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Although deemed as ‘normal’, teething may be accompanied by a fever, irritability, diarrhoea and poor sleep; amongst other things.

Any parent dreads a restless and/or teething baby. It not only throws the normal routine out of sync, but also introduces an uncomfortable setting for you and your little one. An irritable or crying baby can be tough to handle, especially if you are physically tired and mentally exhausted. It is important to understand that your little one is unable to self-soothe and relies on you to handle the situation accordingly.

OVERVIEW OF CONDITION

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Teething is the process by which an infant‘s first teeth (the deciduous teeth, often called “baby teeth” or “milk teeth”) appear by emerging through the gums, typically arriving in pairs. Teething is a normal process that some infants go through and it generally starts when they are between 6 and 12 months old.

Restlessness, trouble getting to sleep and problematic night awakenings are extremely common in children and infants (affecting 20-30% of young children)1, and have a sig­nificant impact on the quality of life of both the child and the caregiver2.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

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Although deemed as ‘normal’, teething may be accompanied by a fever, irritability, diarrhoea and poor sleep; amongst other things.

Restlessness in babies can be caused by various factors such as overstimulation of a baby’s senses, teething, tiredness, colic and underlying infections; amongst other things.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

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Baby teeth sometimes emerge with no pain or discomfort at all. At other times, you may notice the following in you little one3:

  • General irritability.
  • Disturbed sleep.
  • Gum inflammation.
  • Drooling.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Perioral rash.
  • Intra-oral ulcers.
  • Increase in body temperature.
  • Increased biting.
  • Gum rubbing.
  • Sucking.
  • Wakefulness.
  • Ear rubbing.

Restlessness in babies is generally characterized by an unwillingness or inability to:

  • Rest or relax.
  • Remain still.
  • Be quiet and calm.
  • Fall asleep and remain asleep.

DIAGNOSIS

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Teething does not generally require an appointment to see the healthcare professional (HCP). However, if teething is accompanied by a high temperature that persists without any apparent reason, or if your baby has persistent diarrhoea, it is best to see a HCP as soon as possible. They will examine your child to determine whether these issues are related to another condition. If necessary, they will prescribe appropriate medication.

Restlessness is a common occurrence in babies, but when accompanied by complications such as incessant fever, abnormal crying, an underlying infection or other symptoms that are worrisome to the caregiver/parent, it is best to see a HCP as soon as possible. They will examine your child to determine whether these issues are related to another condition. If necessary, they will prescribe appropriate medication.

HOW THE CONDITION IMPACTS QUALITY OF LIFE

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A restless and/or teething baby can give rise to an emotionally unstable environment for you and your little one. Babies are incapable of self-soothing and rely solely on their caregiver/parent for that support. This additional load may seem insurmountable to an already emotionally and physically fatigued person. Allowing one’s emotions to get the better of the situation can be detrimental. Do not be scared to ask for help or support from outside sources.

TREATMENT

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Non-drug measures:

  • Every baby can use some good cuddle time when they are having a hard time coping with restlessness and/or teething. One can also try bathing, singing, playing quiet music and/or reading. The extra time spent with your little one can help alleviate their pain by providing feelings of being comforted and reassured.
  • Teething biscuits, rings and/or gels.
  • Ice.
  • Pressure.
  • Baltic amber jewellery.

OTC treatment and prescribed medication:

  • Antipyretic/analgesic drugs are among the most commonly used drugs in children, and their consumption is increasing8. The main agents employed for this in conventional medicine are paracetamol and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), e.g., ibuprofen. Paracetamol and NSAIDs have now replaced aspirin use in children due to the fear of Reyes syndrome8,9. However, their use is controversial8, firstly because of the possibility of unwanted side effects and secondly because of the view that fever can fulfil an important function in the body by conditioning and stimulating the immune system – provided that a tolerable range is not exceeded10.
  • Prescribed antibiotics if there is an underlying secondary bacterial infection.

Complementary treatment:

  • Viburcol®N suppositories.
  • Chamomile and/or clove teas or products.
  • Natura products.
  • Feelgood Health products.
  • Perfectly Healthy products.

Viburcol®N offers a unique, natural medication that belongs in every parent’s medical cabinet. Viburcol®N is indicated for infants and children experiencing conditions of restlessness and whining with or without fever; and for the symptomatic treatment of common infections.

  • Proven reliable clinical efficacy in states of general restlessness in infants and children, and in the symptomatic treatment of common infections4-7.
  • Can be used in conditions with and without fever4-7.
  • Effective in teething troubles of all types.
  • Effective in night/sleep terrors (pavor nocturnus).
  • Safe and fast relief of symptoms4-7.
  • No known side effects, medical interactions nor contraindications.
  • Individualised dosing in response to needs.
  • Supports the body’s natural bioregulatory system.
  • Available without prescription.
  • As effective as paracetamol in managing the symptoms of acute febrile infections in children4-5.
  • Can be stopped at any time with no rebound effects.
  • Can be given from the first day of life.
  • Can be used with other treatments.
  • Safe and generally well-tolerated4-7.
  • Plant-based ingredients; a safe, gentle alternative to treatment with conventional medications.




  1. Moore M. Bedtime problems and night wakings: treatment of behavioral insomnia of childhood. J Clin Psychol. 2010;66(11):1195-1204.
  2. Owens JA, Mindell JA. Pediatric insomnia. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2011;58(3):555-569.
  3. McIntyre GT, McIntyre GM. Teething troubles? Brit Dent J. 2002;192(5): 251-255.
  4. Derasse M, Klein P, Weiser M. The effects of a complex homeopathic medicine compared with acetaminophen in the symptomatic treatment of acute febrile infections in children: an observational study. Explore. 2005;1(1):33-39.
  5. Müller-Krampe B, Gottwald R, Weiser M. Symptomatic treatment of acute feverish infections with a modern homeo­pathic medication. International Journal for Biomedical Research and Therapy. 2002;31(2):79-85.
  6. Zenner S, Metelmann. Experience with a homeopathic suppository preparation in the medical practice. Biological Therapy. 1991;IX(4):177-181.
  7. Gottwald R, Weiser M. Antihomotoxic treatment of agitation with and without fever in children; results of a post-marketing clinical study. International Journal for Biomedical Research and Therapy. 1999;28(6):308-312.
  8. Maison P, Guillemot D, Vauzelle-Kervroëdan F, Balkau B, Sermet C, Thibult N, Eschwége E. Trends in aspirin, paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in children between 1981 and 1992 in France. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1998;54(8):659-664.
  9. Beutler AI, Chesnut GT, Mattingly JC, Jamieson B. FPIN’s Clinical inquiries. Aspirin use in children for fever or viral syndromes. Am Fam Physician. 2009;(80)12:1472.
  10. Kramer MS, Naimark LE, Roberts-Bräuer R, McDougall A, Leduc DG. Risks and benefits of paracetamol antipyresis in young children with fever of presumed viral origin. Lancet. 1991;337(8741):591-594.

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