Vanilla extract and teething - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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My lo is having the worst time lately. She was up until 4am this morning just crying and crying. I was reading up on alternative pain relievers because I'm just not thrilled with the idea of giving my baby tylenol and I came across an article that said rubbing vanilla extract on their gums would help. I've never heard this before, but reading up online, quite a few people seem to swear by it. However, given that vanilla extract has some alcohol in it, I'm really hesitant to try this. Anyone care to enlighten me with any information on why I should or shouldn't try this? I hate to see my poor babe hurting! tia!

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#2 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 08:12 PM
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Vanilla numbs because it is like 80 proof. My parents (I'm an older mom, so my parents are children of the 30's and 40's) used brandy.

However, there is this really great product called Hyland's Teething Tablets that are a HOMEOPATHIC remedy and works very well. There are other soothing methods that I can't remember off of the top of my head (dd is about to turn 8, so it's been a while for me), but I'm sure others will come along and give you some suggestions that will not require you to get your baby liquored up.

In other words, I wouldn't use vanilla because it's not the vanilla, it's the alcohol that is the remedy and there are better, natural, and safe remedies.
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#3 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 08:18 PM
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It's the alcohol that is the reason it relieves the pain, it numbs the area. We use Rescue Remedy for direct application (also has a small amount of alcohol in it, much less then vanilla extract) also DS has been wearing an Amber Teething necklace since he was 4 mons old and it has made a huge difference. Borion Camilia is what we would give him during those really bad times and it helped him quickly.

Oh and just wanted to add that I have never given DS Tylenol for teething.

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#4 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 08:53 PM
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It is so hard to see your baby suffering!

Just out of curiosity, I looked at my bottle of Rescue Remedy and my bottle of vanilla extract. The vanilla is 35% alcohol and the RR is 27%. I doubt that a drop on the gums of either one would be terribly detrimental but, while the alcohol undoubtedly does the trick, there are probably better ways to soothe a teething infant.

My DD had a fairly easy time with teething until her molars came in. We tried a variety of things- including the "forbidden" Tylenol/Motrin. The first thing I used was Hyland's Teething Tablets and, honestly, they didn't seem to make any difference for her. The otc stuff did the job, but resulted in a very sleepy baby. The only two things that really seemed to work well were Orajel (I know, I know.... ) and Dr. Hand's Teething Lotion. Dr. Hand's was what we had around the house when I was a kid. We used it for ulcers and bitten tongues etc. It was what my mother used when I was a baby. It is made mostly of clove oil and is 11% alcohol. It's almost impossible to find though. I had to order mine online.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 09:07 PM
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Try Herbs for Kids Gummomile. The active ingredient is Clove Oil.
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#6 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 09:46 PM
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I wouldn't use vanilla extract. If I were going to use something with alcohol I'd reach for something that at least tasted decent, and that's *not* vanilla extract! Have you tried a frozen washrag? That helped more than anything at least during the day for us.

Just as an fyi aside, vanilla extract is fantastic for bumps (particularly if there's no scraped skin). DS had what we called a "moving goose-egg" for about 2 yrs from constantly running into things, and as long as we put that on there within 15 min the swelling and discoloration were gone literally in moments.
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#7 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 11:21 PM
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#8 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
However, there is this really great product called Hyland's Teething Tablets that are a HOMEOPATHIC remedy and works very well.
I find these work well if it is not to bad. They also make a gel that is good.

Originally Posted by butterfly_mommy View Post
Borion Camilia is what we would give him during those really bad times and it helped him quickly.
I find these are the best if the pain is really bad

100% therapeutic grade clove oil is really great too. Make sure the oil you buy is ingestable & cut it with a carrier oil like org EVOO. try it on yourself 1st. I use young living eos

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#9 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 08:50 AM
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I do use vanilla extract on occasion when nothing else is helping. It's not only the alcohol that numbs and warms the the area, vanilla also has calming properties itself, as it is known to reduce anxiety and help stomach distress.

I prefer NOT to use it due to the alcohol content - I prefer homeopathics first (although they Hylands teething tabs don't seem to help here), alcohol free rescue remedy for kids and have used Motrin on rare occasion but I'm not completely opposed to vanilla extract either.

Oh, and just remembered something else that works (thanks to one of the mamas on health and healing for this one) - take a high quality castor oil and mix about 1/2T with a few drops of either clove, chamomile or myrrh essential oil (clove works well but such a strong smell that I prefer chamomile personally). Take the mixture and massage it into the LO's jawline and up around the ears. The castor oil is a natural anti inflammatory and the essential oils help with pain and can relax as well...

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