This article is all about the different kinds of teether toys that are on the market as well as some other medicinal and homeopathic remedies to help your baby get some comfort as new teeth are emerging.
How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Teething?
Well the most obvious tell-tale sign is you will start to see them chewing on…everything! The pressure from chomping down on something alleviates the pain or uncomfortableness in the gums. So it’s a good idea to have teethers ready and waiting because you don’t know when that day will be.
What are Teething Toys?
Teething toys are fun colorful teethers that also function as real toys that can be played with. They come in all sorts of colors shapes and sizes. Some are in the shape of a circle so that the baby can grip but also bite. Others are designed to go further in the mouth to reach molars (although the first baby teeth to come in are always really the front teeth). But there is something for every baby teething need! Let’s look at the different kinds.
Real rubber teethers
These, kind of like dog chew toys, come with lumps and bumps to really knead and massage those sore gums. They have ridges and are made with a natural material – rubber! Natural minded parents appreciate the natural materials, with no added chemicals, and like that are squishy. They cannot be put in the dishwasher or boiled so you must wipe them clean.
Teethers Made From Silicone
Similarly to the rubber teethers they are soft and squishy too. They come in a ton of shapes, sizes, and colors as well. These teethers are made from man made materials so they can go in the dishwasher or refrigerator. Make sure that you aren’t buying cheap China knock offs. You want the best quality ingredients going into your baby’s mouth so look for food grade or medical grade silicone. This is a great baby teether that I recommend.
These are the most common teethers and my least favorite. Many of them are not made with chemical safety in mind and can still contain BPA or PVC’s. So make sure that you are lookin for “BPA and PVC” free on the packaging. The plastic teethers can be solid or filled with water. The packaging will tell you how best to clean the teether. And not all may be able to go in the dishwasher so you might want to check for that.
These are another one natural minded parents really like. But do ensure that the wood is one solid piece of wood and that no glue is used. You don’t want bits and parts falling off and you certainly don’t want them sucking on wood glue. Also make sure there is no possibility for splinters.
These are newer on the market and serves a double purpose. It keeps thumb suckers from sucking their thumbs but also allows baby to chomp as needed. They are usually made on a combination of fabric and silicone chews. Read the above on silicone for safety.
Foods As Teethers
Cold hard food from the fridge can be nourishing and soothing! Carrots work great (once they get their teeth though they can actually bit some carrot off and that might not be safe). But the bag fat carrot, not too skinny so they don’t poke their throat, can work well and be nice and cold. There are little handheld food nets where you insert a piece of food in a little mesh net and screw it on to the handle. Those work great for pieces of cold melon, cucumber and more. It has a nice cold squishy feel and distracts them from the plain as the taste is pleasing.
Should You Let Your Baby Chew on Your Finger?
I say yes it’s fine. Just have clean hands. Babies are so sweet and cute and if chomping on an adults clean finger with their little toothless gums gives them relief then it’s totally worth it. It can be a fun bonding thing to do actually, oddly enough, as when they chew and suck on your finger it is so funny and always makes me laugh. You will probably also feel pretty quickly if a new tooth is coming in. So it serves that purpose too.
Medicinal and Homeopathic Teething Treatments
There are different things you can try if you are needing more than just a teether.
These are over the counter and made for babies older than four months old. They basically numb the baby’s pain and also provide antiseptic so that no infections occur.
Homeopathic Teething Tablets, Gels, or Powders
You can find these readily on amazon or other places. Just google search those words. But some doctors advice against because of risks. Mayo Clinic being one that does. They are concerned about the ingredient Belladonna and you should do your research if that is right for you or not.
Comforting Baby with Nursing
There is no greater comfort to a baby than to be held and nursed by his or her mommy. Nursing provides all the nourishment a growing baby could need and distracts them from their cries at hand. Sometimes parents mistake hungry or soiled diaper cries for teething cries. They do no realize that babies hate to have a wet diaper. Even the tiniest bit wet. And they will soil the diaper even right after you change it. If that doesn’t work then try nursing. The baby may be tired or need extra milk. Always feed on demand. And if none of that works perhaps they are just tired or need the comfort of mommy. So always lean in to nursing. Nursing is your greatest ally and a millions times better than feeding from a bottle.