Taming your Teething Tiger Naturally.
Has your perfectly happy baby suddenly become a bundle of misery? Are they trying to chew everything in sight including the pet dog. It’s might well be the dreaded teething time. A teething baby can mean sleepless nights, irritability, crying, poor appetite, swollen gums and constant drool. It can be a distressing time not only for your baby but for the whole family. But it doesn’t have to be. Thankfully Chinese Medicine has some amazing ancient wisdom that can really make a difference. Here are some simple tips I have used successfully to relieve the discomfort of teething and reduce future pain and fever naturally.
What is Teething?
Teething is a normal physiological process and a required part of growth and development. Yes, we need those chompers. The first teeth, usually appear around 6 months and teething is usually completed around 2 1/2 years of age. Although many babies just cruise through teething without any fuss, for some babies it can be an extremely uncomfortable time, including pain and fever. According to traditional Chinese Medicine the symptoms that are often associated with teething are as a result of an imbalance in the body, namely the digestive system.
Why is teething so troublesome?
Many babies start teething around the time that foods are introduced to their diet. However children are born with an inherently weak digestive system, which is easily overwhelmed. This may occur as a result of over feeding, or feeding your baby or toddler processed foods high in refined flour and sugar.
If the babies digestive system is overwhelmed it has difficulty keeping pace with detoxification and elimination. Babies and toddlers can easily develop what is know as food stagnation. Food can sit undigested in the stomach or the intestines. This produces additional heat.
How does my child’s diet relate to teething pain and fever?
According to traditional Chinese Medicine the internal organs of the body are connected to the outside of the body by channels or pathways known as meridians. Like an invisible wire that carries energy. It is along these meridians that signs and symptoms of imbalances in the body can be seen. For example, the stomach meridian passes through the stomach and along the lower jaw and the Large Intestine passes through the intestines and along the upper jaw. During teething we often see red and inflamed gums. This is caused by the teeth pushing through the gum. However, if there is food stagnation in the stomach producing additional heat, this heat travels along the meridian towards the gums. The combination of the two factors can cause teething to be more painful and a fever may occur.
What can I do?
A simple diet.
Ensure your baby eats a simple diet of easily digestible, nutritionally dense foods, including cooked vegetables, bone broth and cooked fruit provided they have started solids. Avoid any processed foods or foods that are greasy or full of refined flour & sugar. Promoting daily bowel movements is also very important and can help relieve food stagnation.
Ensure adequate rest. Rest promotes healing and is essential for growth and development. Take the opportunity to have a rest too if you can.
Chamomile Tea is another favorite for relieving the discomfort of teething. By dipping a face washer in freshly brewed tea which has cooled & allowing your baby to suck on it, the chamomile relieves the irritability as well as the pain. An excellent all natural homeopathic remedy is Weleda’s Baby Teething Powder. Made with Chamomile root & Oyster shell it helps soothe irritation and lessens the pain associated with teething as well as calm irritability. Personally I found this worked brilliantly!!
Provide a frozen face washer, BPA free teether ring. The coldness will feel wonderful on their sore red and inflamed gums. It is also essential to rub or brush your babies gums or teeth.
Acupressure. There are a number of specific acupuncture points that you can massage to help relieve the discomfort of teething. These points can ease baby’s teething pain, promotes digestion & clear the heat from the digestive system contributing to the inflammation of the gums. Each point can be massaged for 1-2 minutes using gentle yet firm pressure. Simply sign-up to our webpage and you will be able to download a FREE help sheet outlining the recommended points to use.
Make an appointment with your Acupuncturist. Your practitioner will have many different options including non needle techniques which are an effective treatment to rebalance your baby’s digestive system & help ease the pain & discomfort of teething. Acupuncture can calm the nervous system and clear inflammation making it an excellent choice for teething babies.
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