Maybe it's a function of mothering a baby in the teething stages. Maybe it's a trend in parenting. Whatever the reason, I'm hearing more and more about bullshit teething remedies. And it KILLS ME!
I get wanting to avoid medicine. Hell, I won't take anything for a headache unless I start feeling nauseated from the pain. But you're talking about your BABY here. A tiny person incapable of making his or her own decisions, or dealing with a great deal of pain. So before I shoot my mouth off on Facebook and alienate someone, allow me to blow my stack here.
Amber and other bullshit materials teething necklaces:
First off, the idea that something millions of years old, repeated warmed and cooled by the earth and sun could harbour the magic perfect dose of 'natural pain reliever' for your baby - released and absorbed by the warmth of their of skin - is utterly absurd. Just take a step back, and think about it. Yes, I really do wish it worked. No, it really doesn't. There is absolutely NO scientific, empirical proof for these products. You'll find pages and pages of anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of these things, but REALLY? I suspect what you're seeing here is a combination of confirmation bias, parental expectation and that deep down desire we all have to be right about something. And the most reprehensible part? The necklaces must be replaced every 2 - 3 months, or when the symptoms re-appear. We all know teething takes place in cycles, right? Dudes, they are Taking Your Money!! For a real researched and footnoted article on this bullshit, click here.
Then there's hazelwood, which is supposed to neutralize the body's acidity - just about the dumbest thing I've heard today. Correct me if I'm wrong (seriously, there's a comments field down there for just such a purpose) but teething pain has to do with the inflammation and discomfort of a tooth bursting through gum tissue. Right? Where does acidity factor in? Also, neutralizing the acid of the body? Through a little piece of wood? Seriously? And people are BUYING this shit.
Now let's imagine for one moment that this isn't bullshit. It's trufax. The truest thing that ever was. How great an idea is it to allow an unmeasured, constant dose of anything course through your infant's veins? Nevermind the obvious strangulation and choking hazard a necklace on an infant presents.
If you want to put one of these on your baby because it looks cool and it's trendy - hey, whatever. But don't con yourself. Your child is in pain. Acetaminophen works for that. It's even scientifically proven. With empirical evidence and the whole thing.
Camilia, teething tabs, other homeopathic remedies:
If one more concerned mother approaches me in public again and tells me I need to try Camilia for my wailing, drooling son . . . well, I'll do what I always do. Smile politely and tell her 'in our household, we demand empirical proof before we accept anything. Anecdotal evidence is insufficient. I'll give him some acetaminophen just as soon as we get home.' Camilia is a homeopathic blend of belladonna, camomile, and iron phosphate. The important thing (as with all homeopathy) is the dilution. When it comes to camilia, it seems to me that you may as well be giving your child a dose of 1ml of bottled water. Again, there are scores of parents eager to insist they havent' been wasting their money, and proclaiming these remedies to work. Again, there is no evidence to prove its efficacy. In the case of camilia, I have to laugh at the dosing guidelines. 1 dose every 15 minutes to a maximum of 3 doses. I don't know about your baby, but mine will cry himself to sleep before 45 minutes have lapsed. Crying is hard work for an infant, and even if you're being cuddled, rocked, sang to, attended . . . pain will make you cry. This, of course, leads to confirmation bias - the baby is sleeping, therefore (s)he must be comfortable, therefore the remedy in question is responsible. It worked! Oh, I wish it did. I sincerely do.
The fact of the matter is, there is no miracle cure. Teething sucks. Plain and simple. It's painful. Rather than causing your child to suffer through it, get some acetaminophen. Do some research on distraction and pain management. Help your baby through it, and stop deluding yourself. If amber, hazelwood, etc remedies had any effect at all, there would be peer reviewed research studies on it. Your doctor would suggest it at your well-baby visits. You might even get a sample of it from your midwife or OB. Instead, you're hearing about it from other moms going through the desperation of teething, or the seller themself. And something about that just doesn't sit right.