We can almost see you cringing right now!
Many people dread this chapter of parenthood because of all the miserable stories they’ve been told.
Don’t worry! It’s not as bad as you think. The process is actually quite manageable. As long as you’re willing to try out a few of the best baby teethers and troubleshoot along the way, you can help your toddler soothe that terrible toothache.
Perhaps you’re expecting your toddler to enter the teething stage within the next couple of months. Or maybe your toddler has already started teething, and you’re searching frantically for solutions.
Whatever the case may be, we’ve got you covered.
To start with, let’s discuss …
The Teething Timeline
As you can see from our infographic, teething typically begins around the age of 6 months and continues for the next 24 months or so.
2 years just for teeth to come in?
Easily! Sometimes it takes even longer than that. The process is different for each child, and it’s a lengthy one because different teeth emerge at different times:
- Incisors (6-8 months) – These are the 4 front teeth on both rows (central and lateral) and are always the first teeth to arrive.
- Primary molars (10-14 months) – These are the first 4 molars to emerge, and they end up being the second teeth from the back once all of the teeth have come through.
- Canines (16-22 months) – These are the sharp, pointed ones that we sometimes call “fangs”! Your toddler will have 2 on each row, sandwiching the incisors.
- Molars (25-33 months) – These are the last 4 teeth to arrive (for now, at least), and they are positioned towards the back of the mouth.
How will I know when this process is starting?
Oh, you’ll know. But just in case, here are some of the main symptoms to look for:
- Drooling (and lots of it!)
- Chewing, biting, or sucking on anything in sight
- Swollen gums
- General irritability
- Rubbing face or ears
- Light mouth rash (due to excess drooling)
- Trouble sleeping
If you’ve seen enough of these warning signs, it’s official – the teething process has begun . . . in which case, your next response might be:
Help! What do I do?!
And for that question, we have no shortage of answers. In fact, there are heaps of options that will help soothe your baby’s tender gums. Before diving into the list of products that we recommend, here’s what you should look for and what you should avoid in a teether.
Best Baby Teethers: What to Look For
Safety is imperative, and our children’s safety is of the highest importance. But not all teethers are safe, and yes, that’s scary. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has done its best to ban and/or warn against harmful teething materials; but when it comes to your child’s safety, the onus is still on you to ensure that your child’s health is not being risked. Don’t compromise; it’s never worth it!
As is the case with most products, the best baby teethers are well made while other teethers are made with thin or cheap materials. Invest in teethers that are going to last. You may need to pay a little extra for a good teethe, but it will prove its worth over time. After all, teething can last for more than 2 years, so you’re going to need some pretty sturdy soothers!
Some teethers are astonishingly cheap while others are just flat-out expensive. 9 times out of 10, you don’t want to delve into either end of that spectrum. The really cheap teethers are just that – cheap. And the expensive ones? Most of them aren’t worth it. A reasonably priced teether should cost between $4 and $20. Anything outside that range has to be an exceptional product.
Easy to Wash
Teething toys can get filthy. Not so much because of the saliva, but because of all the dirt and germs the saliva attracts. They have to be washed regularly, so make sure you’re picking teethers that can be cleaned with ease. A complicated contraption just makes your life harder than it needs to be! Teethers that are dishwasher-safe are excellent as well.
Some of the various teething toy options are brilliant. It’s no longer rare to find a teether that serves 2 purposes. In fact, there are some products that serve 3 or 4 purposes. These toys are fantastic soothers, but they’re also great for your child’s development at this age.
Best Baby Teethers: What to Avoid
As mentioned earlier, the FDA has done its best to identify and ban harmful teething materials; but that’s not to say that all teethers are now fair game. There are still plastic teethers floating around. Avoid these at all cost; there is no plastic teether good enough to compensate for the health risk associated with chewing plastic that contains harmful chemicals such as Bisphenol-A (BPA). There are acceptable alternatives, such as BPA-free silicone and rubber.
