Teething tablets and other homeopathics

Many parents swear by the effects of homeopathic remedies, the most well-known of which is Hyland’s Teething Tablets. Dissolve one or two under Baby’s tongue. The key with teething tablets is to keep up the regimen, giving the tablets every three to four hours, or as advised on the package, so it remains in Baby’s system throughout the bout of teething, even when he or she seems to be feeling “better.” Hyland’s claims to target “restlessness and wakeful irritability” with a formula including the herbs: Calcarea Phosphorica, Chamolilla, Coffea Cruda and Belladonna.

In May 2006, Hyland’s received the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval Award, after eight weeks of independent testing. That same month, Hyland’s began offering its teething tablets in Spanish-language packaging, and was once of the homeopathic companies to target that growing market. Hyland’s tablets retail for $5.99 for a bottle of 125.

In October 2010, following up with concerns by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the manufacturing process had shortcomings that could affect “uniformity in dosage,” the makers of Hyland’s Teething Tablets, Standard Homeopathic Company, issued a voluntary recall of several lots of the project. More information, plus links to FDA and company information, are on TeethingTips.com’s teething recalls page.

Ari Brown, MD, co-author of Baby 411, is not a big believer in herbal remedies, doesn’t recommend teething tablets and specifically warns, “Natural remedies for teething may contain belladonna (a neurotoxin that causes blindness) and caffeine.”

However, Kathy Arno, author of The Complete Teething Guide, recounts success with alternative treatments such as herbs and flower essences for pain, digestive upset, diarrhea, diaper rash and sleeplessness.

When in doubt, check with your baby’s pediatrician before offering medications or herbal remedies.

Note that Hyland’s teething tablets have a lactose base, so will not be appropriate for babies with lactose issues.

I’ve also seen clove oil mentioned as a remedy; I’d ask a doctor first.

I read a story in a German publication recently with a medical association advocating sterilized orris root.

Many naturopaths, who have concerns about synthetic pain-relievers such as Tylenol and Advil, as well as topical treatments, swear by “teething granules.” OralSoothe Teething Granules is one brand of product. They consist of herbs and tissue salt, formulated to relieve teething pain and irritability. They are sprinkled on Baby’s tongue, where they dissolve and are absorbed into the mouth. OralSoothe is flavored. The granules contain Chamomilla, calcium phosphate, calcium fluoride and the herbs passiflora and matricaria recutita.

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