Your baby’s first year of life is full of changes and adjustments. There is learning to roll over, sitting up, clapping, and even walking. Every single accomplishment is a great reason for you to be proud. There are some changes that aren’t as fun. Teething is probably at the top of that list.
You are probably very excited to get a glimpse of your baby’s first teeth. It means you are getting closer to introducing your baby to the different textures, colors and flavors of solid food. It is a very exciting milestone but you might find yourself overwhelmed and concerned because you are dealing with an uncomfortable, irritable and unhappy baby. The following tips can guide you through the painful teething path.
- There are many natural ways to help your baby while he/she is teething. Essential oils are an option. Massaging your baby’s red, swollen gums with a blend of lavender and chamomile oil will reduce pain and inflammation. It can also be rubbed on the outside of the cheeks and along the jawline. The blend is effective because of the unique components of each oil. Both, chamomile and lavender, are very kid friendly oils. They are known for their abilities to induce a more relax state and aid with sleeplessness. To avoid any reactions, make sure you dilute the blend with coconut or olive oil.
- Herbal tinctures or extracts can provide great relief. Tinctures are liquid herbal infusions. They are usually made by using alcohol or glycerin. They are very effective because it is essentially a concentrate of all of the herbs medicinal properties. You might find that a glycerin tincture is the better option since it gives the liquid a sweeter taste. To help your baby feel more relax and content, use a few drops, three times per day of a chamomile tincture. This tincture is excellent before bedtime since it helps with getting a more restful sleep.
- An amber teething necklace is a great natural remedy if you are looking to steer away from putting anything into your baby’s mouth. Baltic amber teething necklaces are usually worn around the neck but you can put them on your baby’s ankle. The most important thing is that the necklace is in contact with the skin. This contact is what stimulates the amber to release succinic acid, which is one of its natural components. The outside of the amber contains the highest concentration of this natural pain reliever. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a perfect, gentle and side effect free teething remedy.
At first your baby might be curious but you can hide the necklace under clothing. These necklaces are constructed with your baby’s safety in mind. They can be worn most of the time but it is best if it is removed during bath time or while your baby is sleeping.
If your baby is 6 months or older you can use food to try and make the discomfort in his/her mouth more tolerable.
- Frozen bananas make a great soothing treat. They don’t pose any choking hazard since they become soft and mushy as they thaw. They will leave you with a messy baby!
- Smoothies or frozen pops are another great option. You can make fruit smoothies with frozen bananas or you can just pop it in the freezer and make a homemade teething popsicle. You can up the anti-inflammatory power of these treats by adding tiny pieces of ginger or herbal teas that include chamomile and elderberry.
- Soups or broths can help by having an overall calming effect. Teething can make your baby very irritable and cranky. Tiny sips or spoonfuls of a warm broth can really bring some comfort. Try to include onions and garlic in your cooking. These two vegetables are powerhouses when it comes to anti-inflammatory properties.
A Soothing Touch
Teething can make for a very uncomfortable and inconsolable baby. It is not uncommon if your baby is extra clingy and just wants to be held. Hugs and cuddles become a very essential part of helping your baby go through such a rough change.
Skin to skin contact is the best way to get maximum benefits of being close to your baby. It will bring down his/her stress level and also encourage the release of “feel-good” hormones known as endorphins. These are associated with the body’s natural ability to deal with pain and discomfort.
Incorporate skin to skin when you are nursing or bottle feeding. Hold your baby close and go out for a walk, rock your baby, use coconut oil for a light massage or you can draw a warm chamomile or lavender infused bath.
When in doubt, take a deep breath, relax and cuddle your baby.
What things have worked for you and your family to get you through teething?
About the Author
Jorge is a sociologist and father of 2 children living in Miami, Florida. He is a self-taught cook and passionate about alternative medicine.