Tablets and gels
In 2016, the FDA issued a warning against the use of teething tablets and gels. There had been cases of seizures, difficult breathing, muscle weakness, as well as other symptoms that were linked to these products. If you stumble across either of these “remedies”, leave them alone. There are plenty of safe teething options out there; you don’t need these.
Now that we know some of the things to look for in a good teether (as well as what to avoid), let’s look at the different types of teethers and a few of our favorites.
Teething toys are fantastic because there are so many different types, brands, and models. No matter what, you’re guaranteed to find something that works for your toddler if you’re willing to test enough options. Some of the best baby teethers are really bizarre looking, but they actually work and toddlers love them. Credit to whoever comes up with these wacky, creative ideas! Here are a few of our personal favorites.
1. Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush
This is one of the most popular teething toys, if not the most popular. It’s fun, it’s dishwasher-safe, it’s freezer-safe, and it teaches good dental hygiene at an early age! Costs around $9
2. Nurtureland Fruit Teethers
It’s easy to grip, it looks delicious (yet it’s unflavored), and it’s made of baby-safe soft silicone for really sensitive gums. Costs around $15 for a pack of 2
3. Infantino Squeeze and Teethe Elephant
This adorable grey and pink elephant is the perfect teething companion for your toddler. It’s flexible, squishy, and made of BPA-free rubber. Costs around $20
4. Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether
A French-made teething staple for over 40 years, Sophie is made of 100% natural rubber and immediately catches the eye of most toddlers. We think the price tag is a little unnecessary, but we’re willing to make an exception for such a good product. Costs around $29
5. MAM Bite & Brush Teether
It’s simple, it’s inexpensive, it cleans teeth, and it was developed alongside dentists. What more could you ask for? Costs around $5
6. Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether
Here’s another one you may recognize. Available in blue or orange, this alien-looking silicone teether is one of the best baby teethers out there. Costs around $6
7. Nuby Icybite Teething Keys
These colorful keys provide plenty of visual stimulation, not to mention a number of great shapes and sizes to reach any emerging teeth. Very inexpensive too! Costs around $4
8. Honest Company Butterfly Teether
Both dishwasher-safe and freezer-safe, this simple, versatile blue toy may be just what your toddler needs to soothe that terrible ache! Costs around $10
9. Hevea Panda Teether
This cute golden panda is simple but effective. It’s easy to grip and is made of 100% natural rubber, BPA-free. The one caveat is that this one is not dishwasher-safe, so you’ll need too scrub it by hand! Costs around $14
10. Maple Landmark Teething Pair
These wooden rings are organic and anti-bacterial, making them one of the safest and most reliable teething toys on the market. Do not put them in the dishwasher or the wood will crack! Costs around $15
11. Safety 1st Mombella Ellie Elephant Teether
Made with 100% safe, BPA-free silicone, this interesting elephant is a great size for your toddler to handle. Cheap and dishwasher-safe! Costs around $5
12. Little Toader Broccoli Bites
This dishwasher-safe broccoli stalk is a food-grade silicone teether that your toddler will enjoy chomping on. It might even help them enjoy their real broccoli when they get older! Costs around $7
13. SweeTooth Ice Cream Teether
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Throw this food-grade silicone teether into the freezer and your toddler might actually mistake it for the real thing! Costs around $15
14. Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether
One of the craziest looking but best baby teethers you’ll find. This multipurpose toy will soothe your child’s sore gums while keeping them occupied! Costs around $13
15. Nuby Wacky Teething Ring
This colorful ring has a number of different textures and can be used for various applications. Don’t let its strange design fool you! Costs around $7
16. BEBE Cookie Teethers
The intricate ridges make these luxury medical grade silicone cookies the perfect pair of teethers. Oh, and they look delicious! Costs Around $15 for a pair
17. Little Toader Waah’ffle Teether
You may have seen this popular teether at a few homes (including ours!) Its simple, square design is surprisingly effective. Costs around $6
We need to take a moment here and explain that teething necklaces aren’t the best choice for everyone. If you want a teether that your toddler can gnaw at without you having to watch them constantly, necklaces are absolutely not the right choice. Don’t even consider using a teething necklace if that’s the goal in mind.
