As parents, it feels like we worry constantly, doesn’t it? Teething is no exception as, just like eating, we stress over what baby puts in its mouth as we’re bombarded with advice about choking, harmful chemicals, and damage to teeth and gums. So how do you choose a safe baby teether and stay worry-free?
When To Give Baby Teething Toys
Teething begins well before a tooth even makes an appearance. Babies are born with 20 baby teeth already in place under the gums, but they don’t tend to break through the gum until around nine months of age or later, depending on the baby.
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This shifting and erupting of the teeth is what causes teething and, as you can imagine, it’s a bit of an uncomfortable time for your little one. Signs of teething to look out for:
- Red swollen gums
- Irritability and restlessness
- Flushed cheeks or fever
- Finger or fist sucking and gumming
Once these signs make an appearance, it’s time to introduce a baby teether toy that provides a counter-pressure to alleviate the pain in the gums.
Which Baby Teether is Safe for Baby?
There are a lot of options out there for baby chew toys. The important part is knowing what to avoid in a teether. Teethers to avoid are ones that:
- Require freezing – the cold may be soothing, but frozen teethers can actually be TOO hard and also have the potential to cause frostbite
- Are filled with liquid – your baby puts a lot of pressure on the teether, which can cause these hollowed-out teethers to break open and your baby to ingest the contents.
- Are made with plastics and toxic chemicals–this toy will be in your baby’s mouth a lot, introducing harmful chemicals to their system, even if it’s tiny amounts over an extended period.
- Have small pieces or pieces that can break off – as with anything that goes in baby’s mouth, avoid small items that could cause choking, including teething rusks and teething necklaces
Your best bet? Go for a teether that is natural and non-toxic.
Wood Teether – A Natural Choice
Wood might seem like it’d be unpleasant to chew on, but it’s quite perfect! It’s a nice hard material to soothe baby’s sore gums and at the same time, it’s completely natural—no chemicals or plastics.
Wooden baby teething toys are carefully designed, sanded, and finished with products such as beeswax and olive oil to prevent splintering and maintain durability. Better yet – they’re antibacterial and babies love them!
Are Silicone Teethers Safe?
Absolutely yes, silicone teethers are a safe option! Here’s what you need to know about silicone baby teethers:
- Silicone doesn’t support microbial growth and is dishwasher safe, so for cleanliness, it’s a great option
- Silicone is a durable material and so will withstand a whole lot of chomping
- The silicone is food grade is non-toxic and free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates
- Silicone is an allergy-free alternative to rubber baby chew toys as there is no latex
Babies love the chewy, rubbery feel of a silicone baby teether, and the non-slip surface helps with grip when things get a bit dribbly!
We recommend the Jellystone teether range as the ultimate in silicone baby teethers. This award-winning company creates teething toys that are safe for baby as well as other convenient tools such as teething jewellery for mum and chew necklaces for sensory children.
How Long Do Babies Use Teethers?
As long as required! Your baby will teethe on and off until almost three years of age when the final molars come through (yes there is a light at the end of the tunnel!). You will usually find that they will grow out of using teethers well before that, though.
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For safety, it’s important during this time to monitor the condition of your baby teethers. A teether should be discarded and replaced at the first sign of damage to prevent injury to your baby.
Need A Little Extra Guidance?
Have a chat with the Little Fenix team about how to choose a safe baby teether!
Author Bio: Sandra is the owner of Little Fenix, a baby and kids boutique full of gorgeous handpicked clothing, toys, arts & crafts, even homewares. Located in Carlton North and Ivanhoe East, Little Fenix has also expanded to an online store.