Congratulations—your baby is getting her first tooth! This is a special time in your child’s development. Unfortunately for some babies, though, teething can also be a time of distress and pain. Can you soothe your little one’s teething pains while remaining animal-friendly? Yes! From home remedies to teething toys to natural gels, there are many options for vegan families. These are some of the ones we like best.
Frozen Food Feeders
Fill these mesh holders with your baby’s favorite frozen food—we suggest frozen berries or frozen melon—and then let your little one go to town on them! As he gnaws on the mesh, his sore gums will be eased by the frozen treat, but he won’t be at risk of choking on any food pieces. Plus, he’ll absorb some great nutrients from the fruit as it thaws. Frozen food feeders are found online and in many retail stores; they’re best for babies six months and older.
Frozen Teething Rings
Pop these rings in the fridge or freezer for a cool treat to soothe your little one. Unlike the frozen food feeders, frozen teething rings are great for babies of all ages. Just keep an eye out for any leakage—sometimes a sharp new tooth can pierce the teething ring and allow the cooling gel to seep out. Frozen teething rings can be found online and in most retail stores.
For teething rings of the non-frozen variety, you have several options. One of our favorites is Maplewood teething rings. Maplewood has natural antibacterial properties and is more resistant to bacterial contamination than plastic teething rings. Maplewood is also extremely durable and should last through your baby’s entire teething period. Maplewood teething rings are easy to find online or in stores. A quick word of caution, though—many Maplewood teething rings are treated with beeswax, so be careful to purchase one that is just the natural Maplewood.
And babies absolutely love natural rubber teethers like Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether. Made of 100% natural rubber and decorated with food paint, this teether is full of interesting textures and parts for your little one to gnaw on. The giraffe also contains a squeaker, which will delight your child as he chews. Vullie Sophie the Giraffe Teether can be found online.
Teething necklaces come in many varieties. Some are designed to be worn by you, the parent. Great options are available at Chewbeads and Smart Mom Jewelry. These stylish necklaces and pendants are made out of the same material as teething rings and pacifiers so that your baby has something safe to chew on while she’s teething. And, let’s face it—if you’re holding your baby, she’s going to put whatever you’re wearing in her mouth. Might as well make your jewelry functional in addition to stylish!
The other type of teething necklaces are designed to be worn by your baby. These are not intended to be chewed on. Rather, the materials they’re made from—most often amber or Hazelwood—are supposed to impart pain relief when worn against the skin. You can decide for yourself whether this works, but, if you do go with a necklace for your baby, please be sure to supervise her at all times and always take the necklace off before she goes to sleep!
Balms are great, especially when you’ve tried everything else with no luck! Two products we particularly like are:
Punkin Butt Teething Oil: Made of essential oils, Punkin Butt Teething Oil is vegan and BPA free. The chamomile oil helps calm fussy kids, while the peppermint and clove helps soothe painful gums. Note: some kids are allergic to clove. Apply to your baby’s gums with your finger or a cotton swab. Punkin Butt Teething Oil can be found online.
Earth’s Best Organic Teething Gel (non-medicated): This gel is made of calming ingredients that will help soothe your baby. Peppermint oil cools sore gums, chamomile oil calms, and vanilla oil helps protect against infection. Many teething balms contain clove, but Earth’s Best Organic Teething Gel does not, making it perfect for kids who are allergic to that ingredient. Earth’s Best Organic Teething Gel is vegan and can be found online or at retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Target, and Whole Foods.
If you’d rather not purchase additional products, never fear! We have a few home remedies that we absolutely love for teething babies. Washcloths can work wonders for sore mouths—tie a knot in one end of the washcloth, soak it in water, and then put in the fridge or freezer. Give the cooled washcloth to your little one. The coldness will help comfort his sore gums, and he’ll love to chew on the different textures of the knotted washcloth. Some parents have even soaked the washcloth in a little chamomile tea before freezing—chamomile has calming properties that might help ease a fussy baby.
If your baby is a bit older, some parents have found that cold vegan yogurt, fruit popsicles, or cold applesauce helps comfort sore gums. Some parents have also found success in giving their child frozen bagels. The hard, cold bagel is perfect to chew on, and any chunks that break off will become soft from your baby’s saliva. Again, this treatment is best for older babies and requires supervision.
Posted in Infants & Toddlers (0-3)