Many a parent has been there before. When your little one is a newborn, they probably sleep 10.5 to 18 hours a day. Suddenly, when they start teething around four to six months old, they have trouble sleeping. They’re up crying and in pain, which means you’re up crying and in pain. They’re cranky, you’re cranky. But you’ve heard the warnings about benzocaine teething pain relievers, and you know you want to avoid as many drugs as possible to manage your poor little one’s discomfort. What now?
Consider these drug-free, natural teething remedies.
Ice or Cold Foods in a Mesh Feeder
Pacifier-shaped mesh feeders are a little new in baby world, but parents are already liking them for teething purposes. Some put an ice cube in the feeder and let the baby suckle away (bonus: hydration!) and others prefer to fill it with frozen foods like celery, bananas, carrots, or apple. This is also a great way to slowly accustom little ones to solid food tastes and textures. A popular option is the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder.
A Cold, Damp Washcloth
A simple clean washcloth dampened in cold water can be a huge relief for a teething baby to chew on. As an added bonus, this cleans your baby’s emerging teeth as well. In fact, when babies are too small for an infant or toddler toothbrush, many dentists and pediatricians recommend cleaning their teeth by gently wiping them with a washcloth.
Amber Teething Necklaces
The jury is still out on this one, but many parents absolutely swear by their effectiveness. Supposedly contact of the necklace with the baby’s warm skin releases small amounts of succinic acid, a natural pain reliever. It’s recommended to take off the necklace at night or when the child is not being directly supervised to avoid a choking hazard.
Chamomile extracts are being used in a lot of homeopathic treatments for teething in place of drugs like benzocaine. Just like the idea of soothing chamomile herbal tea, chamomile extracts have a calming effect. In fact, making some herbal (non-caffeinated) chamomile tea, dipping a washcloth in it, and freezing the washcloth makes a great teether. Some babies may not like the taste of chamomile, hence why many people just use water.
Other Simple Herbal Teas or Oils
Cloves and rosehips are two more natural herbs that can be made into a simple tea or oil infusion to dab directly on the baby’s gums. Cloves have actually been shown to work comparably to benzocaine for pain relief compared to placebo in a 2006 Journal of Dentistry study.
These are just a few healthy options for soothing your baby’s teething pains besides the usual teething rings and gum massagers. Of course, remember it’s always a good idea to consult your pediatrician about any new pain management strategies. Would you try any of these ideas?
Have you had any luck with natural teething remedies? Let us know in the comments what has — or hasn’t! — worked for your little ones.
Amber is the proud Homeschooling mother to four beautiful children, Damian (24), Rosaleigh (10), Carlyn (7), Naomi (4), and a wife to her loving husband, Chancellor. Her family also includes three cats.
She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy.