Red swollen gums. Pink cheeks. Slight fever. Drool everywhere. Fussy, distempered… teething.
Nothing sucked more than when my children were teething. I felt so helpless to help, and if I’m honest, the fussiness was a bit much at times! Since children can start teething as young as 3 months and as late as 18 months, tips and tricks are needed! When mine were little little my go to was the frozen plastic rings. It allowed them to chew and numb their gums at the same time. The chewing helps their teeth break through the gums, and the frozen ice chew helped numb the gums. As they got older and were introduced to more foods, I would take the net rings and place frozen fruits like blueberries, quartered strawberries and grapes into the mesh and let them gnaw away. This temporarily soothed the pain and helped brake the gums.
Nilla wafers were also a life saver! I know, there is no nutritional value to a Nilla Wafer, but they don’t break down easily like animal cookies and they don’t create the mushy mess that teething biscuits make. More importantly, they are inexpensive. One of my daughters LIVED on these wafers for months, because it was the only thing that helped.
Nothing is worse than traveling with a teething child and forgetting meds! When your in a pinch, you can stop at any store and pick up Children’s Benedryl. When applied topically Children’s Benedryl acts as a topical anesthetic, that is to say it will help numb the gums.
Today, there are more things that can be done to help ease the pain. My go to, even with older children and adults, is clove honey. Clove honey is easy and quick to make. Clove is a natural anesthetic and it tastes good. This is especially helpful for children over the age of 1, if you have introduced honey to a younger child successfully use your best judgment.
To make it, pour 1/8-1/4 cup of honey into a small pot and add 4-5 cloves of clove. On simmer, let the honey and cloves sit for about 20 minutes. You want the honey to taste like clove. If you need it faster, turn the heat up and keep an eye on it; you do not want the honey to boil. Once the honey tastes like cloves, remove the pot and let it cool. Dab a little clove honey onto the tip of a clean finger and apply it topically to the gums. It can be applied up to 2-3 times a day. Store in an air tight container in a dark cupboard, or in the refrigerator. If you store it in the fridge, it may need to come to room temperature before use.
If you are like me there are times where you just don’t have time to make something, no matter how simple it may be. In those cases, here are some great natural products to have on hand:
Gum-Omile by Herbs for Kids – Gumomile is a natural, topical herbal teething remedy that contains chamomile, to help soothe an irritated child, and clove, to help numb the pain. Gum-Omile can be purchase online at Herbs for Kids, at Natural Grocers, or on Amazon.
Clove Oil: Clove oil has been used safely for generations, but it is to be used in the SHORT TERM only for babies older than 6 months. Combine 1 drop of clove oil with a teaspoon of avocado oil for the total preparation. Apply 1 drop of the mixture to the affected area (no more than 2-3 total drops per application) up to 3 times a day for up to 5 days.
Clove essential oil can be purchased online at Mountain Rose Herbs, at any whole foods stores, or at your local apothecary. When using essential oils internally it is best to try and get organic, as it reduces the chances of pesticides in the oil. Avocado oil can be purchased at Walmart, Trader Joes, at any health food store or online at Mountain Rose Herbs, Amazon, and occasionally at Costco.
Bach Rescue Remedy has also been recommended to help ease stress and anxiety in both mother and baby. Bach Rescue Remedy is a natural remedy created with flowers. 2-3 drops can be given orally. For adults, follow the instructions on the back of the box. It can be purchased at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, or online at Amazon.
Remember to observe the child for potential allergic reactions anytime something new is introduced.