If you have a new baby crawling around the house, chances are that teething is just around the corner (or has already arrived!). This is an important milestone in a baby’s development and if you notice your little one trying to chew on everything in sight, it may be time for some teething toys.
But when is it time to give your baby teething toys, and how do you find the right ones?
When to Give Your Baby Teething Toys
Most babies start teething within 4-6 months, which is a great time to start introducing teethers. When your baby sprouts their first tooth depends a lot on genetics, and your baby may start teething sooner or later than this window.
Usually, the two bottom front teeth are the first to show, followed by the four upper front teeth. Your child should have a full set of primary (baby) teeth by the time they’re almost three.
What Teething Toys to Give Your Baby
Teething toys help alleviate some of the pain your baby may be feeling because they provide a safe and clean chewing surface. Chewing helps with the pressure of growing in those pearly whites! But what kind of teething toys are right for your baby?
Teething Rings - Teething rings are the most basic teething toy and can come in solid plastic or be filled with water. These teething rings sooth your baby’s tender gums and usually have a subtle texture.
Teething Toys - Some teethers are designed for pain relief and play! For example, our Squeeze & Teethe Lamb is a fun toy, but also provides a great teething texture made out of natural rubber. Many of our travel toys and baby stroller toys also come with teethers attached!
Teething Jewelry - Teething jewelry is relatively new when it comes to teething toys but it has been a game changer. Teething jewelry ranges from necklaces to bracelets that are made from safe, teething material that your baby can chew on. Teething jewelry can be worn by babies or their moms!
Staged Teethers - Staged teethers are meant to be with your baby throughout all stages of teething. They usually come in packs of 3-4 that have different teethers especially made for that specific stage of teething your baby is in. These teethers can make it easy for moms, as they are ready to go when your baby is heading into the next teething stage.
Novelty Teethers - Here’s where the fun comes in! Novelty teethers are essentially regular teething toys, but come in all kinds of fun shapes and sizes. Some novelty teethers might include a teether that looks like bacon, or a banana, or a piece of pizza. They can literally be made to look like anything which can be fun for you and your baby!
Good quality teething toys will be durable, BPA-free, easy for your child to hold on their own, and safe to chew on. They also shouldn’t have any hard edges. And don’t forget to regularly clean your baby’s teething toys!
How to Help a Teething Baby
As mentioned, teething can be one of the least fun parts of early development, for both you and your little one. Symptoms vary, but some children can lose sleep because of teething, cry in pain, or develop rashes from drooling while teething. There are quite a few ways you can help your baby feel better, including:
Teething Gels - There are some great sugar-free teething gels you can rub on your baby’s gums to help manage some of their pain. Always consult your pediatrician before trying teething gels.
Chewing - If your baby is eating solid foods, try to give them some harder choices, like teething biscuits and rice crackers. These foods will help with the pain and are a healthy choice! Just make sure to monitor your baby’s chewing to ensure they don’t swallow too large of pieces and obstruct their airway.
Cool Food - In addition to offering hard foods, you can also try to give cold food to your baby, as cold serves as a natural way to numb their gums. Applesauce is a great bet, or you could try other pureed fruits or cool yogurt.
While you wait out the teething storm, check out these fun and interesting teething facts!
- Teething can start as early as 3 months old and as late as 14 months old.
- When your baby starts teething and which teeth develop first depends on family history and genetics.
- Chewing and biting is actually a necessary step in cutting teeth. Chewing helps teeth come in correctly.
- Breast milk may help with teething pain, as it contains analgesic, a natural soothing property.
- Cool washcloths from the fridge are a great numbing tool to help alleviate your baby’s teething pain.
- You may want to start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. Talk to your pediatrician about safe toothpastes and how much to use, but generally a drop the size of a grain of rice should do the trick.
While you (and your baby) might like to fast-forward to the end of the teething phase, this developmental milestone is important! A good set of chompers will help your little one eat the foods they enjoy and teething time shows that your child is right on track.
What are your favorite teething remedies? The team at Infantino would love to hear!