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. This is the time to give the baby a teether, which will catch, besides the teething phase, the oral phase that all babies go through and in which they feel the need to take everything they pick up into their mouth.
Thus using a teether can be useful, not only to reduce the discomfort felt by the baby but also to respond to his oral needs by providing a safe object that he cannot swallow and that does not have fibers or small objects that can be inhaled.
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 soothe your baby’s tender gums and usually have a subtle texture.
Teething Toys – Some teethers are designed for pain relief and play! Usually, they’re fun toys, but also provide a great teething texture.
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, 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!
Using a teether: what are the advantages?
The two main advantages for your baby of using a teether are precisely these: the relief of pain, itching, and discomfort caused by teething, and the safe response to the tendency to take objects around in the mouth. The advantages of using a teether will be all the greater the sooner you discover the model that gives your child the most relief.
It should be noted that, as a rule, being cold makes the relief feel more immediate and intense. Many health specialists, notably pediatric dentists, state that the use of teethers can help prepare the gums for teething – traditionally known as “tearing” the gums – thus promoting the child’s well-being by reducing discomfort.
Using a teether: the care
Of course, if you choose to let your child use a teether, you will need to take some care with it, particularly with regard to its hygiene. The teether should be made of washable materials that are easy and safe to clean.
Usually, sterilization is done with hot water or in a sterilizer. Gel teethers, which are designed to be cooled in the refrigerator and cannot be exposed to high temperatures, are excluded from this rule.