Babies cry. The whole not being able to express themselves except with varying degrees of cooing and wailing is all part of infant territory. But there comes a time when those little whimpers of hunger become full blown, impossible to soothe screaming fits. Usually this happens at the most inopportune times— like the second your butt hits the chair to send some emails, when you finally make a long overdue phone call, or the minute you finally pour yourself that well deserved glass of Chardonnay. You start running down the mom checklist of baby soothing. Clean diaper…check. Bottle…check. Aah…baby’s still screaming. Heading into phase two, you try a rock in the glider, a snuggle in the baby carrier— even a ride in the usually effective baby swing. Nothing is working!
Suddenly, your mom detective skills kick in. You notice the river of drool running down baby’s chin, their little mouth ferociously gnawing on their fist and it hits you. This is TEETHING!
First of all, don’t panic (but feel free to take a slug of that Chardonnay you never got to enjoy). We’ve all heard the nightmares of endless screaming and inconsolable fussing when baby is cutting a tooth, but we live in modern times with options other than lathering up our baby’s gums with whiskey. Grab your teething toys. Remember all those little rubber things you got for your baby shower? Yes, those.
There are teething toy options for every baby, for every time of day, and every lifestyle. There are snuggly teething toys, feeder teethers, eco friendly teething toys, and chilled ones, too (super effective). We pulled together some of our favorites, because let’s face it, there are never too many to have on hand.
Sixteen years from now you aren’t going to want to toss over any of your keys to the kids. But for now enjoy handing over the Nuby Ice Gel Teether keys without asking “where are you going?”. These keys are not only brightly colored and dual surfaced for plenty of teething texture, but they utilize the amazing PurICE technology that provides long lasting gentle cooling relief. They work instantly. Just keep these keys cool in the fridge (Nuby says it is a no-no to freeze them) so it is perfectly chilled and on hand in a pinch. Added bonus, your little one will love the satisfying racket they can make banging these keys around (thanks!). As Jane on amazon said, “A wonderful teether. Baby can chew on the keys, bang them around they are very sturdy and can take a beating.”
That little hand is in baby’s mouth 24-7. No matter what toy you offer, it is thrown to the ground in lieu of a more seductive teething toy, fingers. Cue the Teething Mitt from Itzy Ritzy. This teething glove features a textured food grade silicone top in adorable characters. Pineapples or unicorns anyone? The body of the glove is equally adorable with graphic prints and patterns that crinkle when moved to entertain baby beyond chomping. And of course this mitt has a soft hook & loop closure to ensure a snug fit preventing baby from pulling it off. Many reviewers mentioned the snug fit keeps baby entertained just by trying to figure out how to pull it off! Unsuccessfully, of course. Best part yet, this toy is fully machine washable! No need to boil or steam or do whatever sanitizing upkeep other toys demand.
Moms everywhere are breaking the internet with the positive reviews of the Ashtonbee Teether Feeder. This ingenious contraption holds fresh or frozen food (think soft veggies and fruits, frozen breast milk, or even medicine) for baby to gum and suck on, releasing only the tiniest pieces that are safe to swallow. The feeder pacifier is textured food grade silicone that also helps to massage sore chompers with this hassle-free way to introduce your baby to solid foods. Andrea said in her review, “Love them. I started freezing breast milk in these. By filling them with the lid attached. I just run a little warm water on them to melt off the excess, then the nipple is filled with frozen milk and isn’t too big for my little guy!” M Martin gushes online, “I love these! More importantly, my daughter loves them! This is a lifesaver!” Rachel H states, “I only wish I had found this sooner! I’m going to buy this for any and all new moms I know and all of my family members with littles.”
It’s a toss up if Suri Holmes or Sophie La Girafe have more paparazzi photos in weekly magazines at this point. Although I’d place my bets on Sophie, she’s everywhere hanging out of celebrity baby strollers. If you have yet to meet Sophie, let me introduce you to the sweet French giraffe loved by celebrities and common folk alike. Sophie La Girafe is easily the most widely popular baby toy in all of France. So much so, that in 2018 it was estimated that nearly every baby born in France was given a Sophie. So needless to say, the updated smaller version of the French national treasure that has the added textured rings for little mouths to gnaw on is a no-brainer baby teething essential (the original softer version is almost like a squeeze toy). Totally silicone free and made from 100% natural rubber the Sophie teether comes in two versions, one that is soft for early teething and this one that is firmer rubber for those older more advanced chewers. Added bonus, you can feel like a celebrity with a baby on your hip and Sophie La Girafe in tow.
