I think we can all agree that teething is one of the most heart-wrenching milestones for babies. Swollen gums, fevers, runny noses, pain. As parents, we look for the best ways to help relieve any discomfort for our children. And you are in the right place! I've compiled my best list of 5 baby teething natural remedies and the best food for teething babies! Here's everything you need to know...
5 Baby Teething Natural Remedies
As an herbalist I look for ways to use herbs and food to support health issues. When is comes to baby teething, this plant is terrific. Its anti-inflammatory actions work to relieve swelling. It is also a nervine, meaning it works to support anxiety and tension associated with pain and distress. Chamomile is also a mild antimicrobial, so it supports the gums to eliminate unwanted bacteria. These are the three ways I use chamomile to relieve baby teething irritation:
- Chamomile tincture rubbed directly on baby's swollen gums. I use 1-2 drops on my finger or dropped onto a cloth and then applied. I recommend this brand.
- Some of you may be concerned about this approach because tinctures are made with alcohol, and we don't want to give our babies something toxic! I get it. I was freaking out when I first learned about tinctures. But I have good news. The amount in 1 drop applied topically to your baby's gums is less than that of the alcohol content in a ripe banana. True story. Alcohol is the most potent solvent for extracting the herbal compounds that give herbal medicine its power. It's also a fantastic antimicrobial. Many children's OTC and prescription medicines use alcohol as a solvent, which is a higher percentage than the amount found in an herbal tincture. However, if you are still freaked out by the thought, you can use tinctures made with glycerin, which are called herbal glycerinates and are alcohol-free. While they are not as powerful, they are still better than nothing. Another great way to get rid of the alcohol is to evaporate it out by boiling the tincture in 1 tablespoon hot water for 2-3 minutes, then adding it to their bottle or sippy cup. For dosage with children, I like using Clark's Rule: the child’s weight in pounds, divided by 150, then multiplied by the adult dose. Example: 25 pound baby/150 x 50 drops (about 1 dropper full) = 8 drops
- Use highly diluted chamomile essential oil rubbed on gums. (I rarely take essential oils internally and never give them to my children to ingest, however the essential oil works well when applied topically and responsibly.) It's also important to use pure therapeutic grade essential oils for anything applied topically. I use and recommend this chamomile essential oil. Mix 1 drop of chamomile essential oil into 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. It is important that you dilute it in an edible carrier oil like coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil.
- Run a chamomile bath for your baby. Pour 1-2 tablespoon dried chamomile herbs directly into the bath and help their little bodies relax. I buy my herbs from this store.
2. Rescue Remedy Bach Flower Essences
This is akin to an herbal tincture, but more diluted. It's a combination of five flower essences to calm and relax. This is a great essence to add to your baby's bottle or sippy cup, or you can give them 4 drops on their tongue. You can purchase it here.
3. Cold packs or herbal ice cubes
Cold is a natural way to get rid of inflammation. Double up on the herbal actions by making some chamomile tea, and freezing it in ice cube molds. Then add them to a teething feeder. I like these teething feeder molds. You can also add frozen berries to the teething feeder.
4. Applying pressure to gums
This is free, simple, and effective. Simply use your fingers (make sure you wash your hands before putting your hands up in your baby's grill!) to apply pressure to their gums. You can also use a cold rag. Or if they don't want anything to do with you shoving your hand in their mouth, they will often chew on their own fingers. It's a natural instinct, and one that is helpful.
5. Teething toys
My babies have never been big on teething toys, but I know some kids who love it. Here are a few that have worked well:
- Silicone teething jewelry to gnaw on while in mom's arms.
- Sophie the Giraffe. We are big fans!
- Baby teething toys that can be frozen. Double whammy! Or triple whammy if you let them chew on it while in a chamomile bath.
Should I get a baltic amber teething necklace?
I am talking about those amber colored bead necklaces. You may have seen them, or you may use them on your babies. But do they actually work? Baltic amber contains the analgesic substance succinic acid. The theory is that the baby’s body warmth encourages trace amounts of the succinic acid to be released onto the skin, which is then absorbed by the body where it works to relieve teething pain.
Some camps are skeptical and claim that it is hype with no scientific evidence to back up if they actually work. And some people swear by them because they've had happy teething babies while using the necklace. (If such a thing exists! You tell me.)
I personally think necklaces on small babies and toddlers are a choking hazard, so I don't use them, but that's my opinion. I recommend the other natural baby teething options listed above! They work and will help relieve your baby teething woes quickly and effectively.
Best Foods for Teething Babies
First and foremost, we know that we should give our babies cold or frozen foods, but let's focus on some particular foods that possess anti-inflammatory properties to support your little one:
- Blueberries - High in antioxidants, and a great way for them to mash food to apply pressure on gums.
- Leafy greens - Great for aiding the body to reduce inflammation. I suggest preparing it as a smoothie, or making it in ice cube molds and adding to the teething feeder.
- Celery, carrots, and apples - Crunchy fruits and vegetables are generally high in fiber. They take longer to chew and generate more saliva. Saliva is wonderful for flushing the mouth of bacteria near the gum line. Obviously, only babies with teeth can easily chew these foods, and we don't want to give our little ones food that can be a choking hazard. Give them these as appropriate for their age level and eating abilities.
- Greek yogurt - not only is this cold, but contains live active probiotic cultures for gut health and healthy mouth and gut flora. Yogurt is great for fighting off the bad bacteria that cause oral disease, and it's cold, so it helps with inflammation.
Getting new teeth is the pits. As parents and caregivers, we sometimes want to cry alongside our babies, but with these baby teething natural remedies, you are well equipped to provide safe, effective and natural relief for your little ones! Good luck!
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Disclaimer: Please check with your child's healthcare provider or physician for any contraindications or specific questions about these protocols. While these are generally regarded as safe, each individual has specific needs or limitations based on their health history. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.