From personal experience, i'd think clove oil is too strong for a
baby! I put just a little on one tender spot in my mouth and next
thing i knew i was gagging and throwing up. I've never had any
trouble eating foods with ground cloves in them. But the
concentration of a small amount of clove in a food is lower than the
concentration in an oil applied directly in the mouth.
I am sure people have used it in the past, but that doesn't mean it's
really safe for babies. People have used and ingested plenty of
unsafe items traditionally or historically.
There are standard OTC products like "Numz-it", although i am
assuming you want to avoid them.
The "popsicle" suggestion isn't bad, although i would recommend
making your own and keeping away from those with corn-syrup/high
fructose corn sweetener and artificial colors.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
http://www.libraryt hing.com/ catalog/lilinah