Healthy Child Healthy World Provides Tips for Healthy Teething

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Babies, Blog, Children, Front Page, Parenting, Slideshow, Tips

Teething is an uncomfortable process, and baby's will chew on just about anything for relief. Photo: © Lisa Eastman -

Do you remember when your molars slowly poked through the surface of your gums? They were probably pretty tender and uncomfortable. But you knew what was happening: You were growing up! You were getting more of those permanent teeth that made you a “big kid.” So even though it was a bit unpleasant, you managed to brave your way through it — or maybe you took a baby aspirin or Tylenol to ease your misery.

Babies don’t know what’s happening when their teeth start to emerge. But they know they’re miserable — and they generally make their parents miserable, too. Not intentionally, of course. They just get fussy and gnaw on whatever they can find — clean, dirty, toxic, or furry; it doesn’t matter to them.

It's important to find safe objects for baby's teething. Photo: © Geo Martinez -

As parents, we want to ease their discomfort and give them something safe to chew on. When I was a baby — and when my own kids were little — parents gave babies water- or gel-filled teething rings that could be frozen or cooled to provide some comfort. Maybe you or your kids chewed on similar toys.

But then we learned that teething rings weren’t all that safe, because even the purified water inside could grow bacteria once exposed to the air. In some cases, the gel that was supposed to be harmless turned out to be toxic. And all of that could leak into baby’s mouth as she chewed on the toys.

Other devices used for the problem had different issues. Some were made with BHA, a dangerous chemical that can invisibly seep out of the plastic and into baby. Other teethers had multiple parts, with seams that could harbor bacteria.

So what to do to relieve baby’s discomfort and give mom and dad a little peace?

Healthy Child Healthy World has a shopping guide that will help parents, grandparents, and caregivers make wise choices for teething toys — and for pacifiers. All you have to do is to download it, print it, cut it, fold it, and carry it with you to the store of your choice.

The guide also suggests natural options  — things like frozen breast milk, formula popsicles, and other cooled, slushy foods. It suggests homeopathic teething gel or tablets, and a gentle gum massage. Did you know it’s safe to allow baby to teethe on wood? Well, not just any wood; see the guide for more information.

So do yourself a favor. If you have a fussy, teething baby, go to the Healthy Child Healthy World website and download the “Healthy Teether and Pacifier Shopping Guide.” While you’re there, check out the many other pocket shopping guides they offer, like “Healthy Baby Care Products,” “Healthy Formula & Food,” Healthy School Lunch,” and a whole lot more. Your baby — or another baby you love — would thank you if he could. And you’ll know you’re doing the right things for a child you love.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)