just an EXCESS of droll coming from your baby.
  • Mild facial rash: Due to an increase in droolage, a rash around the mouth and on the chin can be normal as the excess moisture causes chafing and chapping of the skin.
  • Excessive fussiness: Is baby harder to console when he/she is upset?
  • Gum bulging: Sometimes you are able to see the pearl of a tooth underneath baby's gums.
  • Biting/chewing: Have you hit the stage where anything your baby gets a hold of ends up in the mouth?
  • Elevated temperature: Sometimes teething can cause low grade fevers (lower than 101) in babies. This phenomenon is disputed among the medical community, but there is serious evidence that teething can cause fevers in some infants.
  • Pulling on ears: The gums share nerves with ears, so oftentimes babies will tug at their ears when experiencing gum discomfort.
So what can we do to help our little ones deal with the pain and discomfort caused by teething pain? Here are some of the natural home teething remedies I used with Sunny that seemed to limit her teething discomfort. As a note, anytime your baby is chewing on something, they should be fully supervised.

Amber Necklaces
The theory of how amber necklaces actually work is that body heat warms the amber and releases succinic acid which then alleviates teething discomfort.  We weren't always sold on amber. Until once, when Sunny was in the midst of teething, I broke her necklace. She turned into the grumpiest pickle baby. I chip-clipped her necklace on her and within 10 minutes, she was back to her normal happy self. If you choose to try an amber necklace to relieve your little one's teething pain, there are a few important things to know. Make sure you have real amber. Amber is more effective when it is raw and lighter in color. Get a necklace with individually knotted stones and that has a tension release clasp that will release the necklace if too much pull is placed on it (prevents choking). And always, always, ALWAYS remove your baby's amber necklace before putting them down to sleep.
Frozen Fruits & Veggies
Freeze 3 inch sections of bananas, carrots, or slices of apple and place them in mesh fresh food feeders. Baby can chew on them without getting section of fruit that is too big to chew or swallow while enjoying the cool, solid comfort.
Wet Dishcloth
Pretty straightforward. Wet a dishcloth, leaving a portion dry for baby to hold onto once it's frozen. Roll it up so that the dry portion is not touching the wet. Place in a plastic bag to preserve cleanliness. Freeze for a few hours.
Silicone Teethers
Silicone teethers can be used at room temperature or after being chilled. This fruit shaped teether set has textures that can soothe aching and help baby break those teeth through the gums.

Teething Biscuits
If your baby can sit unassisted, then providing teething biscuits to help with teething is a viable option. You can purchase premade teething biscuits or make your own.

Nurse on Demand
Nursing moms can help teething babies and toddlers by letting them nurse on demand. Nursing can help comfort littles when they're dealing with discomfort.

Teething Necklaces
Like silicone teethers, silicone teething necklaces can yield benefits warm or cold.  The added bonus to this that moms can wear them and look fashionable while helping their babies with teething.
Chilled Teething Rings
Traditional chilled teething rings are classic soothers for teething gums. They're inexpensive and easy for baby to use.

Wooden Teethers
Wooden teethers, like this fun set of four, provide a firm surface for babies to num num on. Wooden teething toys relieve parents of concerns regarding possible BPA in plastic teethers.

Gum Massage
You can massage baby's gums with thoroughly washed hands or get a gum massager and use it. Either way, small circular motions using gentle pressure can help alleviate teething discomfort.

Frozen Pacifiers
Pop a pacifier in the freezer and let baby have it.  This is especially helpful for front teeth as that is where the pacifier will come in contact with the gums.

Cold Spoon
It gives me the eebs to think about gnawing on a metal spoon. But the cold metal of a chilled teaspoon can do some good in alleviating gum discomfort.

Vibrating Teethers
It might sound weird, but they make vibrating teethers that I've heard do wonders for sore little mouths. The vibrating sensation provides relief for teething much like a massaging chair would do for a sore back.

Distraction Techniques
Teething pain can be consuming for little humans, so any distraction we can offer them is beneficial. This can come in the form of playing with dried pasta in a bowl, sensory bottles, or water play. Pretty much anything that suits baby's interests and can get them focused on something other than teething.

OTC Pain Relievers
Okay, so this isn't necessarily a "home remedy". I will admit that I like to reserve over the counter pain meds such as Tylenol and ibuprofen for extreme circumstances. But when your baby is in pain and nothing else is working, there's no shame in using pain relievers to help them.

Are there any other ways that you relieve your baby or toddler's teething pain?

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