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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Natural Ways to Relieve Teething Pain

Jennifer M suggests ways to relieve the teething pains that trouble babies. Originally published February 2003.

A friend of mine once said that the explanation for babies over 4 months who spend hours crying and being irritable is that they are "teething". (Before 4 months, the explanation is always "colic"). This may be true, but often the reason is teething; and then as a parent, you want to do everything you can to reduce the pain and, consequently, the irritability and the crying. Teething babies need a lot of attention, especially body contact and comfort. As adults, we also do not like to have tooth pain and appreciate every little bit of extra attention we can get. This is no different with our babies.

The first thing you can do if you suspect your baby is teething is try spending more time with him or her, a lot of cuddling and snuggling. Due to the lack of sleep caused by the constant irritability (for both you and your baby), your immune systems will be running low. You should, therefore, be sure your diet is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as that of your baby if you are no longer breastfeeding. You should try to provide appropriate toys for your baby to chew on. This way, the baby tries to help the tooth to "break through" by putting pressure on the gums.

To relieve pain externally, you can try massaging teething oil on the outside of your baby's cheek. Take jojoba oil as a base and mix in roman chamomile and clove essential oils (per 10ml of the base oil, add 1-2 drops of essential oil). A homeopathic remedy for teething pain is the medication Osanit. These are sugar free homeopathic pellets specifically created to relieve the pain and irritability of teething. They can be given to infants as well as small children and have no side effects, nor danger of overdosing.

Another method sworn to by midwives and mothers is the wearing of an amber necklace. Maybe you have seen them in baby stores and have wondered what their purpose was. Amber is the fossilized sap of the pine tree and has been used for centuries as a healing stone. It is said that body heat releases essential oils trapped in the stones and this helps relieve the pain and irritation of teething. If nothing else, then at least the necklace looks nice around your baby's neck.

Teething can be a very frustrating and exasperating time for you and your baby. Try to utilize the methods mentioned in this article to relieve your baby's pain and remember, it is only temporary. Eventually you child will get all of his or her baby teeth; and for most babies, the first 8-10 teeth are the most painful. After this, the babies seem to get used to the discomfort and have fewer problems.

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