Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Help Comfort a Teething Baby

I can't believe I used the word 'teething' and 'favorite' together in the title. Teething is one of my least favorite parts of infancy thus far. And by least favorite, I mean parts I loathe. The days are long. The nights are long. It's pretty much an exhausting period of life.

Thankfully, Dom was a quick teether. Quick meaning he got his pearly whites in pairs or triplets, all within a 6 1/2 month stretch of time. We are now going through the teething process on the second go round, and it's just as horrible this time. Lack of sleep... who am I kidding? No sleep would be the proper phrase. My usually content, oh so happy to lay on his back baby is gone, and he's been switched out into a whiner with a short attention span.

I've yet to see a tooth peek out of the swollen gums, but as I sit here patiently waiting, I figured I might as well share some secrets of the trade. Remember time is the best solvent, but when your ears can't take the screaming and your arms need a rest from the cuddling (baby wearing also come highly recommended at this stage), here are some things I suggest making good use of:

Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether is our number one favorite teething toy out there. Beware of the squeak when you first open it - both David + I jumped. True story. Otherwise, prepare to fall in love. Not only is she adorable + a great photo prop, BUT she is also all natural rubber and handpainted with a non-toxic food based paint. I am so sad I didn't have this for Dom as it's now Blaise's favorite toy to have on hand.

Razbaby RaZ-berry Teether is a close second, especially because it's so much easier to take out - perfect for being attached to the Beco or carseat, and it is silent, so during church, nobody takes notice of the baby gnawing for his life. It is not a pacifier, so if you've chosen not to give your child one of those, don't worry- there is no way they'll be sucking on this for comfort. It's 100% silicone and BPA free. We haven't tried this yet, but I've heard it can be frozen for extra comfort. I definitely prefer this over the rings that can be frozen (who knows what is in that strange gel they put in those?).

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder with a piece of cold food is great for a baby who is being introduced to real foods and teething, too. I don't actually use ours to introduce new foods, but you definitely can. Foods such as avocados and bananas much easily through the mesh. I typically stick a cold carrot inside, which provides flavor and comfort for teething while protecting from any chance of choking. I would not suggest putting an ice cube inside as it would probably be more alarming and painful than comforting to tiny gums.

Teething Bling Necklace, another 2-for-1. The one I have is a wooden one handmade in NY that I got at our local Natural Parenting store. It was much more my style, but this one is very similar in purpose. Mine is especially nice when I have Blaise in the Beco as it's already attached to my neck.
I've also heard wonderful things about Amber necklaces for babies but haven't yet tried them. The baby, not mama, will need to be wearing the necklace as it releases oils into the skin 

A simple washcloth wet can also be an excellent way to soothe sore gums. Cheap and efficient and assumably something you already have in your house. Step it up a notch by wrapping a washcloth around an ice cube and using a rubber band or hair band to secure it tightly. To be noted - make sure the band is in good condition because if it snaps it will hurt your baby and quickly become a choking hazard.

When the teething begins to get unbearable, before you turn to drugs (Baby Tylenol might be the only way you get sleep. I'm not judging. I've been there), here are two natural choices to try first:

Hyland's Homeopathic Baby Teething Tablets 100% natural, with no added flavoring, coloring, or parabens, these little life savers relieve pain and discomfort. They come in the form of tiny tablets that when held under baby's tongue, dissolve almost immediately. They're made in the USA and are from a family owned company that has been in operation for over a century. I discovered these with Dom, and added a new bottle to our supply as soon as Blaise began what looked like it could possibly be teething.

Hyland's also makes a Teething Gel, that unlike it's popular counterpart, Orajel, does not contain benzoczine. It is also paraben, flavor, and dye free, and made with similar ingredients as included in the tablets. The gel is a little easier to apply as you rub it directly onto sore gums. For us the tablets still seem to work a bit better, but I have both on hand for good measure.

There is no evidence to support anything beyond excessive drooling and sore gums, so your doctor may tell you that fussiness, lack of sleep, and the like are not caused by teething. However, if there's something I can do to help the fussiness and sleeplessness that affects my kiddos, I choose to do so. I shy away from medication for the most part in many situations, so that is why I thought I'd share items and products we've found to be helpful and successful, so you can maybe have some peace in your household during the season known as teething.

And may it be an easily comforted and quick season!

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This post How to Help Comfort a Teething Baby first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 25 July 2012


  1. This is the name of Lucy's game these days, too. Poor dear. We love the RazBerry but now I want to get one of those nifty giraffes. And I love the Hyland's tablets. My pediatrician's office is nervous about anything crunchy and was trying to advise me against them just yesterday. But no way, they're the best.

    1. Sophie (the giraffe) is just the greatest. Vulli also makes these mushroom-y looking guys that friends of ours have. Blaise picked it right up and stuck it in his mouth when we visited them.


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