The discomforts of teething, and the various other health upsets which babies often suffer while their teeth are coming through, can be greatly minimised by the sensible use of essential oils. The single most useful oil at these times is Camomile, with Lavender coming a close second.

It is usually very obvious when a tooth is about to erupt, as the baby will often have one red cheek on the side where the tooth is pushing through, and may be fractious, crying a lot and sleeping badly. Very often, the baby's general resistance is lowered while a tooth is erupting. Colds, coughs, earache and colic are often more frequent at this time, and nappy-rash may get worse, or may only be a problem during teething and not at other times.

The discomfort and various side effects can all be helped with essential oils, remembering to observe the safety precautions, listed in the entry for CHILDREN. The main method to use is simple massage on the affected side of the baby's face with diluted Camomile oil (1% to 2%). (Older babies, when cutting back teeth, may have two coming through at once, so massage both sides of the face.) Blue Camomile oil seems to be somewhat more effective than other forms for this use, so put one or two drops, never more, into a 5 mls. measuring spoon, of carrier oil, and use this to very gently massage the red cheek. Quite often a teething baby will rub or pull at one ear, either because the pain from the erupting tooth is referred to the ear, or because there is an actual ear infection at the same time. In this case, extend the massage to include the area all round the ear. Let the oil become warm in your hand before using it, or in very cold weather warm it a little over hot water before you put the oil on your hand to use.

A teething baby will often be very sleepless, so a drop of Lavender or Camomile in the bath (diluted before adding), or on the cotsheet or the baby's night clothes, will help. If using Camomile to massage the face, use Lavender to help sleep, but you can experiment and see which works best for your baby.

Homoeopathic Chamomilla pilules can be a great help during teething and can be used together with the external Camomile as explained above.

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