Everyone else is calling it like they see it, I think I will too.
re: western pain meds. IMO, the rampant use of those things, without any clear idea of all the ways they might affect a child's health in the future, is far crueler than going through the "old fashioned comfort" box and figuring out different ways of helping the teething baby.
Go ahead and google "tylenol and asthma", scroll past the advertisments and press releases, and see what's being found now. Talk to me about how shortly after I switched from advil to tylenol I developed asthma. And wonder if a bit of normal, natural, since-time-immemorial pain now is worth trying to keep baby from asthma.
I just don't think "science" knows a THING about those medications. Giving a kid something to ease pain which might very well (and DOES, in our household, all the time) stop entirely a moment from now, just isn't good.
DS likes to get 8 teeth all at once. He is NOT happy about it. He's been working on the second 8 since March in dribs and drabs. Last week he had a 102 temp each night from the teething, and was perfectly fine in the morning. I used old fashioned comfort methods. Tepid baths, cold washcloths, lots of nursing. That required hubby to be up, too, to take care of me while I took care of DS (he wouldn't go to DH). A bit of a pain for us, but ultimately I believe is better for DS's health and future health.
When we got back from our trip (oh, we were vacationing at my ChildFree brother's house when DS got the fevers) I came here and found many testimonials that the pattern of the temp went right along with teething. Someone mentioned that their doctor theorizes that a high temperature somehow softens the gums, to help the teeth come through easier. So, going on that interesting idea, if we falsely lower the temperature, isn't that making it harder on the child?
Reaching for medication everytime something normal and natural is hurting is NOT doing anyone any good.
Now, right after getting three teeth, my son had a highchair accident and popped out one of his teeth. I *would* have given him pain meds for that. After all, something was, indeed, WRONG with him at that point. Strangely enough, the milk seemed to help him with that, once he wanted something in his mouth.
Homeopathy. I think people really need to know what it is, before saying "it doesn't work for us". It's all about remedies. Looking at the entire symptom pattern and seeing what remedy is called for in that situation. The great thing about homeopathy is that if it's not the right remedy, it doesn't do anything, positive or negative. Hyland's is great, but it's a shotgun approach. Sometimes my son needs one of the aspects of Hyland's, and I'm working on getting the single remedies that make up Hyland's. It's amazing how I can be *right* on the brink of getting DH to go get a bottle of western medicine, will give DS a dose of Boiron chamomile (even the non-easily-dissolved pellets work, by the way), and boom he's fine. Sometimes I know it's inflammation that's causing problems, and since I don't have the single remedy for that, yet, I give him a Hyland's to deal with it. I've even given him a pellet of Arnica and that worked IMMEDIATELY. It was *amazing*.
But sometimes you can't find the right remedy, or everyone is too stressed to really figure out which would be correct. So you nurse, so you get out frozen breastmilk to soothe gums and fill the tummy, you soothe the baby any way you can think of...and, as has been in our case (and in my case when I'm having one of my killer deep bone leg-aches or my husband's horrible migraines for which he used to medicate but now doesn't), eventually the pain starts to fade, and then the pain is a memory and no one is drugged.
So no, I don't think someone using old fashioned remedies to soothe pain is cruel. Not at all.