Monday, June 8, 2015

Natural Teething Remedies

Now teething is one of those things that can drive a new mom or dad crazy. Here you're going along, feeling like you finally got your baby figured out then...WHAM! In come the teeth. That routine you thought you had- gone. That sweet little happy baby-gone. Those peaceful nights-gone. In come the screaming, the chewing, and the drooling.

Okay, I'm probably making it more dramatic than it actually is, but to a new parent, it can be quite a challenge. I spent many hours Googling teething tips, alternative teething remedies, and other ways that I could make the process more bearable for both of my girls (and me too)!

 Let's take a look at Avery's teething journey...
The first two teeth that poked through around 5 months old.

The top two followed next around 8 months old.

Okay I would share Mila's teething journey, but I seriously can't remember any of it, let alone pictures that can document it! (Can you say second child?!) Moving on...

Symptoms I observed my girls having while teething:
-more crying than usual
-chewing, chewing, and more chewing. They would chew anything they could get her hands on, and I knew they was really desperate if they were chewing on her fingers.
-sometimes a runny nose (especially when they got their top teeth)
-sometimes a slight diaper rash (it's often debatable if this is connected to teething, occasionally I did see it though)
-red cheeks
-seeing an actual tooth beginning to stick out (or just feeling the razor sharp beginnings)
-other symptoms your baby may here.

Case in point: My chewing girl Avery...

When she started the chewing around 3 months.
Still at 6 months.

Fingers aside, toys are one of her favorites to chew on too.

Traditional medicine:
I suppose a traditional route would be to give acetaminophen or ibuprofeun, or possibly a teething gel that will numb the gums like Orajel.  But since most of those contain preservatives, food dyes, and other additives,  I wanted to go a more natural route that was a little more green-like so that led me to finding the two tips I'll share today...

No time for the video? Here's a breakdown of the tips...

The first one: Amber Teething Necklace

The necklaces aren't for chewing, instead they are thought to ease the pain that comes along with teething (read more here). They contain amber (which is a rock that used to be resin from a tree) and when the amber gets heated up by being next to the baby's skin, it releases trace amounts of healing oils that can help relieve the inflammation and pain that accompany teething. So just to clarify, they aren't going to chew on them, but instead wear them to receive the benefits (I know that can be confusing at times since they are called "teething necklaces").

They come in different colors varying from light yellow to dark brown, and even black...

Amber teething necklace on Avery at 4 months.

Mila in the same "dark amber" teething necklace around 4 months as well.

Beware of fake necklaces! I've had our amber teething necklaces for almost four years, so I wish I could link to the ones I got, but they are no longer available on Amazon. So I'll link a few that look to be good quality, and true Baltic amber. Be sure to read the reviews, they are very telling! Here's one, and another, and another.  ( :

Here's Avery around 8-9 months rocking the yellow teething necklace.

And Mila around 9 months with the same necklace.

This is how it goes together in the back. And if you look closely, you
can see that each stone is knotted. 

The main benefit I noticed from using the necklaces with both girls was that they did not drool as much. I could even see a noticeable difference when I would go a day or night without the necklace (during a heavy teething time) they would drool much more. So that was a great benefit, but even then, they still were not a cure-all. There were still fussy days, and painful nights, so that's what led me to find natural remedy #2...

The second one: Hyland's Baby Homeopathic Teething Tablets
Okay these things were a life saver. They are pretty self-explanatory in how they help ease the pain of a baby teething by giving them these little homeopathic tablets. And truly they filled in the gaps of the amber teething necklace in how I was able to give them pain relief on demand when they were really hurting instead of just hoping that necklace would work just a little bit harder!

According to their website: Hyland's Teething Tablets: "...temporarily relieves the symptoms of simple restlessness and wakeful irritability due to cutting teeth. Helps reduce redness and inflammation of gums."

They are:
  • Free of benzocaine, parabens, artificial dyes & flavors
  • No numbing effect
  • Easy to administer
  • Soft tablets dissolve instantly upon contact with saliva, and can also be dissolved in teaspoon of water
  • Fast, natural relief for the trials of teething 
How I used it: I gave my girls 2 tablets in the morning after they wake up and 2 tablets before bed. On a day that I can tell they were in more pain or extra fussy, I'd give them 2 more after lunchtime. The bottle states that you can give 2-3 tablets under the tongue 4 times per day."

Our usual dose...2 tablets in the morning, and before bed
when she's "teething".
Like they say, these tablets do dissolve instantly. I've never had a close call where it seems the girls are choking. I put these in and just like that...they're gone.

Let's take a look at the formula/ingredients:
Calcarea Phosphorica 6X HPUS  For teething, dentition
Chamomilla 6X HPUS For irritability
Coffea Cruda 6X HPUS  For sleeplessness
Belladonna 12X HPUS (0.0000000000003% Alkaloids)  For redness and inflammation
All in a base of Lactose, N.F.

Other funny effect: You're baby will become conditioned very quickly to this bottle. All I had to do was show the girls the bottle and shake it several times and they would start smiling, laughing, or sometimes happily screaming! They loved these things and I can bet your baby will too. (  :

Where to find it: Whole Foods, local health food store, or online for about $7-9.

Another tip: The teething tablet bottle is also a great entertainer for babies during diaper changes! Who knew? Double duty! Obviously you want to make sure the bottle is completely closed before handing it to your baby so they don't end up with a face full of teething tablets. But really, Avery has a blast with the bottle because she can shake it, chew on the outside of it, or just hold onto it.  Kind of strange I know, but you do what you got a do.

"I'll just be taking this."

Just a little splits action after the diaper change. Look at that little chunky

"Hmmm...Hyland's Teething Tablets.  Seems like a green
choice to me!" If you look closely you can see her red cheeks, and semi-runny
nose...she was in a peak teething time that day!
A few others...
I didn't just stop at the teething necklace and the teething tablets.  Within the period of years my girls were teething, we tried a number of other solutions, products, gadgets to help such as...teething rings, Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teething Toy, and even fancy eco-friendly teething toys.  But aside from annoying my dogs (Sophie the Giraffe and your lovely squeaking noise), my girls hardly touched the other toys. I would be like, "Here, here....chew on this!" and they would toss it to the side and grab a wooden puzzle piece to chew on instead. Nice, right? But maybe it was just my kiddos, but most of the time they would just rather chew on their pacifier than the toy I just spent $15 on Amazon for them. Anyone else have any luck with specific "teething toys"? Share below.

The other "teething toys" we tried.

Who knew Sophie the Giraffe could be so fun four years later? 

So there you have it, some of my favorite natural alternatives to baby teething. Have you ever tried an amber teething necklace or Hyland's Teething Tablets? If so, share your experiences below. Or do you have any other natural remedies to share? Please share those below and we can learn from each other! 

*Disclaimer- I am not a medical doctor or a pharmacist. So while I can share what has worked with me, it may not work for you.  I would say to talk with your "health care provider" but they will probably  just tell you to take the traditional over-the-counter or prescription medication. Instead you could do your own research or talk with someone at a natural health food store. Also, I purchased the products mentioned in this post with my own money and this is my honest opinion of them.*

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