We all know that over-the-counter gels and other medicines can soothe the pain babies experience when they're teething. But how about home remedies? When we polled our moms about the best teething remedy, the two top choices were a frozen washcloth (28%) and a plastic teether (24%).
A cold or frozen washcloth soothes baby gums by numbing them and giving your baby something thick and spongy to chew on. Just wet half the washcloth (leave one end dry so your baby's hand won't freeze!) and put it into the freezer for an hour or so. If you freeze a few at a time, you can rotate them as they thaw.
What's Up With Plastic Teethers?
Plastic teethers can go in the freezer, too. Just be aware that many contain Bisphenol-A, or BPA, a chemical in plastics that scientists say may be harmful to babies. To check, look for a triangle stamp: avoid Polycarbonate plastics, which should have the numeral 7 in the triangle, sometimes with the letters PC.
Some Other Faves
Here's a list of other soothers for sore baby gums that moms added to our poll. (Many popular write-ins involved frozen breads as well as hard fruits and vegetables. While these will feel good to your baby, we didn’t include them because they pose a choking hazard since they can start to disintegrate after a lot of gumming.)
- Mom's fingers
- Baby's hand
- a toothbrush
- a teething binky
- Pedialyte pops
- a favorite chew toy
- a frozen bottle nipple
- frozen soft fruit (banana, melon chunks)
- a mesh feeding bag filled with fruit and frozen
- a mesh feeder filled with ice cubes
- ice in a sock
- a sippy cup filled with ice
- clove oil
- beef jerky
- rubbing the baby's gums
- wooden teethers
- a teddy bear's tail
- rubber dog toys
- a bag of frozen peas
- anything hard (your cell phone?)
- a babysitter (LOL)