Chewing the Pain Away: A Parents’ Guide to Safe Teething Toys

Is your baby cranky? Has a problem sleeping and chews on anything that they can get their tiny hands on? Could they be teething? Teething is a significant milestone in a baby’s development, but it can be a challenging time for both infants and parents. And as a parent, you want to do anything possible to relieve their pain.

One way to do that is to give them a teether they can chew on. It feels good because it massages the gums and provides a counter-pressure to a rising tooth. Choosing the right teething toy is crucial and there are a few key factors to consider, from safe materials to cleaning methods, shapes, and sizes.

Choose Safe Materials

Wooden teethers

When it comes to teething toys, the choice of materials is paramount. This is something your baby will have in the mouth most of the time and you need to be sure that the toys are not made of potentially harmful materials. Opt for toys made from safe and non-toxic materials, free from harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, and PVC. Silicone, natural rubber, and food-grade plastics are excellent choices.

These materials are soft, durable, and unlikely to pose health risks to your baby. Wood is also a good alternative as long as it’s non-splintering and is sanded to a perfectly smooth finish. Natural, antibacterial, and untreated wood baby teethers are safe options. All these materials are sustainable and durable enough to withstand heavy chewing.

Easy Cleaning is Essential

Clean teether

Throwing or dropping toys are babies’ special skills, so you will often find them under the sofa or on the floor where they can pick up all kinds of bacteria. And with all the chewing, teething toys can get dirty quickly – so easy cleaning is essential for maintaining a hygienic environment for your baby. Look for toys with smooth surfaces and minimal crevices to avoid bacteria accumulation.

No hidden holes, nooks or crannies where saliva can get in but not out. The teethers need to be regularly washed, and it’s easier if the shape allows you to do that properly. Dishwasher-safe toys are convenient, but always check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that the toy can withstand the heat of a dishwasher.

Shape and Size Considerations

Round wood teathers

The teething toys come in various shapes and sizes, catering to different preferences and stages of teething. Consider the following factors when selecting the right shape and size:

  • Textured Surfaces: Teething toys with textured surfaces provide soothing relief to a baby’s gums. Raised ridges and bumps can massage the gums and help break through emerging teeth.
  • Easy to Hold: Opt for toys that are easy for little hands to grip. Teething rings or toys with handles are excellent choices, as they allow infants to hold and manipulate the toy independently.
  • Multiple Points of Contact: Teething toys with multiple points of contact provide a variety of surfaces for babies to chew on, addressing different areas of discomfort simultaneously. Differently graded surfaces give them more options to find the one that does the trick for them.
  • Cooling Features: Some toys, like silicone teether ones, come with cooling features, such as the ability to be refrigerated. The cool sensation can provide additional relief to sore gums.
  • Avoid Small Parts: Ensure that the toy does not have small parts that could pose a choking hazard. It should be large enough to prevent accidental ingestion and there should not be any loose pieces.

Are Teethers Good for Babies?

Baby teather

The teethers for newborns are safe pain relievers that allow babies to sooth their sore gums and turn those tears into smiles. Additionally, they offer several other benefits for both babies and parents:

a. Pain Relief: These toys help soothe a baby’s sore gums by providing a safe and appropriate surface for chewing instead of gnawing on just anything.

b. Oral Stimulation: Chewing on a toy for teething promotes oral motor skills and jaw development, laying the foundation for healthy speech and feeding habits.

c. Distraction and Entertainment: Toys like these can be a source of entertainment, distracting babies from the discomfort of teething and keeping them engaged.

d. Safe Alternative to Hands and Objects: Providing a designated toy helps discourage babies from chewing on their hands or other objects that may not be clean or safe.

e. Development of Sensory Skills: Textured surfaces and different shapes on toys for teething contribute to the development of sensory skills in infants.

Final Note

Selecting safe toys is a crucial aspect of caring for your baby during this developmental milestone. Prioritise toys made from non-toxic materials, with easy cleaning features, and appropriate shapes and sizes so you can provide your baby with a safe and enjoyable teething experience. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper usage and maintenance, ensuring your baby’s well-being during this challenging but important phase of their growth.