A visit from the teething fairy is a milestone in every baby’s life – but it’s not often fun for bub, or mum and dad. Some kids seem to sprout teeth without any drama, but for the rest of us it can mean sleepless nights, fussiness and a grouchy household.
So how do you help your baby or toddler relieve their puffy, painful gums? There are dozens of products out there that claim to do the trick, but which ones really work? We put the question to our friends on Babyology’s Facebook page, and here are their top suggestions.
Teething gels and liquids
Bonjela is a perennial favourite in Australia, but we also got several nods for SM-33, which contains a local anaesthetic to numb the gums. “I was told to use that when I thought my bub was teething … amazing stuff,” enthuses Bettina Bauer. Mum Tara-Lee Bush has high praise for Brauer Baby and Child Teething liquid: “It’s homeopathic and works amazingly at calming little ones when their teeth are giving them grief.” Anbesol is another worth trying, while reader Katie Beattie recommends My Gypsy Child’s Grumpy Gums teething oil.
Teething tablets and powders
Some of our UK mums speak highly of Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Powders, while it seems Humphreys or Hylands teething tablets are favoured by our US friends. Some Aussie mums can’t go past Weleda teething powder.
Cold fruit and veg
Variations of this remedy were popular, and we are impressed by the vast array of fruit and veggies parents use. From frozen watermelon, orange segments and even pickles to mini cucumbers, halved cold grapes, or celery and carrot: “Hard, raw and large, so they can’t bite off any bits and choke,” says mum Felicity Cavanough. Some suggest putting fruit into mesh nets so baby can chew on them safely. “I use the fruit net, and baby gets a strawberry or peach slice of the frozen fruit that the two-year-old and I use for our shared smoothie,” says Sarah Krzywicki. Reader Emma Maree Overy even reckons mango stones are a great soother.
Bangles and beads
Many parents swear by amber teething bracelets, anklets or necklaces. The Izzy Melody teething bangle also has its fans. You could also try something softer, like this fabric teething necklace from Freja Toys that was one of our Etsy finds of the day in June or the Northern Berries version (pictured above) we found last year.
There is plenty of love for Bickiepegs, from the UK. “They’re brilliant!” says Rhian Helen Hinchcliffe. Jeena Percival says she found success by putting edible teething rusks in the fridge before giving them to her baby.
Teething rings and dummies
Many parents say putting teething rings or dummies in the fridge is a sure-fire way to calm sore gums. “I freeze my daughters’ pacifiers and put some in the fridge, she loves it!” says Kimberly Santangelo. Gum guards – such as these Easy Reach Teethers by Tommee Tippee – also got a good rap.
Perhaps among the more unorthodox suggestions, some parents tell us their children find relief in chewing on clean chop bones or biltong – a dried meat similar to jerky. Michelle Conradie says teething necklaces and powders didn’t work for her daughter, so she tried biltong. “She loved it – I bought a piece of biltong that she couldn’t bite off. She sucked and chewed and whatever she wanted to do with it,” she says.
“I used to fold a face washer into a smaller square, wet, then freeze it. My son used to chew on it. It’s cool and semi-soft on the gums, worked a treat!” says Nicky Hay.
For sleepless nights, when teething seems to really rear its ugly head, many parents still turn to the big guns of pain relief, such as Nurofen and Panadol. “If they have a temp and/or when it gets to the point of sleeping time and child doesn’t settle,” says Renee Howells.
Check out our archives for more information on fab teething products. Have we missed your favourite teething tip? Tell us below.