Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Natural Teething Remedies Investigation

Lately is has become increasingly apparent to me that Little Bear is in the beginning of his teething stage. My sweet babe, who before now rarely ever had a cause to holler, can now be found several nights a week refusing to nurse, several days a week refusing to nap for more than a few minutes all day, and several out-of-the-house trips having a meltdown. Being the over-protective, chemical hating, homeopathy-lovin' mama that I am, I decided to set out on my search for teething remedies to suit my natural-baby's needs.

I realize that quite a bit of the teething behavior can be simply soothed by mechanical means, (a wet washcloth to chew on, squishy chew toys, frozen water rings, etc.) but for those truly terribly days, something a little stronger needs to be handy. I have never been the type to take pain medication readily-- I have to have a fairly persistent headache before I reach for the Ibuprofen. I also don't like the thought of giving Augie a dose of Tylenol or Baby Orajel every time he has a bit of pain, especially when something else might do. Something that won't slowly degenerate his liver or induce methemoglobinemia (a deadly blood disorder). 

So, here goes my research on herb-based remedies for teething pain.

Hyland's Teething Tablets

Pros-LOTS of good reviews from parents who swear that it takes away the grumps immediately. Very cost effective ($8 bucks for a bottle with over a hundred tablets). It is easy to use, even on the go, since the tablets dissolve instantly under the tongue.

Cons-One of the ingredients, Belladonna (aka Deadly Nightshade), is an herb that has some people concerned and a few of the reviews I read were by parents whose babies had adverse reactions and had to be taken to the ER with vomiting, etc. Apparently it is a matter of being sensitive/allergic to this herb, and the percentage of people who are seems to be a decent amount. The FDA warns against it, and there was actually a recall at one point. The company website argues that the extreme micro-doses used in their product do not pose a threat to anyone who isn't severely allergic, and an allergy is something you risk with any drug. Is it worth the risk to see if your kid handles the herb well? 

Camila Teething Liquid

Pros-Once again, relief is said to be instantaneous in consumer reviews. It is also said to relieve the mild digestive problems associated with teething/excessive drool ingestion, and therefore the diaper rash also supposedly caused by teething. This remedy has no known side effects. Lactose free. 

Cons- Less cost effective ($12 for twenty individually packaged doses). Liquid might be harder to keep in a small baby's mouth, as opposed to tablets. 

Teetha Teething Granules

Pros- Once again, reviews report instant relief. 

Cons- Comes in a sachet of powder that can be difficult to give to a baby. It is recommended to use at only 4+ months of age. Choking hazard? Not cost effective ($19 for 24 doses).

Humphrey's Teething Strips

Pros-Once AGAIN, reported to work instantly. Decently cost effective ($6 for 18 doses). Nice flavors, which probably help with the baby grumps as well. This company also makes pellets. Said to relieve "wakefulness", and many parents agree it helps with nap-time grumps.

Cons- I assume that a "strip" might be less safe for a smaller baby. Recalled at one point because of unsafe/non-childproof container. 

Any other suggestions from mama's who found a good homeopathic teething remedy? 

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