Skip to main content

What Is Vanilla Extract for Teething and How to Use It

Vanilla extract for teething

Vanilla extract for teething


Many parents worry about what they can give their babies to help soothe sore gums during teething. Some turn to traditional remedies like cold water on a washcloth, others use over-the-counter products like Anbesol. But one remedy that is often overlooked is vanilla extract.

How to Soothe a Baby’s Sore Gums

When a baby starts cutting teeth, it's a tough time for everyone involved. Not only are they dealing with the pain of having teeth coming in, but they're also crankier than usual. If you're a mother wondering how to soothe your baby's sore gums during teething, you have a few options available to you.

There are a few traditional ways a mother can soothe her baby's sore gums. One way is to use a clean, wet gauze pad or washcloth to massage the gums. Another way is to use a teething ring or pacifier that’s been chilled in the refrigerator. You can also give your baby a frozen fruit pop or a cold drink from a sippy cup.

Some mothers prefer using over-the-counter products that are made specifically for easing sore gums during teething. There is no right or wrong answer. It ultimately comes down to what works best for your child and what you feel comfortable with.

But have you tried vanilla extract for teething? It sounds strange, but studies have shown that the natural compounds in vanilla make a simple home remedy that helps to numb pain and reduce inflammation almost instantly. It is easy to use, too: simply apply a small amount of pure vanilla extract to your finger and rub it along your baby's gum line.

Pure vanilla extract

Pure vanilla extract

How Vanilla Extract Aids Teething

Vanilla extract for teething is often overlooked or unheard of, but studies show that it can be effective at relieving gum pain for babies. Babies typically react to having vanilla extract put on their gums by stopping crying. They may also become more relaxed and even fall asleep.

The reason why vanilla extract is so effective for teething is thought to be its main ingredient: vanillin has been shown to have analgesic properties. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that vanillin was effective at reducing pain sensitivity in rats.

While there is no conclusive evidence that vanilla extract can relieve teething pain in humans yet it may certainly be worth trying if other traditional methods are not working.

How to Apply Vanilla Extract

There is no hard and fast rule for how often to use vanilla extract for teething, but many parents find that applying it several times a day is helpful. Some parents prefer to apply it before each feeding, while others find that applying it before bedtime and after naps is sufficient.

Scroll to Continue

Each time, just dab a tiny amount of pure vanilla extract on your finger and gently rub it along the gum line of your baby's emerging teeth.

A 9-month-old infant with a right lower central incisor about to emerge

A 9-month-old infant with a right lower central incisor about to emerge


If you are considering using vanilla extract, make sure to talk to your doctor first as some precautions need to be taken into consideration.

When using vanilla extract as an analgesic for babies, it is wise to take some precautions to avoid any adverse effects:

  • Be sure to only use a very small amount of vanilla extract on the baby's skin, as it can be quite potent.
  • Test a small area of the baby's skin first to make absolutely certain they are not allergic to it.
  • Be careful to keep vanilla extract away from the baby's eyes, nose, and mouth, as it can be quite irritating.

Swallowing some vanilla extract is not likely to be harmful to your baby, but it may cause stomach upset. Try wiping your baby's gums with a wet cloth to remove any excess vanilla extract. You may also want to give your baby a small drink of water.

If you accidentally spill some vanilla extract on your baby's skin, don't panic. You should remove vanilla extract from your baby's skin as quickly as possible. Next, rinse the area with warm water and soap. If you're concerned about any adverse reaction, call the doctor to ask for advice.


All babies experience teething uniquely. When they are teething, some babies cry more frequently than usual. This might be the result of discomfort and swelling in the gums before a tooth erupts. These signs typically appear three to five days before the tooth appears and go away as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. Have a chat with your doctor if you're concerned; you may give your child an over-the-counter painkiller that is labeled for his or her particular age if necessary. Vanilla extract for teething babies is a quick, cheap remedy that works - the relief is usually immediate!

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Louise Fiolek

Related Articles