Teething has begun. That lovely sleeping schedule may be thrown off; wakings from wimpers or crying may occur. Every child teeth’s differently; some very peacefully while others life can become completely tossed upside down as these little pokey teeth arise through the gum line. Since we are in the midst of this ourselves I have decided to put together a list of options during those intense teething times.
-silicone, wood, fabric, and the list goes on. Some of our favorites include:
Sophie the giraffe, silicone popscicle molds, bpa free child spoons, metal child spoons, stuffed animals, wooden cooking spoons (be careful if they get the handle side for they may put it too far down their throat-ouchie), and of course if they are just beginning to teeth and don’t have many teeth yet, fingers.
-freezable teether toys (bpa free), cold water wash cloths (can also be put in the freezer to become colder), breastmilk popscicles, and mesh food feeders filled with frozen fruit or veggies. Let’s explain a little further...
Breastmilk popscicles are simply expressed milk put into a popscicle mold and frozen. These are great for children of all ages, and are a good option for those under 6 months and not on solids yet. However, I personally still hold off on this option unless pain is so intense simply because the milk is frozen and not body temperature as it comes from the breast.
The mesh food feeders are an option for those already on solids or beginning to introduce solids, for they are filled with frozen food for the child to chomp on.
What are some other options?
Baltic Amber Necklaces: I suggest raw baltic amber because I feel the potency of stones more when they are raw versus polished. The lighter color is known to have more succinict acid which is what acts as the natural pain reliever. These necklaces are Not for chewing on. They are for wearing.
Breastfeeding: Some babes will turn away from the breast during those painful times while others will melt into relaxation. I’ve now had one child that reacts each way. Either way, give it a try: offer the breast.
Rocking/bouncing/wearing: Sometimes simply being close and rocked or sang to can be soothing enough to do the trick. It leads into another option: distraction.
Distraction: I am not a fan of redirecting and distracting when a child (even a baby) is simply having an emotional experience however in the case of physical pain, it can be beneficial to redirect their attention to other things so that they can take their mind away from the pain. Toys that play music, looking in a mirror, having another person enter the scene and play, and for us shadow puppet/finger shows and Little Horse dancing have been miracle pain killers.
Shadow puppet/finger shows: I would go by a wall where light is shining and wave my hands around while making wooshing noises and taps. Little Wolf would be fascinated with the noises and completely focus on my hands as well as the shadows. The first time I did this I was stunned; and it worked every time as tooth number one emerged! Little Horse dancing: She loves entertaining her sister, and when Little Wolf is upset she immediately helps out. Sometimes she grabs a toy and she does a little jig and sings a song capturing her attention and changing the scene completely.
Lavender Oil: If things are obviously too painful I will resort to using an olive oil lavender blend. I use 1 Tablespoon with 1 Drop of lavender essential oil. It is Imperative that a person dilute the essential oil properly as well as Avoid internal use. Do Not put the oil in the babe’s mouth. You simply use a finger or swab and rub the oil along the jawline. (Remember to wash your hands if you use your fingers). How quickly this worked the first time blew my mind. As I have used this many times, there are occasions when it takes a few minutes to work. Those few minutes can feel like an eternity in painful teething moments but it has worked every time at least for periods of time. And then
if all else fails
Hyland’s Teething Tablets: I use these as an absolute last resort. They are a homeopathic remedy which I have found to be very successful. With Little Horse I maybe used them a handful of times but she was a wonderful teether. With Little Wolf they have been used more often but still sparingly. I always want to maintain gut health so I do not like introducing anything before six months, however when the pain is that intense I want to help it go away and trust in the powers of breast milk to heal that growing gut.
There is a homeopathic teething gel as well, but I have not had as much success using that. However, that reminds me to remind you to never use anything like oragel that has benzocaine in it! (1)