While it is essential to help soothe your teething baby, specific treatments and remedies should be avoided due to safety concerns or potential harm. Here are some teething treatments to avoid when trying to comfort your little one:
Over-the-counter numbing gels:
Numbing gels containing benzocaine or lidocaine can be dangerous for infants, as they can cause methemoglobinemia. This rare but potentially fatal condition reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. The FDA recommends against using these products for children under two years of age without a doctor’s supervision.
The FDA has warned against using homoeopathic teething tablets, as some contain belladonna, a toxic substance that can cause harmful side effects in babies. Always consult your paediatrician before using any homoeopathic or alternative treatments.
Amber teething necklaces:
When warmed by a baby’s skin, Amber teething necklaces are believed to release pain-relieving substances. However, they pose a choking and strangulation risk, making them unsafe. It is best to avoid any necklaces or jewellery for teething babies.
While cold can help soothe teething pain, avoiding giving your baby frozen objects is crucial, as they can be too hard for their delicate gums and may cause frostbite. Instead, opt for chilled (not frozen) teething toys or washcloths.
Small or breakable teething toys:
Ensure that any teething toys you provide are age-appropriate and do not pose a choking hazard. Avoid toys with small parts or those made from breakable materials, as they can become hazardous if they break or are swallowed.
Never give aspirin to a baby or child, as it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition. If you need to provide pain relief, consult your paediatrician for safe alternatives like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
Rubbing alcohol on a baby’s gums is an outdated and unsafe practice. Alcohol can be toxic to infants and should never be used as a teething remedy.
Unverified natural remedies:
While some natural remedies may provide relief, it is essential to consult your paediatrician before trying any unverified or non-FDA-approved treatments. Some natural substances can be harmful or toxic to infants.
Always prioritize your baby’s safety when searching for teething treatments. Consult your paediatrician for personalized advice and recommended remedies to ensure the most effective and safest options for your little one.
How to Be Safe
When trying to soothe your teething baby, it is crucial to prioritize their safety. Here are some guidelines to ensure that your chosen teething treatments are safe and effective:
Consult your paediatrician:
Before trying any teething treatments, it is essential to consult your paediatrician for personalized advice and recommendations. They can guide you on the best practices and suggest safe, age-appropriate remedies for your baby.
Opt for age-appropriate teething toys:
Choose to teethe toys designed for babies and ensure they are made from safe materials, such as BPA-free silicone or natural rubber. Check for any small or breakable components that could pose a choking hazard.
Chill, don’t freeze:
Cold pressure can help soothe your baby’s gums, but it’s essential not to use frozen objects, as they can be too complex and cause frostbite. Instead, opt for chilled teething toys or washcloths.
Avoid unsafe treatments:
Steer clear of potentially harmful treatments, such as over-the-counter numbing gels, teething tablets, amber teething necklaces, aspirin, alcohol, and unverified natural remedies.
Supervise your baby:
Always supervise your baby when they are using teething toys, biscuits, or crackers to prevent choking hazards. Keep an eye on the condition of the teething toys and replace them if they become worn or damaged.
Stick to recommended medications:
Follow the recommended dosages and guidelines if your paediatrician recommends over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Never give aspirin to your baby, as it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition.
Maintain a clean environment:
Keep your baby’s teething toys and environment clean to prevent the spread of germs. Wash teething toys regularly with soap and water, and sanitize them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Monitor your baby’s response:
Pay close attention to your baby’s reactions to different teething treatments. If you notice any adverse reactions or if their pain seems to worsen, discontinue use and consult your paediatrician.
By following these guidelines and prioritizing safety, you can ensure that your teething treatments are practical and safe for your little one. Always consult your paediatrician for personalized advice and keep your baby’s well-being at the forefront of your efforts to soothe their teething pain.