by Kathy Arnos
We’ve all heard the scenarios. Your friend’s three-month-old is irritable and drools all the time. Your sister’s two-year-old is still unable to relax and go to sleep at 11:00 p.m.
Whether you are a new parent or an experienced one, these accounts are enough to frazzle anyone’s nerves.
There are many reasons why children experience different physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms as they grow. Believe it or not, teething is one of them. In fact, many problems of today’s youth may be related to the teething process.
Teething begins at birth and continues through adolescence. Some children are even born with a visible tooth or teeth—this is rare, but it does happen. The teething process takes place in two phases. The first phase lasts from birth to 3 years: the period of time (weeks or months) preceding the eruption of a primary tooth and the process of eruption, continuing until the tooth finishes growing into position. This sequence of events repeats until all the primary teeth are in place.
The second phase is from 5 years through adolescence—beginning with the movement of the unseen permanent molars, continuing when a primary tooth becomes loose, losing the tooth, then cycling back to acquiring a new set of permanent teeth.
While teething may precipitate a wide range of various symptoms, it is important to note that physical or emotional illness in an infant or child can be very serious and should not be ignored. Parents should always seek the advice of a trained medical professional to be sure the child is evaluated properly and treated responsibly.
When the teething process begins, an infant experiences different symptoms at different stages. During the first stage, from birth to 3 years, the most common symptoms are fever, sleeplessness, drooling, a diaper or body rash, diarrhea, irritability, gas, loss of appetite, biting, tantrums, nightmares, earaches, runny or stuffy noses, persistent coughs, croup or signs of aggression.
During the second phase, beginning around age 5, some of the earlier symptoms may return, as well as some new ones such as depression, anxiety, headaches, restlessness, trouble concentrating and low self-esteem. Many children are even diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) at this time and prescribed prescription medication.
Once the child has been properly evaluated and it is determined that the symptom or symptoms are not related to a more serious health problem, rest assured there are safe and natural remedies to help make your child more comfortable while teething.
Homeopathic remedies and flower essences are two of the safest and most effective natural solutions. A homeopathic remedy is based upon the “law of similars”—“let likes be cured by likes.” It is prepared by taking a minute dose of a substance—mineral, plant or animal—which, if taken in large quantities, would present a set of symptoms in the body. This substance is then diluted and made into a remedy that stimulates the immune system to correct the problem and help relieve the symptom.
A flower essence is made from flower buds, clippings of wild bushes, plants and trees. Flower essences can neutralize a negative emotion and restore balance to the mental, physical or spiritual states of mind.
Each essence is used to address a different emotion. The most famous flower essence formula is Rescue Remedy. This is a combination of five flower essences: Clematis—for a spacey or unconscious state; Cherry Plum—for a feeling of being out of control (mind or body); Impatients—for restoring patience; Rock Rose—for panicky fear; and Star of Bethlehem—for loss, sorrow or grief.
So if your infant is continuously drooling and uncomfortable, the homeopathic remedy Mercurius vivus might be the right remedy. If your toddler is prone to earaches and fussiness when teething, Chamomilla along
with herbal eardrops and Rescue Remedy could be the answer. Sleeplessness and nightmares are also very common for a teething child. Again, there are several natural treatment options: the appropriate homeopathic remedy (of which there are many); aromatherapy oils, such as lavender and chamomile—a few drops applied to a handkerchief and placed in the bed; or a calcium/magnesium supplement given in the evening hours may be the key to soothe and calm a child to sleep.
Kathy Arnos is the author of Bach Flowers For Children and The Complete Teething Guide: From Birth to Adolescence. The complete Teething Guide offers information on nutrition during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and for the newborn through adolescence; how breastfeeding and bottle-feeding affect tooth and jaw development; the fluoride controversy; hazards, cautions and emergency situations; hygiene; alternative orthodontic appliances; natural treatment options for teething-related symptoms and more. Arnos is also the editor of Eco Family News. For more information go to www.spiritdancepublishing.com or www.ecofamilynews.com