November 18, 2009

Teething Babies and Age-Old Remedies

As many of our readers know, I'm a fairly new mother to a now almost 8-month-old little girl. And since I'm a historical author, each time a new experience happens with my daughter, I always think about what those living in the 1800's would have done. We all know the issues that plague us today aren't new to those who have gone before us.

Even some of the remedies have remained the same.

Teething is one part of an infant's life that all parents and babies must endure. Take a look at some of these tried and true solutions and see if they might sound a little familiar:

# Rub your baby's gums. Use a clean finger, moistened gauze pad or damp washcloth to massage your baby's gums. The pressure can ease your baby's discomfort.

# Offer a teething toy made of firm rubber. If a bottle seems to do the trick, fill it with water. Prolonged contact with sugar from formula, milk or juice may cause tooth decay.

# Keep it cool. A cold washcloth can be soothing. Don't give your baby anything that's frozen, however. Contact with extreme cold may hurt, doing your baby more harm than good. If your baby's eating solid foods, offer cold items such as applesauce or oatmeal mixed with cold water.

# Dry the drool. Excessive drooling is part of the teething process. To prevent skin irritation, keep a clean cloth handy to dry your baby's chin. You may want to lay a clean cloth under your baby's head while he or she sleeps to keep the sheet dry.

# Try herbs. A mixture of ginger, fennel and chamomile helps settle an upset stomach, but it also provides relief to swollen and sore gums.

Seems like some remedies have passed the test of time and are still in use today. Like the old adage says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." :)

Oh, and as for the doctor...if one is near enough to come calling or to visit, teething can usually be handled at home. Call the doctor only if your baby develops a fever, seems particularly uncomfortable, or has other signs or symptoms of illness. Remember, teething doesn't cause fever, colds or diarrhea.

So, there you have it. Advice from our great-great-grandparents that's still full of wisdom even today.

Now, how about you? What "age-old" remedies have YOU used that might have been passed down from generation to generation through your family or friends you've known? It can be related to anything, not just babies.

I'll start with another one for babies, since that's where I am in life right now.

Once a baby's teeth come in and they begin to bite while nursing, pinch their nose lightly when they bite. As they are still primarily nose-breathers, if you cut off their air flow, they break contact to catch their breath. A few times of this and they'll realize that biting isn't the way to go.

Ok, your turn...

Tiffany Amber Stockton is an author, online marketing specialist and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author in beautiful Colorado Springs. They celebrated the birth of their first child in April and have a vivacious puppy named Roxie, a Border Collie/Flat-Haired Retriever mix. She has sold eight books so far to Barbour Publishing. Other credits include writing articles for various publications, five short stories with Romancing the Christian Heart, and contributions to the books: 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage and Grit for the Oyster.

Read more about her at her web site:


Vickie McDonough said...

I'm past the baby teething age with my kids, thank goodness, but I wanted to comment on the darling photos. What a cutie pie.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Oh! I should have put a disclaimer that those pix weren't my little girl. Didn't have any good ones of her teething. So, I've added some of Victoria. She's on the right. The 2 pictures on the left are a different baby. :)

Vickie McDonough said...

Well, that other baby had the same coloring. And she sure has her daddy's eyes. I know you're enjoying her.

Tina Dee Books said...

Absolutely adorable!

Stephen & Janet Bly said...

Loved your article! We've got a 19-month-old grandson, so we're still into the teething thing, at least from a distance. Love your baby pics!

Martha A. said...

Teething is such a horrible thing of my sons had his gums actually get infected when he was teething it was awful.