We all know the sound of that cry … that seemingly inconsolable cry. They’re not hungry. There’s no dirty diaper to change. They’re not sick. Nope, it’s teething time.
Teething can be an incredibly frustrating and difficult time for both babies and parents. Fussy, overtired babies plus fussy, overtired parents? Yeah, it not ideal. And, of course, your little sweet pea is genuinely in pain!
Teething can interfere with your baby’s sleep routine, feeding schedules and health, as well as overall daily life for everyone in the house. (Hands up if you have a big sib at home who is completely over Baby getting extra attention!)
Feeling helpless when it comes to comforting your teething baby? You’re not alone. And, while teething is an unavoidable part of a baby’s life, we have good news: Lullaby Earth has plenty of suggestions for natural teething remedies you can try. Keep reading for our favorite non-toxic teething tips!
How Do you Know if Your Baby Is Teething?
Let’s back up before we dig into natural teething remedies. First, you want to make sure that teething really is the culprit of all this upset.
Teething generally begins around six months of age. However, this can vary from baby to baby. Common teething signs and symptoms include:
- Swollen/tender gums
- Extra fussiness/crying
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive drool
- Slightly raised temperature
- Bringing hands to/around the mouth area
If you notice any of these symptoms and there is no other explanation for them, teething is likely to blame. Of course, it’s always best to check in with the pediatrician if your little one seems unwell or has a fever.
Teething and Sleep: The Breakdown
One of the main areas of life that teething impacts is sleep. This can be said for both parents and babies – we see you, exhausted parents! – but we’re focusing on your baby’s sleep right now. After all, once Baby sleeps, you can too!
Teething has the power to mimic a bad cold for babies. When you feel under the weather, you need more rest, right? Same goes for babies. Even though your little one doesn’t actually have a virus, you may notice an uptick in how long they sleep during particularly painful teething episodes.
And yet, that uptick in sleep duration is only possible if they are able to fall asleep in the first place. Teething is often the culprit for bedtime woes, restless sleep and frequent waking. Who can’t sympathize? It’s nearly impossible to relax and rest when you’re in pain.
8 Natural Teething Remedies to Ease the Pain
Luckily, at Lullaby Earth, we’re all about sleep – and only the kind that doesn’t include toxic chemicals! We’ve gathered a list of tried-and-true natural teething remedies to soothe teething pain and get your little one to sleep soundly. Check it out!
1. Cooling Gum Massage
To soothe swollen, tender gums, try performing a cooling gum massage on your baby. This can be done utilizing a good-old-fashioned ice cube wrapped in a teething mesh. Rub the ice gently along the gums without applying too much pressure and ensuring you grip it firmly. Additionally, a wet washcloth that has been put in the freezer becomes the perfect cooling device for baby to gnaw on. Just make sure you’re holding onto these items – not Baby!
2. Sound Machine
Sometimes a little shift in focus – away from the pain of teething – is all that’s needed to distract your little one from their discomfort and help them drift off to sleep. A sound machine that has white noise or other peaceful sounds can help redirect attention toward much needed sleep.
3. Direct Pressure
For this one, you will want to make sure to wash your hands first with a non-toxic hand soap. Applying a little counter pressure on the gums has been proven to ease soreness and relieve pain. To do this, rub a clean finger along baby’s gums before bedtime. For an extra soothing sensation, run your finger under cold water beforehand.
4. Frozen Treats
Many mamas know that nursing can offer some help to babies as the sucking action can relieve pressure on their gums. However, consider freezing breast milk into ice cubes for both a cooling and nourishing remedy. Once frozen, mash the ice cube into smaller bites to offer your baby in either a teething mesh or baby feeder. You can also try frozen fruit or vegetables.
5. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is known to have potent and powerful properties for soothing pain and reducing stress. Nursing mothers can incorporate drinking chamomile tea into their routines to pass the benefits along to their teething baby. Soaking a washcloth in chamomile tea and freezing it for Baby to gnaw on can also help.
6. Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils such as lavender and clove can help calm the nervous system and ease pain and discomfort for both baby and parents. Plus, lavender is well-known for its sleep-inducing properties. You can also try the following essential oils for better sleep: peppermint, sandalwood, ylang ylang and marjoram.
7. Dietary Changes
If teething occurs when your baby is eating solids, removing inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and refined sugar can help lower inflammation in their bodies and ease pain. Focus on healthy fats, like coconut and avocado, as well as pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood and organic fruits and veggies.
8. Vitamin D
When they’re not sleeping, taking your teething baby outdoors for fresh air and vitamin D from direct sunlight can help boost their immune system and support their nervous system. And, let’s be honest … it may just help you both feel less stir crazy if you’ve been stuck in the house and exhausted!
Lastly, don’t worry too much. Teething is natural, teething is temporary and teething is doable when you’ve got the tools, tips and tricks to handle it with grace – which you now do! You’ve got this.
Interested in more non-toxic lifestyle changes? Consider (if you haven’t already) going non-toxic for your baby’s crib mattress.