Long nights, restless naptimes, food aversions, and the longest nursing sessions in the world. While there are definitely times where your little one will experience these things for other reasons, teething may cause all of them at once! When my littlest began teething, fingers were honestly the best thing for his gums. Did I mind?? Not at all... because there weren't any teeth in his mouth yet! I've seen so many recommendations for allowing baby to chew on your (very clean) fingers or his own, but who in their right mind is going to do that once those first four teeth come in?? Not sure about you, but definitely not this mama. Recent studies have shown that teething rings with liquid inside are no longer recommended. If frozen, they become too hard for babies' teeth, and when not frozen, their teeth can actually pierce the teething rings, causing the (not-so-non-toxic) liquid to escape... right into your little one's mouth! Also, the FDA is now warning against any teething products containing benzocaine because of side effects. Just think - if benzocaine is numbing your baby's gums, it's also likely numbing their tongue or throat, causing their gag reflex and their swallowing capability to be lessened.
So what can you use??
I've tried all the things (outside of those two mentioned above). I tried the adorable teething mittens at Target, which are super cute & effective for a little while... unless your baby, like mine, realizes that it's more fun to pull it off their hand and throw it. I also tried the Taggies blanket, because my daughter used to love those! But they are far too soft for these back teeth, I guess. We've found four things that work for us:
1. Amber Teething Necklace
Made of authentic amber, these necklaces offer a natural immune system boost, as well as anti-inflammatory & analgesic capabilities. When I forget to put M's on during the day, I can tell a difference & realize around lunchtime that something's wrong. They seem to offer relief, but consistency is key for long term relief! Order these here. Note: These are at your discretion; some are concerned that they may be a choking hazard. My little one is literally always in sight & I don't let him sleep in it, so for us this is not a problem. Anytime I catch him trying to chew on it, I quickly replace it with something else.
2. Mesh Feeders
These are heaven sent!! You can put any thing in them, they are the perfect size & shape to grasp, & the mesh pouch fits perfectly in baby's mouth. Our favorite things are frozen mango, peaches, & bananas, but I've also just wrapped an ice cube in a flannel cloth before & closed it in the pouch. Basically, if it's frozen & it will fit (& it's healthy for baby), you can use it! Order these here. Fair warning: They can be super messy - think bananas... or strawberries - so I wouldn't advise letting your little one crawl or run around with one.
Seems so simple, right? I definitely had an "aha" moment when someone shared this tip with me. Soak a washcloth in ice cold water, ring it out, tie a knot, & hand it over. The cool sensation will provide instant relief to your baby's gums & he's got a new toy. It's a win win. These are my favorite washcloths!
Tip: If this doesn't cut it for your little one, try putting ice chips or small ice cubes inside the knot. This will offer harder, colder pressure, helping to numb and soothe the gums.
4. Essential Oils
My go-to for teething is Copaiba due to it's relaxing properties. This Vitality essential oil can be mixed with Coconut oil and applied straight to baby's gums for temporary relief. Other oils I'm using:
Valor: Apply to outside of jawline.
Peace & Calming: Okay, okay... This one is for me. ;) But it can be diffused in your home to clear the air and create a peaceful environment.
For more information on teething, when to expect certain teeth, teething signs and symptoms, or any other teething related questions, check out this link.
Have you tried any of these remedies for your little teething one? Do you have tricks and tips not mentioned here? If so, we’d love to hear them!