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Teething is a difficult time for everyone. Baby is obviously in pain and mom just wants to help, but is also exasperated at baby being so irritable. My cousin recently reached out asking for some natural tips and tricks for her teething baby so I thought about putting together a list of the solutions that I know of (and warnings!).
Please know that the FDA does NOT regulate topicals, gels, or tablets and also recommends against them!
I admit, I was a purist with my first born and straight up refused to use anything in fear of exposing her to… anything. Here I am with my second baby and I am finally easing my grip. I now realize that I was being too strict about being uber healthy, which is actually unhealthy.
I generally try to avoid the use of essential oils. Many essential oil experts warn that essential oils should not be used on children under the age of two–particularly peppermint oil. Peppermint oil slows the breathing rate of the child and can be dangerous.
Clove oil is a popular oil for teething woes, but it is a hot oil and can burn the skin if not properly diluted. Further, it can damage sensitive tissue and membranes, which is why I have been hesitant to use it thus far. I recently purchased this product that uses diluted clove oil. It is organic and has fantastic reviews, so I’m going to keep this in my back pocket if my youngest needs some pain relief.
I have read that rubbing [diluted] lavender along the jawline can help. Lavender is really the only oil that you can maybe use on an infant. Though it still needs to be diluted down to about 1-3%.
One of the most popular recommendations that I’ve heard is letting baby gnaw on anything frozen. You can use frozen formula or breast milk (need some molds?) if you’d prefer to stay away from solids just yet. If baby is just starting solids, you can use frozen pureed fruit or veggies, or put some small frozen fruits/veggies (blueberries, raspberries, cut up cucumber, etc) into mesh pacifier pouches. One friend told me that the mesh ones were too difficult to clean so she would just toss them when baby was done. I think these silicone ones might be a better, reusable option. You can use the silicone ones for freezing breast milk or formula too, instead of getting multiple products (perfect!).
If your baby is already eating solid foods and is feeding himself/herself, you can also try organic frozen waffles. A lot of people have had really great luck with the frozen wafflers relieving baby’s pain!
I let my daughter gnaw on these organic teething biscuits and she really enjoyed them. They have no nutritional content though, so I tried not to rely on these often.
Natural wood or silicone teethers work great for some babies. Make sure that the wood is not painted or sealed with anything besides organic coconut oil. Silicone items come in a variety of cute shapes (like these two cactus ones: one and two!) and can even come in the form of mommy necklaces and teething mits. I stocked up on so many cute teethers (check out Etsy too!) and my daughter could care less about any of them. Hopefully the next baby gets some use out of them. Make sure to sanitize teethers between kids! Different baby, different germs.
Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces
Baltic amber necklaces (it should be raw Baltic amber) work by secreting succinic acid when warmed by body heat. Succinic acid is known to have an analgesic effect that many holistic mamas use for their teething babies. There is little to no scientific evidence supporting this claim, but there are thousands of mamas that swear by them. I have also heard that you need to periodically “recharge” the amber by leaving it in the dirt on the night of a full moon, or at least rinse it occasionally as far as crystal cleansing is concerned. A quick word of caution though: do not let your infant keep the necklace on when unsupervised or sleeping.
I recently found this and am excited to try it. It comes with 40 single, sterile doses to help relieve the sensation of pain. I will report back soon!
At the end of the day…
For my daughter, on the really hard days where nothing touched the pain, I gave her a tiny bit of infant Tylenol (dye-free). The FDA warns about overdosing on Tylenol, so please start small. For example, what we did (this is not medical advice) is if the recommended dosage was 1.25 mL, we gave her about 0.25 mL. I didn’t like medicating her, but in reality, her not being in pain was the most important thing. Please don’t chastise me for my decision and don’t feel bad if you need to do the same to help your child.