Teething is a developmental milestone every baby must undergo. Typically, signs that your child is teething include excessive drooling, tender gums, crankiness, and chewing on items, among other symptoms. However, there are natural teething remedies to overcome your baby’s discomfort.
Although most parents say that teething is often accompanied by diarrhea and fever, experts say this may not be true. But whatever the signs, teething can be a challenging and uncomfortable time for babies and parents alike. Fortunately, many natural at-home teething remedies can ease your baby’s discomfort.
However, remember that every child is different, and you should try different teething remedies to see what best suits your child.
10 natural teething remedies to soothe a teething baby
1. Chilled toys or teething rings
One of the most popular and straightforward ways to comfort your teething child is using chilled teething rings or toys. The cold temperature helps numb your kid’s gums, providing relief to their gums.
To use this remedy, place a clean toy or teething ring in your refrigerator for a short time. Remember, don’t put it in the freezer because you only need it chilled, not frozen.
2. Cold washcloth
Another easy and cost-effective teething remedy is using a chilled washcloth. Wet a washcloth, fold it, and briefly put it in the refrigerator. Like the chilled toy, cold and gentle pressure can alleviate teething pain.
3. Gentle gum massage
Massaging your baby’s gums with clean fingers can help alleviate teething discomfort. Wash your hands well, then gently rub them on your child’s mouth in a circular motion.
Alternatively, you can use a silicone finger toothbrush or a clean damp gauze pad designed for baby’s gums. Always be gentle with the gum massage and ensure you are responsive to your child’s cues.
4. Teething biscuits or rusks
Teething biscuits or rusks are excellent options for babies who have already been introduced to solid food (over 6 months). They are made from safe, easily-dissolvable ingredients, and when your baby gnaws on them, they provide gentle pressure that can alleviate teething discomfort.
However, ensure that you supervise your baby as they enjoy their snack and choose age-appropriate teething biscuits.
5. Frozen fruits or vegetables
Like teething biscuits, chilled fruits and vegetables can be soothing and nutritious for teething babies who have started eating solid foods. Go for safe options, such as carrots or frozen bananas, and always peel and cut them to appropriate sizes.
6. Herbal remedies
Some herbal medicines, such as chamomile tea, have been lauded for their ability to ease teething discomfort. You can brew and cool the tea before applying it to cloth for your baby to chew on. But remember to always check with your physician if the herbal remedies are safe and age-appropriate.
7. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding
Breastfeeding can offer both nourishment and ease discomfort when teething. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding provides natural pain relief as the sucking motion may release calming hormones.
If your baby isn’t interested in eating, gently rub their gums with clean fingers to alleviate the pain before feeding them.
8. Distraction methods
Distraction can also be a powerful remedy from time to time. You can distract your baby by singing lullabies, giving interactive toys, rocking them, or giving them a bath to take their mind off the pain and offer temporary relief.
9. Love and comfort
Sometimes, all your baby needs is cuddles, gentle play, love, and affection. Your presence can offer them a sense of security that can help distract them from teething discomfort. Responding to your baby’s cues with cuddles and snuggling can help them feel loved while giving them much-needed rest.
10. Over-the-counter teething remedies
Besides natural teething remedies, you can use over-the-counter teething gels and medication to relieve your baby temporarily. However, always consult your pediatrician before giving your child any medicine, be mindful of the ingredients, and follow the instructions carefully to ensure proper dosage.
Teething treatments to avoid
Remember, even though we’ve recommended teething tablets and gels, the lauded benefits have yet to be backed by studies. Some even have harmful ingredients, such as belladonna, which may lead to seizures and breathing difficulties. So be careful when buying over-the-counter teething remedies.
Also, avoid teething painkillers containing benzocaine and lidocaine, which can be pretty harmful — sometimes fatal — to your baby.
Remember, the much-lauded teething bracelets, anklets, and necklaces pose a risk of strangulation, choking, mouth injury, and infection.
Natural teething remedies include rubbing your baby’s gums, keeping them cool, distraction, etc. However, whichever treatment you choose, ensure you supervise your baby to avoid choking and strangulation hazards. Also, always wipe their drool to prevent rashes from developing around their mouth.
Lastly, besides teething remedies, find ways to clean your baby’s newly-developing teeth.