Vanilla extract for teething has been used for a long time. People who use them swear by their efficiency. Unsure about the effectiveness and safety of vanilla extract? While I did not try it with my kids, many people have.
Read this article to decide.
Vanilla extract has many benefits, but carries some health concerns as well when used raw for babies. There are safer alternatives to raw vanilla extract, such as using vanilla bean paste. This article discusses how you can safely use vanilla extract and other alternatives for your baby to get its benefits.
Consult with your doctor before making any medical decisions. Even if you prefer holistic and natural methods, be careful with your treatment for your teething baby.
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Symptoms of Teething
Babies usually go through the teething phase after one month since birth. Some babies require more time to grow teeth, but they arrive eventually.
Teething has unique signs and symptoms that can affect your baby’s mental and physical health. These are given below.
- They chew more often.
- They have rashes on their face.
- Flushed cheeks can be a sign of teething.
- They have sore and red gums where the teeth are growing from.
- They rub their ears.
- They dribble more than usual.
- They are more fretful than usual.
- They have trouble sleeping.
- Body temperature may rise slightly due to inflammation of the gums.
These are the symptoms of your baby’s teething phase. These all may not be visible at the same time. However, it is important to know the correct symptoms, so you don’t overlook any serious conditions, such as teething.
How Does Vanilla Help Teething Babies?
Vanilla extract is a popular remedy to soothe the gum pain of teething babies. People have been using it for generations to reduce inflammation and discomfort of the mouth and guts.
Besides providing comfort to babies who are teething, vanilla can be used to remedy many other problems.
- Acts as an Analgesic
Vanilla has analgesic properties because of the presence of ingredients, such as salicylic acid, eugenol, and coumarin.
Babies develop swelling and inflammation of gum while teething. Often this causes extreme pain and irritation for the baby. An irritated baby is not easy to take care of and thus keeps parents annoyed as well.
Eugenol present in vanilla paste has analgesic as well as antiseptic properties. The analgesic properties of eugenol help reduce pain in the mouth by targeting the ganglion neurons around the gum.
Rubbing a little diluted vanilla extract in the gums of babies will reduce the feeling of pain and help lessen the irritation. Massaging the gum will also help teeth grow faster.
Vanilla extracted from vanilla beans is great for rubbing on the gums, and only a few inches should be enough. Scrape the beans to get some vanilla paste out and slightly dilute it to rub on your baby’s gums.
- Promotes Healing
Vanillin is a dominant component of vanilla. It is highly researched for its properties of healing.
Babies can hurt their gums while teething on toys or other hard stuff. Continued rubbing of the gums causes them to become swollen and inflamed. Regular rubbing of vanilla can reduce inflammation and mild irritations due to the presence of vanillin.
Vanilla has also been shown to improve healing over time from continued use.
- Relieves From Pain
Vanilla extract can relieve pain in the gums of babies who are teething. A drop of vanilla extract can relieve the pain of the gums.
Rubbing the gums of a teething baby will put opposing pressure on it, which lowers the time required for teeth to come up. This eases the process of teething.
Vanilla extract or paste can also relieve stomach pain in babies. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce mild stomach inflammation and cramps.
- Works Against Inflammation
Inflammation of gums happens easily while teething. This can cause excessive crying and irritation in babies. Inflamed areas in the mouth can also set off bacterial or fungal infections.
Vanilla extract can reduce inflammations, and its slight antibacterial properties can help fight against fungal or bacterial infections.
Continued use of organic alcohol-free organic may have long-term health benefits for babies for their gut and oral health improvement.
- Relaxes Anxious Babies
Vanilla can relax anxious babies at night who can’t sleep due to irritations induced by teething.
During the daytime, babies can stay distracted easily from the pain in the gums, but during nighttime, the lack of distractions coupled with exhaustion can make them extra fussy. Vanilla extract can help them to sleep easily.
Vanilla is an expensive and popular spice that is highly coveted due to its many relaxing properties. There’s a reason why it’s used in spas, candles, and as an essential oil. It is reported to be able to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. It can also help cure sleep apnea when used as a part of aromatherapy.
Vanilla extract can be helpful for kids and babies. They can be used instead of salt and sugar in meals, desserts, and formulas. But is it safe for babies?
The amount of raw vanilla extract given should be limited to an extent so that it doesn’t cause problems to your child’s health.
Vanilla extract helps to reduce gum pain and anxiety among babies. But an excessive amount of vanilla extract can lead to harmful effects like nausea and headaches.
Vanilla extracts in the USA contain at least 30% alcohol in them. This is a high amount considering whiskeys contain around 40% alcohol. Babies can often become victims of alcohol poisoning through vanilla extract because of this. So be careful with the amount of extract you are giving to your baby as a medicinal remedy.
Will the Alcohol Harm the Baby?
A small amount of vanilla extract won’t harm the baby, however, a huge amount, such as a teaspoon of it can lead your baby to get alcohol poisoning.
The vanilla extracts are soaked in ethanol to absorb alcohol in them. Using vanilla extract in recipes will cause a very little amount of alcohol to be used because the heat burns it off.
Vanilla extract is not going to harm your baby when it’s used in meals or baked products since a small amount of alcohol will burn off during cooking.
Mixing a high amount of commercial vanilla in feeding bottles can have adverse effects. You should ask a pediatrician if vanilla extract can be mixed in formula or breast milk because babies with certain sensitivities may not be able to tolerate them.
Vanilla paste scraped from fresh vanilla beans is the safest option for your baby. You should only use fresh beans because despite having a long shelf life, some beans may develop fungus, which can be detrimental to your baby’s health when consumed.
Vanilla extracts contain a high percentage of alcohol. Feeding any of it to your baby can give them alcohol poisoning or can make them drunk! You may notice that your baby falls asleep faster after feeding them something with a little vanilla extract. It is the alcohol that’s putting them to sleep, not the vanilla.
So, it is obvious that you should always use fresh vanilla bean paste, preferably prepared at home, to avoid any unwanted health conditions for your baby.
There are many safer alternatives to vanilla extract for teething. These are given below.
- Frozen Foods in Mesh Feeder
You can freeze a piece of fruit or vegetable and put it in a mesh feeder to let your baby chew on it. The cold will numb the gum and reduce any inflammation or feelings of pain.
You can use any hard fruit like apples or sweet vegetables like carrots.
Peeled garlic roots can have anti-inflammatory effects on gums. Extract a little ginger juice or rub a peeled piece on your baby’s gums to relieve the pain.
Amber necklaces have been used for a long time to reduce gum pains due to teething. The necklaces are not for chewing but should be worn around the neck for their pain relieving properties to work.
Amber necklaces contain succinic acid in them, which gets released through body heat. This works to reduce pain in babies.
Clove oils have numbing properties that can relieve pain. You can also use ground cloves mixed with any edible or water as a paste to rub in your baby’s gums.
This is the easiest way to soothe the sore guns of your teething baby. Just put a slightly wet washcloth in the freezer and let your baby wean on it.
You can dampen the cloth in vanilla juice or camomile tea to relax your baby as well.
Teething biscuits are specially made for babies so they can chew on them without choking hazards. These biscuits melt during chewing instead of crumbling, so these are safer than regular cookies. These are also tasty and can be used as a snack for the baby.
Vanilla extract or paste is a good option to use for your teething baby, but only if you are 100% safe and are aware there are some risks. You should be careful about using the vanilla paste from beans and avoid using the extracts with alcohol. Hopefully, this article has helped you decide if you should use vanilla extract for teething.