Eco-friendly teething treatments
What eco-friendly treatments are available to ease your baby’s discomfort when teething?
At roughly six months old, your baby is going to start teething. This isn’t a pleasant process for anyone, and you’ll likely be looking for treatments to help ease your baby’s discomfort. But are there eco-friendly options?
What are teething treatments?
The NHS suggests a number of teething treatments, such as having your baby drink cool water, playing with your baby to distract them, massaging baby’s gums, and giving them healthy snacks such as carrot sticks to chew on. Many parents opt for teethers or teething gel due to easy sanitization, ease of use while on-the-go, and fast relief of teething pain. Teethers can be made out of almost anything, and can be a soft toy to a plastic ring filled with sterilized water. Teething gels often contain a local anaesthetic.
Are there any health risks?
Many teethers are made using inorganic and non-environmentally friendly materials, such as vinyl and plastic. Vinyl is also known as PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, and can be found in products such as toys, clothing and upholstery. In these forms, PVC requires a plasticizer, the most common of which are phthalates, which build up in the body and can damage reproductive organs. Bisphenol-A (BPA) helps make plastic clear, and has recently been banned from baby bottles in the EU as it is thought that BPA disrupts the body’s hormone system.
Teething gels are made using an anaesthetic such as lidocaine or benzocaine, and are usually applied to baby’s gum to numb the pain of teething. Some gels can be applied topically, instead of orally. Benzocaine has come under fire in recent years, as according to the US FDA it can trigger methemoglobiemia, a rare blood disorder.
What are the eco-friendly options?
If you decide to purchase teethers or teething gel, the best thing to do is go as natural as possible. Purchase teethers that are made from organic materials, use food-based paint, and are free from BPA and other baddies. When buying teething gels, try to make them as chemical-free and gentle as possible, and if you’re not sure consult your doctor, naturopath, or other healthcare provider.
Green Sprouts—their hand teether (which doubles as a rattle) is made from cornstarch resin, and is free from BPA, petroleum and PVC.
Vulli—this French company uses natural, phthalate-free rubber in their teethers shaped like Sophie the Giraffe and Chan Pie Gnon.
Under the Nile Organics—a softer option than plastic, these fruit and vegetable shaped toys are perfect teething options, as is their elephant teething ring, and are made from 100% organic Egyptian cotton.
P’kolino—their 2 in 1 teether and rattle is in the shape of a butterfly, with detachable rubber wood wings and a polyester body.
Rock Love Peace—made from sustainably harvested cherry wood and finished with organic beeswax and jojoba oil, these wood teethers come in heart-shape, star, or peace sign, and are as natural as you can get.
Organic Monkey—their organic cheek rub for teething goes not on the gums, but on the cheeks! It’s made with sweet almond oil, olive oil, roman chamomile essential oil, and others to soothe the natural way, and with less fuss than trying to get gel inside your baby’s mouth.
Nelson’s Natural World—their teething gel and teething granules are made using natural ingredients such as chamomile, and can be found in most shops such as Boots and Sainsburys.
Photography: myllissa @Flickr