First tooth?Another sweet memory of my journey as a mom…It happens the same day when my husband and I were celebrating three years of marriage.In that morning, after my baby woke up I wanted to kiss him, and surprise: I saw two white stripes on the bottom gum.I felt so much pride, happiness and accomplishment…and then: the proud mom was dealing with a grumpy and irritated baby.
Teething is a natural part of your baby’s growth and another stage in his development, for for the majority of the babies can be a difficult process, with sleepless nights for both the parents and infants.Babies typically begin teething around 6 months, although the exact timing and symptoms can vary from child to child.
Signs and symptoms of teething
Quintessential signs and symptoms of teething include :
- irritability or fussiness
- chewing on firm solid objects
- sore and sensitive gums
- red cheeks
- ear rubbing
- decreased apetite
- a teething rash on the chin
- nappy rash It is hard to tell whether these symptoms are caused by teething or other factors though.Parents also commonly conclude that teething causes diarrhea and fever, but some experts research,includind American Academy of Pediatrics, has shown this to be untrue. Teething does produce signs and symptoms in the gums and mouth but does not generate constitutional or other extended bodily symptoms.One of many possible explanations for this symptoms is that teething babies frequently put things in their mouth to soothe their gums, so they’re comming into contact with more viruses and other germs.
Natural teething remedies
So if baby is definitely, for sure, getting some teeth… what can you do? Here are some tips for helping your baby’s pain from the inside out.
Teething remedy : Lower any inflammation
Inflammation from teething can stimlate nerves that cause pain. Reducing inflammation is one way you can help relieve baby’s pain.
- Low inflammation diet. White foods such as refined sugar and flour, potatoes, and even dairy can cause inflammation. Focus on variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, pastured meats, wild seafood, ample healthy fats (coconut, avocado, butter) and whole eggs.
- Lower stress. Make sure baby is getting enough rest and eating healthy foods in addition to breastmilk or formula. Over time, stress can cause inflammation
- Balance blood sugar. This is another important way to lower stress levels, as blood sugar swings (highs and lows) require the stress hormones to get involved to keep blood sugar stable (yes, even in babies and young children!). To keep blood sugar levels even keel, focus on whole foods instead of highly processed snacks. For meals and snacks, try to pair healthy carbs (like sweet potatoes and fruit) with some protein and plenty of healthy fats to keep baby’s blood sugar levels stable to reduce stress on the adrenal glands.
Teething remedy : Boost the immune system
There is some debate whether teething causes fevers and colds by lowering the immune system, or whether the two occurring at the same time is simply a coincidence. However, many parents have noticed a runny nose or fever while baby is cutting teeth. At the very least, boosting the immune system can’t hurt and can help avoid baby dealing with double ailments.
- Continue breastfeeding. Baby gets antibodies from your breastmilk to help build her immune system.
- Give baby vitamin D. Many of us (and our babies) are vitamin D deficient because of too little time outside in direct sunlight . Babies can take liquid vitamin D drops to get their levels up to a normal range. Vitamin D plays an important role in supporting immune system function.
Teething remedy : Cold and pressure
One of the oldest tricks , using cold and pressure to helps baby’s aching gums is still an excellent remedy. Think.. safe objects that can be frozen and then used to chew on. The cold helps numb the area, and the pressure is soothing for inflamed gums. Here are some examples:
- Frozen washcloths. Let baby chew on them after they come out of the freezer.
- Frozen fruit or veggies (put in a mesh or teether for small babies).
- A cold spoon.
- Natural solid wood toys. The roughness of the wood is very soothing for some babies. Choose a brand that uses natural water-based sealants or food grade dyes
- Natural teething biscuits. These biscuits are easy to make and don’t contain questionable ingredients like the ones you buy in the store (even the organic ones!). They can be kept in the refrigerator for a cooler treat.
Teething remedy : Teething toys
Something to chew on is sometimes all your baby really needs to get through the pain of teething. There are lots of options for teething toys that are also safe and non-toxic.
Silicone teething rings – Made of safe silicone, rather than latex or plastic, this teether is a safe choice.
Wooden theethers – What works for one baby may not work for the next, so if silicone and rubber don’t do it, try a wooden teether. The texture might be just right for your baby. Just be aware that teethers like this one need to be oiled or (bees)waxed before use.
Teething remedy : Teething necklaces
If you’ve been around the natural mama circuit, you’ve likely seen those cute amber necklaces on infants. They are actually teething necklaces. The idea is that baby’s body heat triggers the baltic amber to release an oil that contains succinic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory. Whether they work is up for debate. Many parents swear by them, while others are less sure. If you do choose to try an amber teething necklace, be sure to remove it when baby goes to sleep, or wrap it around a wrist or ankle as many parents do. Also, keep in mind that there are lots of fake amber teething necklaces, so be sure you’re getting a real one.
Another option is a teething necklace for mum. These necklaces are made of silicone and are great for baby to use while sitting in mom’s lap or in a baby carrier. These can also be placed in the freezer for a cold treat.
Teething remedy : Herbal remedies
Parents have been using herbal remedies for hundreds of years to help ease their baby’s teething pain (and loads of other ailments). Here are some ideas:
- Rosehip – Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, rosehip tea is great for boosting the immune system. Additionally, rosehip has been shown to contain anti-inflamatory properties.
- Chamomile – Chamomile is a popular remedy for teething pain. It helps relax and soothe irritability.
- Catnip – Catnip is said to calm irritable babies and help them rest.
- Clove – Clove is a natural anesthetic and work as well as benzocaine at relieving pain vs. placebo.
- Ginger-also a natural anesthetic, can be rubbed directly onto the gums for the best result
Any of these herbs can be made into a tea, which can be used to dampen wash clothes before freezing. You can also give the tea to baby as a beverage, or rub it directly on the gums.
You can also make an herbal infusion that can be rubbed directly onto the gums. In a small saucepan, place your herbs and cover with olive oil. Simmer on low for 4–6 hours. Strain and store in the refrigerator. Dab some oil onto baby’s gums as needed.
Tips to protect baby teeth
- try to eliminate the amount of snacks that your baby is serving between meals
- make sure that you brush your baby’s teeth twice a day (toothbrushing should be introduced as a fun part of your baby’s daily routine.You might find that a good time for toothbrushing is playtime or bathtime)
- take the little one to the dentist every six months for consultation
Teething isn’t fun, but luckily there are lots of things you can do to help baby cope. Start with optimal health to alleviate excess inflammation. Then try some of these simple and natural remedies that can help relieve pain at the gums. Don’t forget about cuddles, care and attention..Soon, baby will be back to normal… until the next tooth comes in!