From frozen to alcoholic, parents have had plenty of solutions to ease babies through their teething stages. But do you really need to slather your little one's gums in medicated gels in order to treat their soreness? Turns out, no. The Food and Drug Administration is now warning parents away from certain prescription and over-the-counter teething medications.
According to the FDA, the gels and creams parents are using can be harmful to the baby. Specifically, the government agency says drugs like viscous lidocaine have been reported to actually hurt the baby, and popular benzocaine gels and liquids can cause methemoglobinemia, a rare but serious and possibly fatal blood disorder.
Keyword "rare" here, moms.
Still, while it's tempting to try anything to heal those aching gums, this consumer warning means parents need to take a long hard look at what it is they're using and weigh out the risks vs. the benefits.
Now it doesn't mean you have to ignore baby's pain entirely!
The FDA recommends using benzocaine gels, but they call for a doctor's oversight. And if you're uneasy about medications in general, there are good ol' natural remedies to help your little kiddos.
First off, take your finger and gently massage your baby's gums. Then give them a cool (not ice cold) teething ring or a cool washcloth to hold in their mouths and chew. The combination of the pressure and the coolness will help to naturally ease their aches.
If all else fails, talk to your doctor about what's safe and go with your gut!
Does this change how you approach baby teething?
Image via Rob Friesel/Flickr