Updated: May 31
by Carolyn Howgego, BS (Hons), BA (Hons), LCHE
By way of introduction, Sam and I have known Carolyn for over 25 years and we are delighted that she wants to share her thoughts on alternatives to some of the over the counter solutions to the array of common conditions we have all had to face at those worrying and challenging times during our Children's earliest years.
This blog is the second in a series of articles which offers alternatives to "Modern Medicine". We hope you enjoy them. Regards, Lawrence & Sam
Some lucky babies seem to fly through the teething period with very little fuss.
But for many, teething can be a nightmare from around four to six months when the first teeth usually begin to pop through,to about two and a half or three years old when the last - and most painful - molars appear.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the tantrums of the“terrible twos” often seem to calm down after a child has their full set of teeth.
The worst symptom for many children is the pain of the teeth erupting through the gums leading to lots of crying and irritability. But teething can also cause other symptoms such as catarrh, earache, fevers, clingy behaviour, diarrhoea, tummy upsets, nappy rash, mood swings and sleeplessness.
A well-chosen homeopathic remedy can help to relieve the pain and the associated symptoms without the need for over-the-counter antipyretics or anti-inflammatories such as Calpol or Nurofen.
However, if you have a child who seems to be constantly suffering with problems related to teething, get in touch for a professional consultation.
How can you help?
• Keep a teething ring in the fridge so baby has something cold to bite on
• Raw carrot and apple, crusty bread or breadsticks may also help
• Distraction! To take their mind off the pain, get baby’s favourite book, toy or puzzle out, take them outside for a change of scene, put some music on and sing or dance if that’s their thing. Distraction can go a long way in helping to ease the pain.
• Rub the sore gum with your finger
Top remedies for teething
Here are the remedies I use most commonly for teething.
Try the one that looks most like the way your child does teething, in a 30c or 200c, every 30 minutes (or even more frequently if baby is in severe pain) for up to 5 doses. You may start to see a difference as soon as baby has their first dose and then you can reduce and stop as symptoms reduce and stop. If after 5 doses you see no change, stop. This remedy isn’t going to work. Try another.
Also, don’t waste your money on homeopathic teething granules – they are made in too low a potency so often don’twork. You need the higher potencies of 30c or 200c to match the intensity of teething.
This is the top remedy for teething and will help about 80% of children. It is the classic teething picture. Your child will be irritable, angry and very hard to please asking for one thing and then as soon as they get it, throwing it away. Babies may scream to be picked up, and then when you do, they scream to be put down.
Look at your child’s face: another clue to Chamomilla is one red cheek, usually on the side the tooth is coming through, while the other cheek remains their normal colour. They may also have some diarrhoea that is greenish in colour and they may be worse from about 9pm to midnight.
This is for the child who looks flushed and hot. Both cheeks (rather than just one as in Chamomilla) will be red and even burning hot. Their pain seems intense. They may also have a high fever that comes on suddenly and may even look a little delirious, with wide, staring or dilated pupils. The child needing Belladonna may be worse in the middle of the night.
If your child is clingy and miserable with teething, think of Pulsatilla. They will want to be held and cuddled a lot and may actually seem a little better when they are. But if you put them down, they are miserable again, and there will be lots of tears until they get your attention again. These children can be better if you take them outside in the fresh air. They may also develop thick, greenish catarrh when they teethe, or even sticky yellow conjunctivitis.
4. Nux Vomica
If teething symptoms are accompanied by constipation and a lot of straining to do even the smallest poo, Nux Vommay be helpful. They will be very irritable, angry and impatient and can be sensitive to noise, light or smells. Distraction with singing for example is only likely to aggravate this child. They may also develop a runny nose, that runs a lot during the day, but gets stuffed up at night.
I hope you recognise one of these pictures that might help your child. Don’t forget, if you choose the wrong remedy, don’t worry. Homeopathy is very safe, so if a child has a few doses of a remedy they don’t need, there will be no side effects, their body just won’t use it. Try another, orgive me a call.
Catch my blog next week, on the best remedies for ear infections.
Carolyn Howgego is a fully qualified homeopath with 15 years of experience of treating babies, children and adults. She owns Carolyn Howgego Homeopathy where she sees clients of all ages, from the UK and internationally, over Zoom. Go here to book a FREE Discovery Call with Carolyn, or a full consultation.