When my first son started teething, my only known solution was a cold teething ring and a dose of Tylenol for the pain because let’s face it that’s what we’re all told to do. That’s how I managed for the first few weeks Luke really started showing signs of pain and discomfort. Now we have this wonderful thing called google and I worried about giving Tylenol so regularly. My mother has a serious allergy to red dye #40 and there it is right on the ingredient list, along with high fructose corn syrup, a black box warning (FDA's highest warning label) and other controversial studies/issues. Over the past few years my lifestyle has totally changed. I've spent countless hours studying homeopathic/natural interventions and they have become a new way of life for my family and I. So here are some helpful tips and personal favorites to surviving those glorious teething months/years with baby.
1. Amber teething necklace: the magical heaven sent necklace! Within a day of putting it on my son, I could see a difference and it didn’t come off for about a year (other than baths and bedtime). Now my 5-month-old has taken it over. Baltic amber has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (pain relief). When worn the babies skin warms and releases it’s benefits to baby.
2. Essential oils: diffuse lavender and/or chamomile. I’m not comfortable with diluting and rubbing them in my babies mouth (which some do but you can further look into that option if you’re interested) so I find just diffusing still makes a world of difference. With both oils calming effects, not only does baby get the benefits, we stressed out mommas do too! Also, another option would be to dilute and add them to babies bath, which in the case baby super restless it’s my go to.
3. Nuby Chamomile Soothing Tablets: all natural teething tables. These work wonders. Within minutes I can see a difference in my little guys mood. They do what they claim; calm, relax, and soothe.
Nuby Chamomile Soothing Tablets
4. Cold Teething rings, teething snacks and teething toys: chew away. Babies naturally like to chew, anything they get their hands on goes right to the mouth. There are specially made snacks out there for the teething baby. If your baby hasn’t started food yet, these will be helpful when that time does come. Cold teethers for numbing and soothing. Teething toys both entertain and are generally made to gently massage those little gums for some pain relief.
*Great alternative to the $30 Sophie giraffe, just hot glue the squeeze opening to keep from molding inside.
5. Distraction(keep baby busy): get out of the house, go for a walk, music, bouncers, walkers, etc. I have found the busier I keep baby the less fussiness I have to deal with. My little ones love to be outside so a stroll around our neighborhood is always a good option for us. The kids enjoy seeing nature, the fresh air and it generally ends in two sleepy or already passed out kids.
6. Extra naps: We all know baby isn’t sleeping well at night and neither is mommy. Encourage a few extra naps for your little one, not only to improve their mood but to give yourself a break from the chaos teething can bring. I highly recommend trying to take a short nap yourself but if you have other children in the home that can be difficult.
7. Stay calm: my kids feed off each other and my mood. If I’m tired and cranky from no sleep, you better believe my kids will be the same way. Your kids feel your energy so if you didn’t sleep the night prior and are anxious and frustrated they will feel that. As hard as this can be at times, it makes a world of difference keeping your spirits high and a positive attitude. I know some days this seems impossible but know it will make your life a little easier.
8. Take time for yourself: my mom taught me that when you’re feeling defeated and frustrated, take 10 minutes to yourself to decompress. There are days you’re going to feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s part of parenthood. Put baby in a safe place (crib, bouncer, or whatever you know they are totally safe) and walk away to another room or step outside. Take 10 minutes of silence, listen to music or just do something for you. I personally love the Calm app to get my mind straight if I'm feeling overwhelmed. It's an app to help you de-stress; offering relaxing music, breathing techniques and so much more.