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Teething Tablets: Do they work?

Hyland's Teething Tablets

My son’s been having an awful time teething. His top front teeth are coming in, and while he’s generally happy during the day, he has a very difficult time sleeping. He’s been waking up two to three times per night, and unlike when he was younger, he doesn’t just want a bottle or a diaper change. Pain relievers haven’t worked, and he’ll only chew on a wet washcloth for so long. I’ve been hesitant to try baby Orajel, because I’m worried I’d numb too much of my baby’s mouth, or worse yet, his throat! I decided to try Hyland’s Teething Tabletsiconafter several other moms recommended them to me.

I was wary of Hyland’s Teething Tablets when I first heard about them. People expressed concern over the belladonna ingredient, and I felt like giving my son the pills would be akin to giving him mood-altering drugs. I didn’t want to give him something that would modify his behavior just because Mommy and Daddy were inconvenienced, even if it was all natural. But once I reached total desperation, I decided to read more and realized that the tablets weren’t dangerous. There is a miniscule amount of belladonna in the pills, and besides, homeopathic medicines are made from extracts of the ingredients, not straight herbs.

I paid $4.99 for 125 tablets at my grocery store (the only convenient source at 10:30 p.m.). The tablets are tiny white pills with a chalky consistency. Instructions say to place under the tongue, but that can be difficult to accomplish when baby is in pain and doesn’t want your fingers anywhere near his or her gums. My son lets me put them in his mouth and he eats them without a problem. They dissolve very quickly, and do not pose a choking hazard.

The first night I tried the teething tablets, they seemed to work wonderfully. I gave them to my son after he woke up in the middle of the night, and he slept peacefully until morning. I also gave them to him the next day at naptime, and he slept over an hour, rather than the 25 minutes that had become the norm since his teeth started to wreak havoc. I was so happy that he was feeling better, and the tablets caused no adverse reactions in him.

But now we seem to be back to square one. As another stubborn front tooth works its way through, he’s waking up several times per night not really knowing what he wants. The tablets don’t seem to offer him much relief, and I’m starting to wonder if they ever did. Maybe it was just a coincidence that he slept better when I first introduced the tablets. Perhaps I’m skimping too much on the dosage. The bottle says that tablets can be offered every hour, but during the night that isn’t practical.

Hyland’s touts the fact that their tablets have no side effects, and I read about many incidents when tots ate an entire bottle with no ill effects (or indeed any effect). In fact, the bottle doesn’t even have a child-proof cap. While that’s good news for parents concerned about giving their babies drugs, wouldn’t you think that if something was actually effective it would have some kind of consequence in huge doses? Maybe I’m not understanding homeopathy correctly.

So many parents swear by Hyland’s, but at this point I’m not sure what to think. I believe they’re perfectly safe to try (except in the unlikely case that your baby is allergic to one of the ingredients), but their effectiveness is questionable. I think I will continue giving them to my son on the chance that they do give him some relief, but I’m still searching for the perfect solution.

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