Indian home remedies for teething babies still rely on grandma’s remedial tips. Most of the stuff is available in the kitchen closet. Indian home remedies are the first aids we experiment with any problems. We trust our granny more than the allopathic medicines prescribed by the doctors.
Our ayurvedic and alternative therapy traditions work wonders as they are safe to use and treat numerous problems like common cold, influenza, gastric pain, cough, etc. These medicinal herbs are available in every Indian home as they are used in cooking. Indian home remedies work wonder in treating baby’s teething problem.
There are some excellent home practices to alleviate the pain, but before educating on the Indian home remedies for teething babies, let us know some facts about teething.
How early can a baby start teething?
Teething in baby starts from the 4th month onwards. In some, it begins as late as the eighth month. But don’t be harried, if your baby has early teething. In rare cases, babies are born with few teeth. Similarly, the teething can delay up to the 18th month.
The teething pain is brutal, and its symptoms manifest in different forms leading to a lot of discomforts to the baby. It makes the parents confused and miserable seeing their little one in such distress.
Why does teething hurt so badly?
The tooth buds form in the baby when the baby is in the womb. They usually have a set of 20 teeth. You can feel the cavities by gently running your finger over the gums. As the tooth begins to sprout, it pushes through its tender gums resulting in swollen gums and irritation. The gums of the babies are very sensitive and delicate. It causes inflammation, and the baby becomes restless. The discomfort begins well before teeth even come through. It is cranky most of them when it is awake and shows a sudden change in behavior.
As teething is discomforting and agonizing for the baby, it frustrating and stressful for the parents as well. Worried parents take their cries to colic pains and often fail to assuage the pain as the child is unable to communicate its woes. You should quickly figure out why the baby is hesitant to take a feed. As a parent, you should be aware of teething symptoms.
When to notice the teething symptoms in babies?
If your baby is fussy about something, is squirming while taking the feed, is drooling excessively or has a severe diaper rash, the chances are your baby may be teething. The first challenge for a new parent is recognizing the signs of teething.
Teething symptoms can be different for every baby. There are ways to spot the teething signs for a distressed parent. The symptoms vary from few days to several months. In some, there may not be any visible signs. So, the symptoms can be simple or can get tricky from child to child.
It is better to be conscious of the standard signals of teething for a new Parent. Even the parents with their second or more child can experience variation in teething signs. The most common symptoms are –
- Bulging gums with excessive drooling.
- A distinct whitish smudge on the gum.
- You can feel little hardness when you gently rub the gum.
- The child is very irritable.
- The baby is trying to suck, bite or chew anything that comes in its grab.
- The sudden change in the feeding behaviour. Ignoring food or breastfeeding or trying to bite the nipple rather than sucking.
- The baby is restless during sleep or is trying to be awake.
- Rubbing or grabbing the face and the ears.
- Frequent stomach upsets due to biting or sucking non-edible things.
There can be many undetected symptoms as well, but the above symptoms are similar to many babies. One or many of the above symptoms can occur during the teething phase.
To relieve pressure from gums, the baby will start to gnaw or chew at everything that lies in its way from cloth to eraser to just about anything! It isn’t an enjoyable process and can be very painful for the tender gums of your child. It is for such time when natural home remedies come in handy to alleviate the pain.
Indian Home Remedies for teething babies:
In India, babies are excellently handled well by the grandmothers. With loads of experience and our richness in cultural traditions, the populous Indians treat their babies better than many. With joint family traditions diminishing over time, the nuclear family culture has taken away those home remedies prescribed by our elders. The new parent is mostly clueless nowadays.
We list down few natural approaches to handle teething problems in babies.
It is a common technique now and has been adopted all over the world. Frozen techniques as the name suggest soothing the gums by applying coolants. These coolants can be a thick clean piece of cloth or a banana.
You can freeze a thick plain cloth or a small towel and allow the baby to suck it. It will soothe the inflamed gums and subside the swelling. Many apply ice to the gums but we don’t recommend it as the child can catch a cold due to that.
Frozen Fruits and veggies can be the other approach for babies over 6 months. Babies like the sweetness of the fruits and the coldness ease the pain and irritation. Many also feed the babies with gently cooling it.
Kids particularly love fresh fruits like bananas, sapotas (chikus) and smashed apples. Vegetables such as cucumbers are carrots cold and excellent to appease the distressed baby. Plain frozen yogurt is another good alternative.
If you are feeding milk, water or soups in a bottle, it is advisable to freeze the nipple of the bottle. You can also freeze the bottle in a bowl of ice keeping it upside down with the water so that it is frozen at the mouth of the bottle near the nipple.
Similarly, you can slide a freezing spoon. The child likes the hardness of the metal, and the coolness alleviates the swollen gums.
If the child likes to play with the teethers, you can freeze them as well. The baby is involuntarily put them in the mouth and enjoy the cold and soothing effect.
Gentle Gum Massages
A slow and gentle gum massage helps alleviate the teething problems in a baby. First, wash your hands and keep them entirely clean. You should try this if you have long nails. Nails can cut the gums and the tongue. It may be best practiced by the dads as men don’t usually keep long nails. Women have nail polish applied on their nails. It can be harmful to the baby too. So, before massaging, the finger the cleanliness of the finger is mandatory.
Massaging the gums is simple. With the clean finger, apply light pressure on the delicate gums slowly and steadily. You can also rub the gums. If you have long nails, another option is to do it with the frozen dish towel.
Massaging with clove oil is a common Indian home solution. The clove oil is not only anti-inflammatory but also analgesic to pacify and suppress the swelling of the gums. It also keeps away any fungal or bacterial infections. The crying of the baby should substantially subside.
Is honey good for teething babies?
Many parents use honey for massaging but, it is not considered safe unless the baby is more than a year old. Honey causes botulism in babies. Botulism is caused by a bacterium present in the honey called Clostridium botulinum. It is also not claimed by any expert that honey eases teething problems in babies. It is just that the baby stops crying with the sweetness of the honey.
The niggling sensations in the gums make the little one yearn to chew or bite rough objects. Rough chewies are a good substitute when your baby keeps biting or chewing things. Breadsticks, hard bread, teething biscuits, and rusks are good chewies to much.
Medicinal Herbs and Alternative Medicine:
Some parents swear by alternative home remedies such as herbal powders and homeopathic medicines. Calcaria Phos, a prevalent homeopathic medicine is a very accepted dental drug for babies. My baby had a very smooth teething using Calcarea Phos. But, before using, always consult your doctor as we are no experts on homeopathy.
Babies are undergoing teething need more calcium. Calcium, through nourishing foods and herbs that can provide essential nutrients for a growing body. A proper home remedy to provide calcium for those emerging teeth is an herbal tea. Catnip tea is a popular one. Again, always ask your pediatrician. Many modern doctors don’t resist alternative medicines for teething babies.
Borax is also a recommended by some. Though, its effectiveness is never officially validated by doctors; One should stay away till a doctor does not prescribe it. It may or may not be safe at all for your baby.
The Indian home remedies for teething babies have been entirely accepted worldwide. If the purpose is served without threatening the health of the baby, all home grandma prescriptions are excellent. It doesn’t expose the baby to the chemicals of a medicinal drug and also helps is getting rid or lessening of the stressful situation with things that are available easily in all homes.