Babies know there is no better game than dropping the toy and watching mom pick it up just to drop it again. However, we’ve yet to meet a parent who shares the same affection for this time tested game. Instead of having to snap or clip a toy on baby and then add a drool bib to avoid this ever loved game, the smart folks at Vuminbox created a totally hands free baby drool bib with teether attachment. Made of super soft 100% poly fleece backed cotton, these bandana bibs are super absorbent while insanely adorable! “This is my 3rd baby and I wish I had known about these sooner”, raves Jan. “They are AMAZING! The material closer to the baby’s neck is thinner than the material a little further down so he doesn’t look like he’s being choked. They are SO absorbent and they are long enough to actually catch the spit up. The little teethers at the bottom are secured with a very tight snap so they don’t come off when the baby plays with them.”
Breastfeeding is a miracle, but it is hard! After spending countless hours finally getting the hang of breastfeeding, most nursing moms are unwilling to risk anything setting them back. Yes, this includes allowing any sort of pacifier or chew toy to enter into the little one’s realm. That often changes once mom becomes the teething toy while nursing. Good news, you don’t have to decide between throwing all your hard work out the window or being bit by your little teething monster. Mimi the Mushroom is a miracle of a teething toy. It’s designed to be held by baby with one hand and is curved to be shaped like a natural breast. “I like its wide base so babies can practice flaring out their lips like they would at the breast”, says NYC based Lactation Consultant Cassandra Christopher. Baby can suck or chew on the antennas that were designed to mimic their breastfeeding experience without sacrificing the latch you both have worked so hard to master.
Did you know that pediatricians recommend to start brushing baby’s teeth before they even have any? This is where the Mam Bite and Brush Teether comes into play. This unassuming teething ring is not only lightweight, but has one end of soft bristles. These magic little bristles not only calm pain from teething but actually clean gums and those first little teeth that pop. Shannon, a mother of 4, swears by this teether. She details how the specially designed ring shape makes the teether easy to grab plus its light weight allows the smallest of her little ones to hold it on their own. Giving her a little free time to attend to her other three rug rats running around. The Mam Bite and Brush has been her go to shower gift for all of her pregnant friends. “I always urge them to gently massage the soft bristles on their little one’s sore gums”.
Let’s face it, moms are multitasking mavens. You are juggling all the hats and jumping through all the hoops day after day, so of course you want multitasking baby products too. Nobody wants to haul around a heavy diaper bag full of one trick ponies. So don’t. Instead, let these adorable soft snuggle teether friends from Bright Starts do all the heavy lifting for you. These loveable plush friends are not only super soft but are made of a crinkly fabric that baby will love to crunch. And when baby is done snuggling and crunching their safari friend, the two teether feet are perfect for soothing aching gums. The blanket style friend is easy for a small hand to grab and hold, perfect on the go. Say Good-bye to that 20 pound diaper bag full of every toy a baby could want and say hello to the snuggle teether.
Babies aren’t cheap. They grow and change so darn fast. As soon as you stock up on one size of diapers, baby starts blowing them out on the regular. It can feel like you are always sizing up on something for your little one. This is exactly why the Winkel from Manhattan Toy is so popular. This teether is actually a toy with a teething component that will engage baby from birth on up through toddlerhood. The Winkel is a brightly colored intricate maze of soft interconnected tubing that is perfect for sore gums to chomp (also comes in red, white and blue). The unique atom inspired design is not only super lightweight but perfect for little hands to grasp. All of the looped tubing meets at a center cubed rattle for added stimulation. Finally a teething toy that will actually be useful beyond teething. Considered a must have by many parents, the Winkle has won awards for its design, one being the prestigious Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award.
It’s the age old question, style or function? As parents we are usually stuck prioritizing function for our little ones. But with sleek lines and an abstract shape the Comotomo teether looks like an abstract sculpture. Maybe this will kick start a lifelong appreciation of art and design? Anyhow…they will grab the easy to hold ring and shove it in their mouth. The hypo-allergenic silicone toy has four nubs that are strategically placed to reach hard to get to places like the back of the mouth for incoming molars. Plus the textured nubs not only soothe sore gums, they are designed to mimic little fingers deterring the ever dreaded finger sucking habit to take hold. Best of all this modern designed teether is small enough that your little ones can actually hold it and effortlessly bring it to their mouth. Stylish teething relief while dodging the finger sucking habit is a win win! You could even leave it on your bookshelf as art once all this teething is done! (Or hope to never see it again!)
Now that you’ve tackled teething, get ready for solid food, walking, potty training and playing outside. But before you’re left in a daze wondering where the years went, check out our other mom approved baby must haves from us parents who’ve been through it (and lived to tell the tale).