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‘Just’ Teething


You know it’s coming because you’ve heard all the horror stories from well-meaning parents, siblings, extended family, and friends whose children are all just that much older than your up-to-this-point healthy and well baby. Teething. You hear mothers state simply as their child screeches miserably and cries inconsolably, ‘Oh…she’s just teething.’ For a period in every child’s first year of life, it’s as if every behavioral deviation from the norm can be explained by one simple phrase…he’s teething.

Some parents and babies seem to cope very well with the whole teething business but for some of us, teething babies are a form of torture with loss of sleep, endless bouts of tears and frustration (I’m talking about the parents here, too!) and an utter feeling of despair that nothing could possibly help baby or you with the endless suffering and pain.

Have you happened to notice? Hallmark has NO cards to celebrate that first tooth emerging. Ha! There’s a good reason for that. The card would have to express the sentiments of sympathy, not celebration.

Teething babies can often be a parent’s first experience with homeopathy. Combination remedies where there are anywhere from 2-5 homeopathic remedies in them can be very effective. And sometimes, depending on the formulation, help a lot or not at all. Oh no!

Desperate times call for desperate measures… But learning about specific homeopathic remedies might help even more. You have to ask yourself, why is this combination remedy so effective for my friend’s baby but not mine? (There is nothing fair about teething!) The easy answer? Different products, different formulations… In other words, one combination will be helpful for some babies and another formulation better for other babies.

For instance, in Canada, Boiron makes a teething product called Camilia that contains Chamomilla, Phytoclacca, and Rheum. For the majority of babies, parents find this combination helps tremendously. For many babies, though, it’s a trip back to the store for the parents because the remedy did nothing…zilch, zip. And if you are lucky, there on the shelf is the ‘other’ Teething Tablet product by Hyland. Their formulation has Chamomilla and Belladonna, as well, but what do you know? The formulation also has Calcarea phos and Coffea! So what is the difference?

The difference is your child’s unique teething symptoms. Let’s go through this whole ‘symptom picture’ idea step by step. Just a few minutes here will help you when the ‘time for teething’ has arrived.


  • Red cheeks
  • Drooling
  • Low grade fever (Open-minded doctors will agree with this but if you look at science and research, the claim is that fever is not a part of the teething picture…really. I looked extensively and found it hard to believe. My own ‘anecdotal’ experience was with babies who spiked quite high fevers during teething.)
  • Chewing on fists
  • Biting down (which includes nipples for breastfeeding moms and the fingers of well-meaning dads…ouch!)
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite and stomach upsets
  • Sleeplessness from pain


  • Ugly behavior – your baby wants to be picked up and after picking them up, thrashes around and wants to be put down. Going from one adult to the other and unhappy with anyone yet wanting to be carried and carried at a good bounce. That is about all that will give anyone any peace…joggling vigorously. If you try to gently comfort, the baby or child will hit or toss the soother out of your hand. Crying uncontrollably, getting worked up into a frenzy, more excitable as the day goes on, more irritable and more difficult to manage until 9 pm, and then quite impossible to put to bed. You notice that they are much worse at night and the gums are very swollen, inflamed, and tender with only one cheek that is red, not both. Out of sheer desperation with this teething child, the parent can easily give in to the demands of the child, only to have it thrown back. This teething child can also have diarrhea that looks like ‘chopped eggs and spinach’ or smelling like rotten eggs.

IF this is sounding like your baby (and this is the state of many teething babies), you are looking at the homeopathic picture of Chamomilla. This is why both homeopathic pharmacies have Chamomilla in their formulations. This is a remedy that best captures the teething experience of most babies, most of the time.


  • Exquisitely sensitive to pain – and wants only cold held in the mouth, whether a ‘freezie’ soother, a cold rag filled with ice, cold food, or if they have started solids, only frozen peas or frozen fruits. You look at this baby and wonder how on earth do they keep going and going in such a hurry when they don’t nap, they don’t sleep, and they are in so much pain. Like the Chamomilla teething baby, they want up, they want down, they moan and shriek from the pain, they throw things in anger, they have one red cheek with the fever BUT…the diarrhea is watery and painless AND they have this need to hold cold food/water/objects in their mouth. It’s the only thing that gives them any relief with the teething.

IF this is sounding more like your baby, even though the picture is very similar to Chamomilla, you will likely have more success with the Hyland’s formulation. But now knowing what you know, it may be that your baby will do very well indeed on the single remedy Coffea.

There you have it: the two biggest differences between one combination formulation and the other. We didn’t touch on the other remedies in the combination, but we can cover that another time in another post!

Vaccine Free: Now What? starts Wednesday, March 6, 2013: a 12-week seminar for vaccine free and almost vaccine free families who want to know how to use homeopathy to help children heal from infectious childhood illnesses.

Early Bird Deadline: February 21, 2013
Final Deadline: February 28, 2013


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