Ah, the great days of teething. We did all we could to help our little one through his teething pains. The stories and research I'd read on teething (even with 2 dentists in the family) did not prepare me for the realities of molars cutting. It can be tough on a little guy! While I broke down and decided we could not forgo the Infant's Motrin (he was just too uncomfortable for me to deny him drugs any longer), I do also like (and use) the suggestions listed in Gaulin's article below.
Our son's top 7 favorites (that actually worked!) included:
1) Sophie Giraffe - a favorite for his entire first year of life, we had to get one for the car, and one for the house because he chomped on Sophie so much. Plus, I've never met a baby who didn't adore Sophie! (She is made of all natural, non-toxic rubber from trees in the Alps).
2) Born Free's Teether Gum Brush and Teether - we kept these in the freezer and rotated between uses so there was always a cold one on hand. (You can also put teething gel in the ridges on this gum brush, but our son did not like the gel).
3) The Teethifier - especially great for back teeth and molars!
4) The Baby Safe Feeder - we packed it full of peach or banana slices and froze for teething treats - even works in the car (as long as you don't mind a possible messy face/hands)!
5) Baltic Amber Teething Necklace - many people have asked if this really makes a difference. It is a natural pain remedy, but babies do NOT teeth on the necklace. Rather, Baltic amber secretes natural, soothing oils into the skin which aids as a natural pain-reliever. We found that days and nights with the necklace were much more tolerable (not having to use Tylenol or Motrin much) than days/nights without the teething necklace. So it does seem to make a difference for our son. (Baltic Amber necklaces are also used for arthritis pain among adults). Find Baltic amber teething necklaces at the link above, at Inspired by Finn, or here. (We've purchased one from all three companies and each is well made.)
6) Hyland's Colic Tablets & Teething Tablets - although we used both and both do help, for some reason the Colic Tablets (although our son never had 'colic' and rarely cried) seemed to work better for his teething discomfort than the actual teething tablets when he was young. Both are homeopathic remedies that melt quickly and easily in baby's mouth. (Simply slide the tablets into the cheek of your baby/toddler). You can find Hyland's Teething Tablets at most drug stores, some retail stores (Target, WalMart) - and you can find both the Colic and Teething Tablets at many natural food stores like Whole Foods, etc. They are also both available on Amazon.com
[UPDATE: Since Hyland's Teething tablets have been pulled from shelves, you may wish to pick up some Humphreys Teething Tablets - which many parents assert work even better without the lactose as an ingredient.]
7) Good ol' fashioned nursing with Momma. Nothing seems to comfort and sooth a teething baby like being held and breastfed. In fact, I've heard so many reports from parents telling me that during the especially tough days of teething, their baby often chose to forgo all solid foods and simply stuck to nursing. This was surely the case on occasion with our son as well, and I am thankful he still had nature's made-for-baby comfort source to turn to when teething times were a bit challenging. I never had to worry about him getting all the nourishment he needed -- even on days he refused to eat anything other than watermelon, popsicles, and momma milk!
We'd love to hear others 'best teething remedies' as well, so please feel free to share.
Top 7 Natural Remedies for Soothing a Teething BabySoothe Baby Naturally
By Pam Gaulin
Nothing tugs at a parent's heartstrings more than hearing baby's painful cries when he or she is teething. There are some natural remedies that can be used to soothe a teething baby during the daytime hours.For some babies who experience most of their teething pain at night, parents may need to use stronger, medicinal remedies to help baby get some sleep while teething.During the daytime hours, babies who are drooling excessively, grabbing at their mouths, and trying to chew on everything in sight might need some relief for those emerging teeth.Some professionals claim that baby's very first teeth to come in are the most painful for baby. Parents may see a different situation. When the molars erupt, the baby can also experience pain that will keep him or her from a good night's sleep.These top 5 natural remedies are for soothing a teethign baby that does not have an accompanying fever of more an 101 degrees.
Top 5 Natural Remedies for Soothing a Teething Baby
Natural Teething Remedy 1: Teethers
Teethers come in all shapes and sizes. A useful and natural remedy for a teething baby is any liquid-filled teether that can be refrigerated for frozen. The cold temperature soothes and numbs baby's gums, without making a mess because the liquid is contained. This is best used for daytime relief.
Natural Teething Remedy 2: Frozen Bananas
For babies who are eating solid foods, and have already been introduced to fruit, a frozen banana does wonders. Take a banana and peel it. If you leave the peel on and then freeze it, you will not be able to peel it very easily. Cut the banana in half. Cut off the tips and remove the "stringy" pieces. Place the banana half in a freezer bag or other plastic bag.When the baby is experiencing teething pain during the day, take one of the half bananas out of the freezer and out of the plastic bag. Either hold the banana for the baby, or let him or her hold it and chew on it.The good thing about using a frozen banana is that the baby will be able to gum it and very small pieces of the banana will come off, not large chunks.
Natural Teething Remedy 3: Frozen Facecloth
Some parents swear by the frozen facecloth method. They freeze a facecloth or two and let the teething baby chew on it.
Natural Teething Remedy 4: Rub Ice on Gums
Rugging ice on the gums can be tricky depending on the size and shape of the ice cubes in your freezer. If you can find icicle-shaped ice cube trays, they will come in handy. Rub an ice cube on baby's gums. This provides very temporary relief, but it might be enough.
Natural Teething Remedy 5: All-Fruit Popsicles
For older babies and toddlers experiencing teething pain, all-fruit Popsicles can provide the same relief as rubbing ice on the gums. This method works for older children. The child may only take a few licks or sucks off the Popsicle. Brush baby's teeth when done.
Natural Teething Remedy 6: Gum Cleaner
Purchase a small rubber gum cleaner. The gum cleaner fits on your index finger. Parents can gently use the gum cleaner to massage baby's gums. It's also useful for applying medicine when needed.
Natural Teething Remedy 7: Chamomile Tea Bag
A cooled chamomile tea bag can be gently rubbed onto a baby's gums. Do not use this remedy if allergies run in the family, as some people with allergies cannot tolerate herbal teas. Also, do not leave the tea bag with the baby, as the tea bag can open or tear.