The only way that necklaces should be used is under very careful parental supervision. They can be extremely dangerous otherwise, and even life threatening. There have been cases of babies being strangled by the necklaces when not being supervised properly.
You may have heard the hype surrounding amber teething necklaces in particular. This is because many people believe that they have distinct health benefits, namely the natural analgesic and succinic acid that Baltic amber contains.
It’s important to note that this is only a theory, and that there have not yet been studies that prove the health benefits of amber teething necklaces.
Again, teething jewelry probably shouldn’t be your number one option, and we recommend doing plenty of homework before choosing to try one out. Yet, we acknowledge that they have helped for some. Here are a few of the best.
18. Chew-Choos ‘Playdate’ Silicone Teething Necklace
This necklace comes in 2 color patterns; it’s made of food grade silicone, and is dishwasher-safe! The caveat is that it’s a little on the expensive side. Costs around $23
19. BEBE by Me ‘Cosmopolitan’ All-in-1 Teething Necklace
This necklace features chewy beads that at 3 different hardness levels, making it an extremely versatile option for your teething toddler. Costs around $14
20. Itybity Baby Teething Necklace
A colorful assortment of beads that provides plenty of different shapes and sizes makes this necklace a great addition to any collection. BPA-free and mom-approved! Costs around $15
21. Chewbeads Mulberry Teether
This small, flexible ring can be used as a bracelet! Its bright, chewy beads are made from 100% medical grade silicone. Costs around $17
22. Dr. Bloom’s Chewable Jewels
Created and endorsed by a dentist, this 100% medical grade silicone necklace can be sported with a number of outfits while soothing your toddler’s teeth! Costs around $10
23. Powell’s Owls Baltic Amber Necklace
If you’re a fan of the Baltic amber necklaces, this one is a great option. It’s carefully designed and approved for safety. Costs around $20
24. Jellystone Designs Organic Pendant
This little green pendant may look like nothing, but your child may grow fond of it. It’s simple, easy to grip, and made of non-toxic silicone. Costs around $14
25. The Art of Cure Original Baltic Amber Necklace
This necklace is made of 100% natural Baltic amber that has been university tested. Rest assured that it’s the real deal! Costs around $15
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Teethers
Though there aren’t quite as many options, there are a number of home remedies you can use as effective teethers. If you’re hesitant to go out and spend money on a plethora of different toys that your child might not like, try a few of these ideas first!
26. Wooden Spoon
In general, wood is one of the best baby teethers for a toddler to chew on because it’s an organic material. You probably already have a number of wooden spoons handy. Try one out!
27. Frozen/cold Foods
The temperature of your soother can play a huge role in how well your child responds, so frozen foods might be all your child needs to numb the pain.
28. Frozen/cold Cloth
Try freezing a towel or washcloth and letting your child gnaw on it for a while. As it thaws, its cool, chewy texture might do the trick!
Did you know ginger is an anti-inflammatory? Well, now you do! Gently rub some on your baby’s gums for a few minutes and see if that eases junior’s pain.
A frozen popsicle is cold enough to numb your toddler’s gums; but it’s also soft enough to chew. It’s the perfect treat to cheer your child up!
And one last recommendation!
Whoever figured out that bottles could also be teethers was pretty bright! While there isn’t as much differentiation amongst these products, here’s one that we really like.
31. Nuby Non-drip 3-stage Wide Neck Bottle
This great little bottle includes optional handles, a teething nub, and a non-drip nipple and spout for when your toddler isn’t teething. It’s inexpensive too! Costs around $5
And that wraps up our guide to teething and our list of best baby teethers! If you’re someone who is anxious about the teething process, I hope that this gave you and your toddler a few options to try out.
There are thousands of teether types, brands, and models out there, so we realize that our best baby teethers are just a drop in the ocean! Have you had success with any other teething products? Have you heard of others that you’re interested in testing? Drop us a line in the comment section below!
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