When babies are teething, they can become a handful: irritable, fidgety, and chewing on everything. While teething can be a difficult time, there are a few things you can do at home to ease the discomfort of teething for your child with simple, natural remedies (and ease some of that discomfort for yourself in the process).
Give baby something to chew on
Babies and puppies are alike when it comes to teething: they want to chew on things. Let them! Chewing counters the pressure of sprouting teeth and can relieve some pain or discomfort. That’s not to say that you want your baby to chew on everything (especially not some of the things puppies like to chew on, like dirty shoes), but there are numerous teething products designed for babies to gnaw on. There are teethers available in rubber, plastic, silicone, wood, and cloth, in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet your, and your child’s, preferences.
Use something cold
We use ice to reduce swelling for other injuries and ailments, and it can be used to treat swelling and pain from teething as well. You can apply ice to the gums yourself for brief periods of time, as you would for swelling, or you can allow your baby to chew on an ice cube or crushed ice (in a mesh or silicone feeder bag, if the child’s age has you concerned about swallowing hazards). Another method is to place a damp washcloth in the freezer until it is cold and crispy, but not entirely hard and frozen; this makes for both an excellent chew toy and a cool relief. There are also teething toys available that can be frozen, as well.
Make some chamomile tea
If you ever drink chamomile tea, you know just how soothing it can be; there’s a reason, after all, that it has been used as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments for thousands of years. Brew up some chamomile (do yourself a favor and make sure it’s caffeine-free) and either apply it directly to the child’s gums or use it to soak a washcloth or other cloth teething implement for some welcome relief.
Use clove oil or clove tea as an anesthetic
Clove oil has been shown to work as an anesthetic, some studies even show that it works as well as benzocaine (aka the active ingredient in Baby Orajel and similar over-the-counter anesthetics). You can apply diluted clove essential oil directly to the gums (though exercise caution – essential oils are highly concentrated and you don’t want to use too much). You can also brew some clove tea and use as you would chamomile tea, by applying to the baby’s gums or by soaking a washcloth in the tea and letting the baby chew or suck on it.
Teething can definitely be a pain, but with a few simple homeopathic remedies, you can make the process easier on baby and yourself. Try any of these methods, the next time teething irritation has you and baby feeling ornery.
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