Do you wake up in the morning . . .
Put both contacts in one eye, find your dustpan in your fridge and your milk on the floor next to the broom?* Have you ever fallen asleep with the car running in the driveway, or pulled into a Starbucks drive-thru and tried to order from the trash can? Well then, you just might have a teething baby on your hands!
Now, if you’re planning to pick up a bottle of Anbesol or Baby Orajel at the store here’s something you won’t find on the warning label: The FDA has warned consumers not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES that the active ingredient in these gels is potentially fatal for children under two. Though the reaction is rare, there’s no way to predict when it might happen. For some babies complications occur within minutes or hours of the first application, while others may seemingly have no reaction after several uses only to develop problems later.
Fortunately there’s an easy, inexpensive . . .
And completely natural alternative that really works! Clove oil is a natural analgesic (numbing agent) with a long history of safe use in dentistry. In fact a 2006 study conducted by dentists found it was just as effective as store bought gels.
Because of it’s potency, clove oil needs to be diluted before application. Below is the recipe I use, which was adapted from a product I recommended in this post on natural remedies for teething. Personally, I like this one more because it’s willow bark-free.
Not familiar with willow bark? It’s a natural form of aspirin. Though I’m sure the concentration is really low I try to avoid fever reducers if at all possible. Fevers have a purpose, even when they’re from teething! Low-grade fevers commonly associated with teething usually occur when a tooth is breaking through the gums. This ensures that pathogens that enter the bloodstream via the broken skin – like um, when your little one starts gnawing on the dogs toys while you answer the phone – are dealt with right away. But enough about that, here’s the recipe!
Homemade Teething Oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or for a milder flavor 1 tablespoon olive and 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 drops clove essential oil
Combine ingredients and test a little on yourself to make sure it’s not too strong. Once you’re comfortable with the ratio’s pour your mixture into a clean container. Light oxidizes oil, so a dark amber or cobalt is best if you plan to leave it on the counter. Another option is a clear glass container that is kept in a cool, dark cabinet.
Shake well, then apply sparingly to gums with your finger tip. Reapply every 1-2 hours as needed.
Need More Teething Help?
Click here for the scoop on 5 more things you can do to make teething easier, and here’s one on why Hyland’s teething tablets don’t work for everyone (plus what to use instead).
* This post was inspired by this one on sleep deprivation. Click over if you need a good laugh!