Did you know that some babies are actually born with teeth already emerged? What a sight! But for most babies, teething happens sometime in the first year, often near 6 months. It’s no joke, either. Teething pain can turn even the most relaxed baby into a hot mess. Enter natural teething remedies.
You have many options beyond the standard ibuprofen that are safe and effective at reducing baby teething pain and inflammation. In this post, we’ll take a close look at some of my favorite natural teething remedies.
Natural teething remedies
Not totally sure if baby’s discomfort stems from teething pain? Check out this post for signs that your baby is teething.
If baby is definitely, for sure, getting some teeth, what can you do? Here are some of the best natural teething remedies:
Baby Teething Pain Relief #1: Lower Inflammation
Inflammation from teething can stimulate nerves that cause pain. Reducing inflammation is one way you can help relieve baby’s pain.
- Low inflammation diet: If baby is eating solids, white foods such as refined sugar and flour, potatoes, and even dairy can cause inflammation. Focus on paleo-type foods—a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, pastured meats, wild seafood, ample healthy fats (coconut, avocado, butter, and whole eggs.
- Lower stress: Make sure baby is getting enough rest and eating healthy foods in addition to breastmilk or formula. Over time, stress can cause inflammation.
- Balance blood sugar: This is another important way to lower stress levels. Blood sugar swings (highs and lows) require the stress hormones to get involved to keep blood sugar stable (yes, even in babies and young children!). To keep blood sugar levels stable, focus on whole foods instead of highly processed snacks. Try to pair healthy carbs (like sweet potatoes and fruit) with protein and plenty of healthy fats.
Baby Teething Pain Relief #2: Boost the Immune System
There is some debate whether teething causes fevers and colds by lowering the immune system, or whether the two occurring at the same time is simply a coincidence. However, many parents do notice a runny nose or fever while baby is cutting teeth. At the very least, boosting the immune system can’t hurt and can can help prevent baby from dealing with double ailments.
- Continue breastfeeding: Baby gets antibodies from your breastmilk to help build her immune system.
- Give baby vitamin D: Many of us (and our babies) are vitamin D deficient because of too little time outside in direct sunlight. Vitamin D plays an important role in supporting immune system function. Babies can take liquid vitamin D drops to get their levels up to a normal range.
- Give baby probiotics: Since most of the immune system resides in the gut, building healthy gut flora is important for optimal overall health and immunity.
Baby Teething Pain Relief #3: Cold and Pressure
One of the older natural teething remedies in the book, using cold and pressure to help baby’s aching gums is still an excellent teething remedy. Give baby safe, non-toxic objects that can be frozen and then used to chew on. The cold helps numb the area, and the pressure soothes inflamed gums.
Here are some examples:
- Frozen washcloths: Soak a small washcloth in water, wring out, then freeze for at least an hour. Let baby chew on the washcloth after it comes out of the freezer.
- Frozen fruit or veggies: Put these foods in a mesh or silicone teether for small babies and freeze for at least an hour. For older babies, put a banana in the freezer for a tasty snack that’s also one of the best natural teething remedies.
- A cold spoon: Put a metal spoon in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, before giving it to baby to gum.
- Natural teething biscuits. These biscuits are easy to make and don’t contain questionable ingredients like the ones you buy in the store (even the organic ones!). They can be kept in the refrigerator for a cooler treat.
Baby Teething Pain Relief #4: Teething Toys
Something to chew on is sometimes one of the only natural teething remedies baby really needs to get through the pain of teething. There are lots of options for teething toys that are also safe and non-toxic.
- Silicone teething rings: Made of safe silicone, rather than latex or plastic, this teether is a safe choice.
- Wooden teethers: What works for one baby may not work for the next, so if silicone and rubber don’t do it, try a wooden teether. The texture might be just right for your baby. Just be sure to choose a brand that uses natural water-based sealants or food grade dyes. And be aware that teethers like this one need to be oiled or (bees)waxed before use.
Sophie used to be the gold-standard when it came to natural teething remedies. But there’s been controversy after some moms found mold inside their toys when they cut them open. Until the manufacturer solves this problem, we don’t recommend this teether.
Baby Teething Pain Relief #5: Teething Necklaces
Amber teething necklaces
If you’ve been around the natural mama circuit, you’ve likely seen those cute amber necklaces on infants. They are actually amber teething necklaces. The idea is that baby’s body heat triggers the baltic amber to release an oil that contains succinic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory. Whether they work is up for debate. Many parents swear by them, while others are less sure.
If you do choose to try an amber teething necklace, be sure to remove it when baby goes to sleep, or wrap it around a wrist or ankle as many parents do. Also, keep in mind that there are lots of fake amber teething necklaces, so be sure you’re getting a real one.
Teething necklaces for mom
Another option is a teething necklace for mom. These necklaces are made of silicone and are great for baby to use while sitting in mom’s lap or in a baby carrier. They also act as something for baby to fiddle with while she nurses.
This teething necklace can also be placed in the freezer for a cold treat.
Baby Teething Pain Relief #6: Herbal Remedies
Parents have been using herbal remedies for hundreds of years to help ease their baby’s teething pain (and loads of other ailments).
Here are some ideas:
- Rosehip: Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, rosehip tea is great for boosting the immune system. Additionally, rosehip has been shown to contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Chamomile: Chamomile is one of the more popular natural teething remedies. It helps relax and soothe irritability.
- Catnip: Catnip is said to calm irritable babies and help them rest.
- Clove: Clove is a natural anesthetic and has been shown to work as well as benzocaine at relieving pain vs. a placebo.
How to use herbal teething remedies
- Make a tea: Any of these herbs can be made into a tea, which can be used to dampen a washcloth before freezing.
- Give as a beverage: To make a tea, boil water and steep 1 tsp of herbs in 10 oz, of water for 6–7 minutes. Let cool fully before serving to baby.
- Rub directly onto gums: To make an herbal infusion that can be rubbed directly onto the gums, place herbs in a small saucepan and cover with olive oil. Simmer on low for 4-6 hours. Strain and store in the refrigerator. Dab some cool oil onto baby’s gums as needed.
Natural Teething Remedies Are So Simple!
Teething isn’t fun, but luckily there are lots of things you can do to help baby cope. Start with optimal health to alleviate excess inflammation. Then try some of these simple and natural teething remedies to help relieve pain at the gums. Soon, baby will be back to normal… until the next tooth comes in!
How About You?
What natural teething remedies worked for you?