Somewhere between four and six months, your baby will likely start to show the tell-tale signs of teething: sore gums, irritability, restlessness, and of course, crying.
It’s tough to see your baby experiencing discomfort and you’ll want to do whatever you can to help soothe their little gums and wipe away those tears. There are lots of teething remedies out there, but before you reach for one, it’s important to know that some can be more harmful than helpful.
Teething necklaces and amber teething beads seem to be a favourite teething remedy of celebrity parents, but dentists and the Australian Government aren’t so keen.
The idea is that the baby wears the amber beads around the neck or wrist so that they’re directly in contact with the skin. The baby’s body heat supposedly warms the amber, releasing a pain-relieving substance that enters the baby’s bloodstream and eases teething pain.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a warning notice about amber necklaces as they could break into small parts and present a choking hazard to children under three years of age.
Frozen Teething Rings
When their gums hurt, babies instinctively want to chomp down on anything in sight, especially if it’s nice and cold! Chilled teething toys or rings are a great option, but they should be used carefully.
A frozen teething ring is likely to be too cold and too hard for your baby’s tender gums, potentially making their pain even worse. According to the Victoria government’s Better Health Channel, it’s best to use a chilled teething toy or ring, kept in the refrigerator rather than the freezer.
Safe Teething Remedies
You might be wondering what you can do to help your teething baby. The good news is that there are lots of safe and effective teething remedies to help soothe your little one’s discomfort.
As well as chilled teething rings and toys, you can also give your baby a cool, damp cloth to bite on. If your baby is eating solid foods, then they might also get relief by chewing on sugar-free rusks, teething biscuits or bread crusts. Finally, you can gently massage sore gums with a clean finger or a soft, wet cloth.
If your baby seems to be experiencing unusually intense teething pain and home remedies are not helping, see your doctor or dentist for advice.