Soothe the Pain of Teething Naturally
Teething is one of those inevitable rites of passage in every baby’s life. For a lucky few, it passes with no more than a few grumpy nights and the odd day of red cheeks. For the majority though, it can be much worse – and frazzled parents will find themselves trying just about anything to help their little ones deal with the pain until those little pearly whites pop through.
Thankfully, there are lots of alternatives to shop-bought medicinal treatments, so here is our round up of some of the best.
Ice Cubes and/or ‘Lollies’
Using either a simple ice cube tray, or a proper lolly mould if you have one, freeze either water or breast milk into small portions. If baby has a good grip, you can let them hold a frozen morsel themselves to gum away at, or if it’s easier, wrap it up in a muslin, slightly crush if you like and offer that way. Either way, the coldness with help soothe painful gums and many babies find comfort in the solid shape to chew at.
A similar idea, is frozen fruit or vegetables – bananas, carrot sticks, cucumber, celery – anything you can cut into a baby friendly ‘finger’, offered straight from the freezer. Obviously to avoid a choking hazard, baby should not be left unsupervised with these frozen treats.
Parents have been doing this for years, so it’s an old one, but a good one! Essentially, take a clean flannel, soak it under the tap, and pop it in the freezer for a few hours. The coldness and chewable texture both relieve and soothe – many parents find it’s worthwhile investing in two or three new flannels so there’s always at least one ‘in reserve’! The same idea also works with a cotton hanky or muslin square, with small knots tied in to create hard ‘lumps’ – perfect for chewing on to ease aching gums.
Camomile tea has long been used for its soothing and calming properties, and it’s also perfectly safe for babies. You can either use the tea to make ice cubes as described above, or to soak a flannel in before freezing, or indeed, apply the cold tea direct to baby’s gums.
Wooden teething necklaces
Made from natural unfinished wood and hung around the mummy’s neck, and natural wooden teething necklace is a perfectly natural way to give your little one something to teethe on and play with. They are often available in a wide variety of colours and look like natural wood necklaces but are designed not to break when the baby pulls and chews them.
We’ve talked about these before, and while there’s no solid ‘proof’ about the calming natural pain relief contained in the semi-precious stone, thousands of parents still swear by them. They are inexpensive and look lovely on boys as well as girls, so are well worth a whirl in the battle against teething trauma!
As with everything to do with babies, what works for one, may not work for another, so do be prepared to try different things and see what helps your baby best.