As a mom of three, I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) through research, trials, and some mistakes the best way for my family. It wasn’t perfect to start, and a lot of times it doesn’t always look so perfect now. With each child I’ve tried to make the healthiest decisions I could and each time I learned a lot along the way. My love of babies and kids has placed a mission on my heart to share knowledge and get parents thinking of other options and potential dangers of blindly following mainstream thinking. It’s a lot easier to raise healthy children than to fix it after the fact, just ask me, I know.
One of the areas I have learned a lot about is over-the-counter medications and teething, and how bad they are. But don’t worry, there are better teething options that you can find in my crunchy mom’s teething toolbox.
Choosing Natural Teething Options Is Best
I don’t even keep the acetaminophen or teething gels in my house anymore because it would be too easy to grab them. We all know how it is when we have a screaming baby. Some of you might be curious as to why I don’t grab those traditional options. It’s because of everything I’ve learned about the long-term harm of chemicals on a developing baby’s brain and body. If it’s bad for adults, it’s even worse for a growing baby.
According to WebMD, babies who are given acetaminophen for a fever during their first year of life had increased risk of illness at ages 6-7. They had 46% increased risk of asthma, 48% increased risk of runny nose and red, itchy eyes, and 38% increased risk of eczema. Teething gels have a dangerous chemical benzocaine in them. The FDA came out against them last May because benzocaine has been linked to a rare blood condition that can cause deadly breathing problems.
So, what happens when I have that screaming baby? It doesn’t mean I just let my child sit there in pain and ignore their tears. I’m still a mom and I’m going to do my best to ease my child’s pain. Here are 11 items you will find in my teething toolbox.
1. Wood Toys
My preference is wood toys. They may or may not incorporate some organic cotton fabric. One toy company I really like is Finn and Emma. They seal the wood with organic vegetable seed wax. Watch out for wood toys that are coated in toxic lacquer. You don’t want to give your baby that to chew on.
2. Silicone or Rubber Teethers
We try our best to avoid plastics at our house even though we live in a plastic filled world. The silicone, or rubber, teethers are a great option. A mainstream option that has been flooding the markets is Sophie the giraffe. We have the flat one with the “rings.” Avoid squeeze toy options. Anything that can suck air in can also suck spit, which means there is an opportunity for mold to grow. They have cut open rubber duckies and bath toys to find black mold growing on the inside. That’s the last thing you want anywhere near a developing body.
3. Teething Jewelry
They make really fun teething jewelry that you can get in wood and/or silicone beads. They may look like your toddler made your jewelry, but they are cute for accessories that your baby can safely chew on. It’s easy to grab without dropping it on the floor because it’s around your neck or wrist. Bonus: it keeps them from grabbing your hair or pulling on your regular jewelry.
4. Organic Bibdanas
These are a must have when the drooling starts, whether it’s because of teething or those salivary glands that start to develop at 3-4 months. Make sure you also avoid toxic laundry soaps.
5. Essential Oils
There are a variety of oils you can use on the gums like clove oil, chamomile, white fir, and lavender. There are a variety of options so if you already have one in your house you can start right away with what you have. Who knows, maybe you are rocking a fussy baby in the middle of the night right now! Some people will say they don’t want to risk the essential oils with a baby. If you ask me and it’s a choice between essential oils and acetaminophen, I’m going to choose essential oils every time. We have to weigh the risks.
6. CBD Oil
I have not used CBD oil for teething yet because the amazing benefits of CBD oil weren’t as well-known and as accessible when I had my first two kiddos. I’m excited to try it for the next round of teeth, and we have an awesome source for it. I’m thinking it will go pretty well. I have used it topically for nipple pain from nursing. If it works for me it has to work for baby’s pain. If moms or dads are anxious they can take a few drops too.
7. Frozen Wash Cloth
A timeless remedy is the frozen washcloth. Cold feels good and helps soothe some of the pain from teething. Wet and freeze a wash cloth, then give it to baby to chew on.
8. Frozen Breast Milk Popsicles
There are many options for cold things to soothe the gums, and this option might be the crunchiest of the natural teething alternatives. It makes total sense though! Frozen breast milk pops are really fun and immune-boosting. They make all different kind of molds but be sure to keep an eye on baby with these to make sure they don’t choke.
9. Hyland’s Baby Teething Tabs
Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets came in very handy with my first son. They changed the formula and took out the belladonna, so I’ve heard mixed reviews that it doesn’t work as well as it used to. That’s a shame, but there are still good ingredients to help alleviate some teething discomfort.
10. Amber Necklace
I still have my amber necklace from my first son and now my littlest wears it too. The key component affiliated with Baltic amber’s healing properties is succinic acid, which accounts for 8% of its make-up. In theory, when placed around the baby’s neck, Baltic amber warms up, causing it to release oils that contain succinic acid. Personally, the biggest thing I notice with my babes is less drooling when they have their necklace on. I’m not personally worried about choking hazards, but if you are the necklace can be double wrapped around the ankle during sleep.
11. Camilia Gel
This is a new one that has been showing up on all the crunchy mom sites and the ingredients are Wellness Way approved. I haven’t tried Camilia personally, but I have heard good things from moms I respect.
You Do What Works for Your Baby and Your Mom Style
What works for one baby might not work as well for another. Some moms might look at one option and say that is too crunchy for me. Find what works for your family. I like lots of options, so people can find an option that works best for them. These are natural options that I have found that don’t have the chemical downfalls of outdated acetaminophen or benzocaine teething gels. My goal is not to convince you about what to do, but to share some great natural teething alternatives for those who want to find a more natural way. I hope some of these work for you too! Let me know what your favorite natural teething alternatives are!
By Brianna Simoens, Wellness Way Enterprises, CEO
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