That sweet, innocent baby lying in a crib may cause even the strongest person to react when the baby cries. Panic may set in and an adult will do almost anything to calm a crying infant. Hand the baby food, a pacifier, a comforting blanket, anything to provide relief — for the baby and the long-suffering adult who loses sleep over their baby’s misery. When the baby stops crying, the adult smiles in relief.
Relief From Crying… Whatever It Takes
Parents may be weak from exhaustion with a baby who is teething. Sleep appears optional, for the parents and the child, as the baby pours his or her heart out from the pain they are experiencing. Teething is no picnic.
When a parent finds a remedy that appears to offer an end to the baby’s teething misery, they are glad to have a way to achieve peace for their little bundle of joy. They might take the item, be it prescription, homeopathic, or strategy a friend tried with their baby and put it to use immediately.
Adults will look for remedies that are “all natural,” “safe for children,” and might have been prescribed by a doctor to assist them. What the parents don’t realize is that not every “all natural” item is safe for their vulnerable little baby. And, since the child can’t tell what’s bothering them, they can become a victim all too easily.
Making the Safe Decision
Parents must be careful when it comes to finding remedies to help babies in the middle of teething. When parents purchased “Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets” and “Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Teething Tablets,” they hoped for the best for their children. What the tablets contained, according to a recall announced by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) is belladonna. While natural, belladonna is considered a poison. It is also used for a wide variety of medical conditions, like spasms, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, colic, joint and leg pain, as a sedative, and more. It is even used in hemorrhoid creams.
The FDA recall announcement, which took place in April 2017, states, “There is no known safe dose or toxic dose of belladonna in children because of the many factors that affect it.”
Standard Homeopathic Company, which manufactured the teething products, initiated the recall voluntarily in October, 2016.
How Easy It Is to Do the Wrong Thing for the Right Reason
Doctors have been known to provide something to help a baby sleep. Parents have been known to give their babies the medication the doctor recommends. When that happens, a baby’s life may be in jeopardy.
Such an instance happened when a doctor prescribed Phenobarbital for a young infant. Phenobarbital is a barbiturate that can calm seizures and anesthetize patients.
The parent who provided their young baby with Phenobarbital gave one dose, read the label carefully, and then realized what it was she was giving to her infant at the doctor’s suggestion. Angrily quizzing the doctor about his motives to use such a strong medicine on a child, he replied, “I gave it to the baby so YOU could get some sleep.”
Doctors still use poor judgment, at times, when they weigh in the consequences of what they offer their patients.
As with the belladonna contained in the teething remedies, how can an adult make those decisions when they are not provided with complete information? And, they really meant well — to help their child — with something that would remove the misery.
A Cure for Teething?
Until their teeth come in, there’s little parents can do to help their children. However, there are ways to help reduce the pain. To create some ease for the baby while you’re waiting for the tooth to erupt, some simple, safer strategies can reduce the pain. Holding a cool, wet washcloth to their face can offer some relief. Letting them suck on a fruit pop (especially homemade with no sugar) is a great way to give them a treatment that numbs some of the pain.
Distracting the baby with a story and rocking them in a chair can help. And, if worse comes to worst, check with a doctor for what they suggest. Aspirin is a definite NO, since it has been linked to Reye’s syndrome. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen — baby dosages — might be considered safe, but check with a doctor to be sure. And, avoid teething rings that could leak as a baby might accidentally ingest that fluid.
Whatever a parent does, if they consider the overall health of their baby, the less they do the better. Mankind has been around for thousands of years. Teething is all-natural, too.