As a first time parent, I had many illusions and misconceptions about what being a mother would be like. I had listened to my friends’ tales of their teething babies with horror and I prayed that my child would be one of the lucky ones who would suffer minimal pain from acquiring his pearly whites. I remember when my son was four months and he began to drool a little more; I thought that he had begun teething and that it wasn’t as bad as my friends had claimed. How wrong I was!
Right now my nine month old son is working on his second tooth. I have received a lot of unsought advice from older mothers at my church, the Target cashier, and even my non-parent friends. You have to find what works for you and your baby; every child is different (as I’m sure you’ve often been told), but here’s what has worked for us. All of these options are non-toxic and natural, as we really do not like to give medicine unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- My son absolutely loves organic baby carrots! This is the one food item that has proven to help soothe him, even at the worst of times. He will gnaw on a carrot for a good 20-30 minutes before he throws it on the floor, thus initiating a game of “Pick It Up, Mommy, So I Can Throw It Again.” I take this to mean his gums don’t hurt as much since he’s ready to play again.
- Four words: Baltic Amber Teething Necklace. We love it. I was a little skeptical at first, but a friend raved about it so I took a leap of faith. We notice a difference in Michael’s irritability and drool output when we take off his necklace for long periods of time. For thousands of years, Baltic Amber has been known for its pain relieving abilities. It’s completely non-toxic and even works for adults. Several of my friends use them for headaches and other minor ailments. The succinic acid in the surface layer of the amber is released by your baby’s body heat and then absorbed into the bloodstream; this produces a calming, pain-relieving effect on your little one. Also, the beads are knotted individually so that if your baby manages to pull off the necklace or break it, the choking risk is minimal. I highly recommend one of these if you and your baby are having a tough time with teething.
- A frozen washcloth has also provided relief for my son. You use an ordinary washcloth, fold it in half, twist one end of it, wet that end under the sink with some water, and put it in the freezer for a half hour or so. You don’t want it to be too cold, as objects that are too cold can hurt baby’s gums. My son loves the texture of the washcloth, and he really enjoys sucking on the cold end of it.
If all else fails, it’s 3 A.M. and your child is in agony from the dreaded molars coming in, don’t beat yourself up if you give him/her a little infant acetaminophen when you said you wanted to treat teething naturally. And remember, “This too shall pass.”
Bio: Mary is a stay-at-home mom to a handsome little boy. Her loves include: cloth diapering her son, reading banned books, Doctor Who (and all things British), and expanding her culinary repertoire.
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