There’s nothing to tug on your heartstrings like a teething baby. They’re restless, irritable and clearly in pain. When your little one has night after night of crankiness and crying – all teething related – the last thing you want to do is load her or him up with acetaminophen. Over the counter pain relievers can be a lifesaver every once in a while, but to do your baby’s body good, you’ll want a natural alternative. Next time your baby is in the throes of teething pain, try one of these simple and safe natural soothers:
When baby’s on the hunt for something to bite, a teething toy offers safe and fun comfort. Look for rubber rings or toys, many of which are specially textured to massage your little one’s sore gums. You’ll find others are filled with gels that provide cooling relief after a few minutes in the freezer. Wary of plastic? There are plenty of wooden teething toys. Whether you shop the big box stores or indie artisans online, you’ll find mass produced or handmade toys finished with food safe oils.
It’s hard to predict what your little one will like and oftentimes you’ll find yourself with a box of unused baby toys. If you can’t stomach the thought of buying one more toy for your child to push aside, try this do-it-yourself option instead: Take a stack of baby washcloths and dip them in breast milk or filtered water. Roll them up and seal them in a clean freezer bag. When baby starts fussing, take one out and offer it to him or her to chomp. The chilly cloth will encourage your little one to bite down and massage his or her tender gums.
Sometimes all baby needs is a little counter pressure. Wash your hands and insert one finger into your baby’s mouth, applying light pressure to his or her gum line. Bonus: With your finger on your little one’s gums, you’ll be able to feel that first tooth sprouting up and know just where your baby needs pain relief.
Pick up a bottle of clove oil at your local health food store. Commonly used by dentists before modern pain relievers, clove oil has been shown to have the same anesthetic properties as benzocaine. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration cautioned parents away from over-the-counter products containing pain-relieving benzocaine, as it may result in a very serious allergic reaction. Safety note: Clove oil must be diluted in a carrier oil before application. If you want to take the guesswork out of dilution, shop your baby store for a pre-diluted solution ready for use.