Effective Teething Remedies: Natural, homemade or medical
Latest update: September 14, 2018
Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD
remedies soothe baby teething pain fast and also have a lasting effect.
That's what you need to keep her sleeping well at night. There are a
couple of home made remedies that are really good. They are not
expensive at all and often more reliable (and lasting) than the medical ones. Sometimes a
solution like teething gel/granules or plain Tylenol can be necessary
Let's examine how and when to use each category: natural or homemade
involve no pills or syrup at all, and
then medical remedies.
As a general rule, I always recommend to try natural solutions
first. Do them correctly and consistently for lasting results. Then if
still necessary, complement with a medical solution. Speak to your
and/or pharmacist before trying a
Natural and homemade teething
Non-medical teething pain relief methods work through massaging the
gums or by cooling - which un-swells and effectively reduces the
Home made remedies refers to something you can do with things you
usually have around at home.
Effective teething pain relief methods you can use:
1. Gum massage with a finger toothbrush
Gently massage your baby's gums with a soft fingertip baby
They are like plastic little fingers and specifically
designed to massage the gums.
Most babies really enjoy this massage, especially
really eases the pain.
Once the first teeth have arrived, the finger toothbrush is also great
2. A plain teething ring, or bite ring
A baby with teeth coming up has the urge to chew or bite all the time.
really helps to soothe the pain. It works exactly like the gum massage
it is 'self-service'.
There are endless options of course - the Sophie
the Giraffe Teether is a huge classic hit
- can do
but please mind the
following safety guidelines:
- A safe chewing toy must not contain any
toxic substances that may be released when biting or chewing.
No small parts that can be torn or bitten off.
- Carefully read the manufacturer's
instructions regarding washing and sterilizing. Do not sterilize the
ring if not explicitly mentioned.
- Do not use a ribbon or other to attach the
ring to baby's clothes to avoid baby getting entangled.
3. A cold cloth
Use a cold thin washing cloth either inside baby's mouth to massage the
gums or place it on the cheek.
Both of these methods soothe the pain.
To cool the washing cloth, wring it out
in cold running water
or put it in the
refrigerator for a while. Alternatively, tightly (!) wrap an
ice cube in a thin washing cloth.
In all cases, remember to wash the
cloth thoroughly after each use.
4. Cold food
If your baby has the appropriate age, i.e. is on solids, cold foods can be good remedies too.
numbing effect helps for the pain, and you can make healthy treats that
baby will love!
You can try cooling any type of fruit or veg that your baby eats and
likes: it can be banana, pear, apple, carrot, etc. or also a chilled
If your little one can safely lick a Popsicle, you can make a healthy
yourself with freshly squeezed juice in small Popsicle moulds. Or put a
little Popsicle stick in her favorite baby yogurt, then freeze.
5. A cold chewing ring
A cold teething ring can be any chewing toy that you cool in the
refrigerator, as long as it's safe to do so (not all materials are suited).
Some are actually a liquid
filled cold-pack type
and remain cold for longer, like the Nuby
Icybite Teething Keys.
The cold has a numbing effect which is of course what helps soothe the pain.
The safety guidelines are as
above but be extra
careful about the liquid filled part:
- Unless the manufacturer explicitly mentions freezing, do
not freeze, only refrigerate.
ring could cause cracks and make the liquid burst.
Besides even it is allowed,
straight from the freezer is often too cold for baby, so refrigerating
is usually best anyway.
- Frequently check for tiny cracks as you do
not want the liquid to spill. No too much worries though, dedicated
cold rings are made of very thick plastic.
But don't be put off by
these simple precautions, these cooled rings are very efficient!! And
Obviously, avoid medical teething remedies if you can. But if none of
the above natural remedies sufficiently relieve, consult your
doctor or pharmacist. They can tell you what you can safely use for
A good teething gel has a double action: it combines a local
anesthetic with an antiseptic to both numb and disinfect.
Teething gel is not suited for all babies - that's why you need to be
careful and check with a health adviser.
But if your baby can have it,
and reacts well to it, the gel can be very effective.
Always consult your doctor for safe use
of painkillers such as calpol or ibuprofen. They can help soothe the
worst of teething pains if used sporadically and in a well-timed manner.
Please beware of homepoathic tablets and gels, there is an FDA
warning against them due a risk of harmful side effects.
Even if one or several of
all these teething remedies may help relieve your child's pain,
there is still a good chance that some discomfort remains. And that her
sleep will be disrupted for a while ...
The golden rule is to relieve the pain maximally and at the same time
keep up the good habits of regularity, bedtime routine, ... which will
keep you on track as closely as possible. More details on how
to keep sleeping well even when teeth are cutting.