If you're like me, you pay attention to what you feed your children. For those of you who'd like natural alternatives to over-the-counter teething medicines, here are some things to try.
- Soak a wash cloth in water or chamomile tea and freeze it. Let your little one chew on it. (Don't throw away the tea bag! See below.)
- After making chamomile tea, let the tea bag cool, then let your little one chew on it.
- Mix 1 drop of tea tree oil in a glass of water, then rub on gums.
- Get a Baltic amber teething necklace for your little one to wear. Although it is a teething necklace, it is NOT to be chewed on! It just needs to be next to baby's skin.
- Dilute 1 drop of clove oil in 1-2 tablespoons of a carrier oil such as almond oil (or other edible oil). My father-in-law mixed some for Jesse in grapeseed oil. Clove oil must be diluted because it is STRONG and can burn when applied full-strength.
- Let your little one gum on cold fruits or veggies. My mother-in-law gave her kids carrots to gnaw on until they had teeth that hit (because then they could bite off a chunk of carrot and choke).
- I just read about pickles for teething. Apparently the cold and the vinegar soothe the gums. I don't know what's in store-bought pickles, so you may not want to try this unless you make your own pickles. By the way, homemade pickles taste better than store-bought anyway (big surprise, right?).
- Wrap an ice cube or crushed ice in a handkerchief, wash cloth, or cheesecloth. Tie it closed or use a rubber band. If you use a rubber band, watch carefully in case it breaks.
You'll probably find that what works best for you may not be what works best for your neighbor. Jesse loves to chew on ice now (he's 17 months old) but didn't like to when he was younger. I think it was too cold for him. So wrapping an ice cube in a wash cloth didn't do much for us. Our favorite was the clove oil diluted in grapeseed oil.
These ideas should get you started. Hopefully at least one will help!