Raising a child is one of life’s most difficult experiences. There’s no amount of knowledge in the world that makes child rearing easy.
It’s even fair to say that having one child doesn’t stop you from running into trouble raising the next one. All children are unique, and while it makes the process difficult, it’s also one of parenthood’s joys.
Every prospective parent knows that some days are easier for your baby than other. Babies undergo different “stages” as they mature and grow, and not all of them are comfortable.
At the forefront of the difficult infant stages is teething. The process refers to the very uncomfortable few years when your baby’s first set of teeth is growing.
You’ll know the process has begun when your baby starts drooling and attempting to chew on anything and everything.
Gum swelling and sensitivity, food refusal, and even general irritability all also occur during teething. The process is stressful for everyone involved.
Luckily, parents have developed excellent natural teething remedies over the years to make the experience easier to bear.
We’re going to break down our 10 best teething remedies and how they can provide your child with relief during a stressful time.
Sometimes simpler is better when it comes to teething. Take a clean finger and rub your baby’s gums along the areas where potential teeth will grow.
The idea is to counteract the pressure the teeth are putting on your child’s gums. The new sensation can also take your infant’s mind off of the pain.
Formula is Your Friend
At the start of teething your infant won’t have enough teeth to eat solid food, but some parents are tempted to feed their children “adult’ food as teeth emerge.
Solid food can cause discomfort when teeth are nearing the surface. Stick to baby formula to ease the irritation chunks of food have on tender gums. Organic, GMO-free formula is full of nutrients and free of irritants, making it the perfect choice come teething time.
Ice is another oldie but goodie. Adults use ice all the time for treating inflammation and mild pain. RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is so effective it’s standard advice from professional physical therapists.
Putting ice on your baby’s gums serves the same purpose. The ice decreases inflammation and creates a safe, mild numbing sensation that your child may enjoy. Just remember to apply ice from the outside of the mouth, or use cubes too large for your infant to choke on.
While some babies stage a hunger strike during teething, others can’t get enough milk. There are two schools of thought here.
First, the sucking motion of breastfeeding might reduce gum pain. Second, breastfeeding is comforting. It’s an activity your child knows is safe, and can bring stability in times of pain.
Many cultures have used chamomile tea for centuries as a pain reliever. The leaf’s natural anti-inflammatory properties are perfect for soothing your infant’s swollen gums.
Give you baby small sips of chamomile tea, or rub the tea directly onto his or her gums with your finger. Remember, never give your child homegrown tea. Botulism spores may live on the tea leafs and can grow in your infant’s stomach.
Sophie the Giraffe
Babies love Sophie, and parents do too. For more than 50 years the rubber giraffe has helped teething children relieve their discomfort. Sophie provides a safe, danger free object for your infant to chew. Unlike many household items, Sophie is too large for swallowing.
The rubber giraffe is also BPA and phthalate free and made of baby-safe food paint.
This remedy works under the same principals as our ice cube method, only much tastier. Frozen fruit is a great way to relieve your infant’s pain while also providing them with a healthy, delicious snack.
Mesh feeders that mimic pacifiers are available to allow your child hands-free fruity goodness. The cold will numb your baby’s gums while the mesh pacifier protects them against choking.
Many companies sell Oragel to numb your child’s gums. These products work, but can also lead to excessive numbing and an increased choking risk.
Try out homeopathic Oragel instead. These Orgel’s use natural herbs to create a mild numbing effect. They’re only so effective, though in this case work to avoid choking potential.
The Sippy Cup
As your child gets older, it’s likely you’ll switch their drinking methods to mimic those of adults. We’re talking, of course, about sippy cups.
Sippy cups take care of two things at once. First, they help teach children how to use cups. Second, the end of a sippy cup is a popular knawing tool for teething children. Cold water combined with a sippy cup spout can keep tooth pain at bay.
Mind over matter is more than a cute saying. There is evidence that “forgetting” about pain can have a similar effect as pain medication. We’re not getting babies to meditate, but just distracting your child will give them something to focus on besides teething pain.
Make sure you’re choosing activities that require some amount of brain power. Reading your infant books or engaging their imagination are both good distractions.
The teething process is difficult, there’s no getting around it. It’s a difficult time in a baby’s life that takes on toll on the whole family.
We’re fortunate enough to have the experience of those brave parents who came before us to provide insight into the best teething remedies for soothing pain and providing relief.
Stick to these all natural remedies for teething pain relief and your baby will have a beautiful smile before you know it.
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