Some babies cut their teeth without even a whimper, while others suffer to the point of throwing a fever, developing diarrhea or catching a cold. Even if the only signs that your child is suffering is drooling, gnawing on the fingers or fist and some restless nights with little sleep, here are some natural remedies that can help ease the suffering.
Babies usually get their first two bottom front teeth somewhere between 4-10 months, so you see it can vary a lot. Usual signs are drooling, crankiness, restless sleep and possibly a low grade fever. If your baby was born prematurely, this could delay things a bit too. Teething can then go on and off until the last molars come in somewhere between 2.5-3 years.
Why homeopathy is a good option: exceptionally safe and fast-acting
Rather than mask the symptoms or numb the pain, homeopathic remedies help the body restore its natural state of balance. In fact in my experience homeopathy is one of the few types of remedies that can help support the natural development of a child because it works with that natural healing process. Not every baby will need help, but if they do, homeopathy is such a great little medicine. Unlike many medications, homeopathic remedies are safe for babies under 2 years of age and you’ll see the remedies work exceptionally fast when they’re chosen carefully.
Top 3 remedies for teething pain in the acute phase:
Chamomilla 30ch: When your baby is in the throws of teething pain and becomes cranky—even angry, then Chamomilla will ease the suffering. Chamomilla 30ch is a homeopathic favourite for teething and you can’t miss this remedy because baby becomes so fussy and irritable that only constant carrying about will bring temporary relief—this is exhausting for the parents. A baby needing Chamomilla is highly sensitive to pain, which may worsen around 9 pm and continue all night. In this highly irritable state, baby may want this or that, only to throw it away. If teething affects the stools, then they are loose, smelly and green, like chopped spinach. A few doses of Chamomilla and the baby may fall asleep and seem better upon waking. Only repeat the remedy if the symptoms return, as needed. If there is no change after 3-4 doses, switch to a better fit! You won’t have to give Chamomilla for more than a few days when it’s a good fit. Whenever symptoms recur repeatedly, your baby may need a constitutional remedy (see below).
Belladonna 30ch: If instead, teething is accompanied by the development of a sudden fever, Belladonna 30ch may suit better. Teething doesn’t normally come with a high fever, and when it does, it means there’s some other kind of inflammatory process going on—best to visit your doctor for a check up. In the meantime, give Belladonna. Another typical sign which clearly indicates that Belladonna is a good remedy is if the cheeks are red, the eyes glassy and the head hot while the hands and feet are cold. Children needing Belladonna radiate heat, but it’s typically dry, not sweaty. Because of the intensity of symptoms, like in a child needing Chamomilla, give 3-4 doses about 2 hours apart, until symptoms improve and then only as needed.
Mag Phos 6x: if the neither the irritability of Chamomilla nor the fever and intensity of Belladonna are present, choose this Schuessler tissue/cell salt instead. Known as the homeopathic pain reliever, Mag Phos 6x is useful for neuralgic pains which are typical for any type of tooth pain or colic. Pressure and warmth may bring some relief. Because this mineral salt is in a low potency, it needs more frequent repetition than the 30ch potency recommended for Chamomilla or Belladonna (above). Give Mag phos 6x every 30-60 minutes for 6-8 doses then 4x daily until symptoms subside. Some like to combine this cell salt with Calc Phos 6x, or you can follow with Calc Phos 6x to support assimilation of the essential calcium and phosphorus minerals.
Calc Phos 6x is an excellent addition if your baby suffers mildly while teething or from any other developmental milestone–it can also be used in addition to the remedies and continued for a few weeks when remedies are no longer required. This Schuessler mineral salt is often helpful during growth spurts because these minerals are so important to the body during this time. Repetition is recommended at 3-4 times daily during an acute phase, then 2-3 times daily. Calc phos 6x is not a supplement, but lies between a supplement and a homeopathic remedy, so it stimulates assimilation of these essential nutrients.
Practical advice in the acute phase:
Whether your baby is teething or colicky, it’s likely you’ll need some time away. Nothing wears a parent down more than a screaming baby, so make sure you and your partner take turns—or find someone to babysit so you can take a nap or go for a walk. Even a few minutes away can do wonders for the nervous system.
If teething is a recurring problem, a well selected constitutional remedy manages the pain and stimulates the body to restore its natural balance and prevent recurrences. A visit to your homeopath is recommended, as constitutional prescribing requires taking all kinds of symptoms into account which you may think are unrelated. Here are some examples, and these may be given if a homeopath is not nearby and the symptoms fit. As homeopathic remedies work to stimulate the body’s own healing processes, less is more and it is advised to repeat more than a few doses. Homeopathy uses a minimalistic approach, so stop giving the remedies once symptoms subside, so as to allow the body to find its own balance.
Calcarea carbonica is usually given to plump babies who are more cautious than adventurous. While they look plump, they may have trouble assimilating calcium and other minerals, and some kids resort to eating sand and clay or other non-edible substances. These babies tend to sweat a lot, especially around the head during sleep. When they teeth, they can get very stubborn—but they are generally shy. Babies needing Calcarea carbonica may develop colds easily, and suffer from either constipation or diarrhea.
Silicea is another great remedy for children who have trouble when their teeth erupt. While Calc carb babies are plump, Silicea babies tend to be lean, can’t put on weight easily and show thin hair and nails. These babies may also have trouble with assimilation of nutrients and catch colds easily. They are sensitive to cold weather like Calc carb. Silicea is often given to children who are shy and reserved, and may hide behind the mother. Like Calc carb they may sweat around the head, but also on the feet.
How is homeopathy different?
You can already tell by the descriptions that homeopathy is a holistic medicine, taking all types of symptoms into account—is your baby hot or chilly, sweaty or not, have a fiery or mild temperament? Homeopathic remedies must be individualized—there is no remedy that fits all teething babies. In fact, for the remedies to work, they must match the symptoms the child experiences, and the better the match, the better the remedies work.
Many parents choose homeopathy because it is exceptionally safe. All remedies are prepared uniquely leaving only very small particles as their active ingredient, rendering them non-toxic, safe for babies and pregnant women. Also know that remedies work very differently from conventional meds: they don’t numb the pain, like Orajel and other pain medications, which are not recommended for young children because of the possible side effects—but rather work with the body’s natural ability to re-balance or heal itself.