Teething can be a pretty miserable experience for all involved, but most of all for the baby. Back in the day, our moms rubbed whiskey on our gums (well, at least mine did) and hoped for the best. Moms today are less likely to give babies alcohol, but more likely to try more natural teething solutions, especially since Orajel became unsafe for children under 2.
The FDA issued a warning about benzocaine, which is found in Orajel, Anbesol, and other over-the-counter meds used to help soothe baby gums. The quiet happiness didn't just help the babies, it also helped parents who may now have to resort to pulling their hair out to get through the first teeth.
Not to worry. There really are safe teething solutions that don't contain benzocaine. These include:
- A clean finger: Yes, it's old-fashioned and kind of obvious, but a teething baby can benefit greatly just from having the counter-pressure of mom or dad's pinkie finger to chew on for a while.
- Frozen fruit: When my babies were little, I used to freeze chunks of banana, put them in a mesh feeder, and let them go to town on them. They don't last long, so freeze a bunch, but they do help (despite the sticky mess they leave).
- Frozen washcloth: Another favorite of mine was to take one of the 40,000 washcloths we received as a shower gift, wet it down, and then let it freeze for a couple of hours. Some moms even swear by dipping it in chamomile tea rather than water, but either way, when the babies chewed on them, it was instant relief and no choking hazard.
- Amber teething necklaces: Some moms swear by amber teething necklaces for getting past teething pain while others question their effectiveness, but either way, they're easy for mom to wear, pretty, and go with any outfit, so why not give them a try?
- Nursing: Sometimes we just have to suck it up a bit as parents and for me, that meant a lot of extra nursing to help the babes over some of the painful teething humps.
What is your favorite natural teething pain remedy?
Image via Elizabeth/Table4Five/Flickr