Teething bites. Literally.
Our poor little infants who have to go through the pain and agony of those gnarly teeth cutting through their gum line. Ouch!
Many parents are quick to grab an over-the-counter teething relief gel or perhaps give their babe a low dose of Tylenol. But, before you resort to those options, consider the harmful effects…
Most over the counter teething gel is made with an ingredient called Benzocaine. This numbing agent can be fatal to infants. It is a local anesthetic that the FDA says can cause a condition called methemoglobinemia – a blood disorder where oxygen in the blood drops to dangerous levels and can even cause death. Most babies that have so far been affected are age two or younger.
Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include:
- Pale, gray or blue colored skin
- Lips and fingernail beds
- Shortness of breath
- Headache, light headed
- Rapid heart rate
Symptoms can occur within minutes to hours after benozcaine use,” says FDA Pharmacist Mary Ghods. “They can occur after using the drug for the first time, as well as after several uses.
And Tylenol is not great either. Acetaminophen, Tylenol’s active ingredient, kills 500 Americans per year (that’s at least 500 that are documented). There’s nearly 60,000 adverse affects each year from the drug. Liver damage is another side effect. Don’t get me wrong – pain relievers do seem to help mask the pain, but they may pose health risks that just aren’t worth it in my opinion.
No worries, there are several natural ways to help your teething baby.
Here are 5 alternative remedies you can try right now…
1. Pineapple Core
Sometimes fruit or veggies make the perfect natural teething aid for a baby. Things like chilled cukes, celery sticks and my favorite – the core from a fresh pineapple. When my little munchkins were teething, I’d cut up a not overripe pineapple and let them suck and chew on the rock hard core. Then I found out later that a certain enzyme – called bromelain – found in the stem and core of a pineapple actually helps with inflammation and pain! What a coincidence. Pineapple also supports healthy digestion and is loaded with vitamin C, fiber and B vitamins. You can’t go wrong when you look to nature for healing benefits.
Remember, it’s best to watch them carefully, as I’m sure you already know, when your baby has anything in his or her mouth. You could also get one of those mesh teething bags to put the fruit in if it makes you feel better.
2. Your Finger
Those frozen teething rings and plastic chew toys were never of any interest to my kids when they were babies. That’s probably good anyhow since some of them probably were loaded with BPA and phthalates.
I did find, however, that when I used my finger to gently push down and rub their tender gums in a circular motion, it calmed them down right away. Try this for a couple of minutes on the spot that is giving your baby the most grief. Even just letting them mash their gums on your finger for a while may help.
But don’t forget to wash your hands well first! And not with soaps that have toxic ingredients, otherwise you’ll be putting those chemicals inside their mouth. Use natural hand soap free from things like synthetic detergents and preservatives – among others.
3. Frozen Washcloth
Every baby is different. Maybe your baby will prefer chewing on a rattle or one of those cute mommy necklaces for teething babies. Or maybe he would rather munch your finger or a pineapple core. But if that doesn’t satisfy his baby teething style, why not try a frozen washcloth or burp towel. Just get the corners a little bit wet and put it in the freezer for a good half hour or so.
Put the frozen corners in your infant’s mouth to show him where to nibble and his hands should stay warm holding on to the rest of the cloth. This method works extremely well for some babies!
4. Boiron’s Camilia Teething Relief
Many moms swear by Boiron’s Camilia. One of Natural Healthy Concepts customers from Illinois reviewed the product giving it 5-stars. She says,
“Camilia is amazing! My son was fussy at night and my hippie sister suggested I try Camilia. I was so excited when it worked! It seemed to calm my son almost instantly. He was able to get some sleep, and so was I! We have been using Camilia for over 6 months now. It’s great for teething and it has no risk of over-dose, which helps me feel better. I highly recommend Camilia to everyone!”
Camilia is a homeopathic supplement that works naturally with your baby’s body to provide relief from pain and irritability. But, the neat thing about Camilia is that it also helps aid your baby’s digestion. Sometimes during the teething process infants can have minor digestive issues. The single-use doses are pretty easy to use – you just have to squeeze the liquid into your baby’s mouth. You can use it every 15 minutes if you need to.
5. Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets
If you just want to give your baby something to help the pain and calm her down, you could try Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets. They are made with natural ingredients that dissolve easily under your baby’s tongue. The homeopathic formula doesn’t have any artificial dyes, flavors, parabens or that sassy benzocaine we talked about earlier. These tablets can help with everything form restlessness, irritability, redness and inflammation of the gums to pain, fever, drooling and discomfort caused by cutting teeth.
The tablets are very soft and dissolve quickly. You can give 2-3 tabs to your baby under his tongue four times a day. Or, if you’d rather dissolve the tablets in a teaspoon of water first – you can.
What other natural teething methods do you know of? What has worked for babies you know? Leave a comment to let us know!
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