Teething is no fun for anyone, especially your little one! The drooling, swollen gums, sleeplessness, the desire to gnaw on everything, paired with general irritability makes the whole process tough. As a mom, your first desire is to provide relief as safely and quickly as possible. However, with a million options available – and everything able to ship in just one day – what can you give a teething baby that is safe and effective?
Regardless of whether your darling just started teething, or if you’re a bit bleary-eyed and it’s been going on for a while, we have some trusted, recommended choices that will hopefully eliminate the guesswork and have everyone in your household comfy again!
- Teething Blankets: Whether it’s a Nuby or Taggie, a First Years or LAMAILA product, these teething cloths are colorful, soft, grab-n-go options that can help soothe your child’s swollen gums. Some include crinkly sections, squeakers, satin or terry cloth; others boast BPA-free rubber and nubby edges and some do all of the above – these teething solutions are easy to clean, easy to grasp and easy to attach (to a stroller, car seat or with a pacifier clip). Some come with tiny rattles or rings on the end, making it a toy as well as a teething blanket. All are good for small hands and provide teething relief as well as sensory activities.
- Teething Keys: Back “in the day,” before parents analyzed what type of plastic or teethers were baby-safe and appropriate, there were keys. Fast forward to present day, and they still exist – just new and improved! Today’s teething keys are softer and often made of rubber; they have smooth and nubby sections that are great for gnawing. You can find both BPA- and PVC-free material, and best of all, you can put them in the fridge or freezer for a bit of cooling relief. They are easy to clean with soap and water (check your instructions before putting them in the dishwasher or washing machine), and serve dual purposes as both a toy and a teether.
- Sophie the Giraffe: If you don’t know Sophie, then you’ve not been moving in the right Mom Circles! Just kidding, but seriously, it’s hard to talk teething without giving Sophie her due. Termed a “status teether” by the LA Times (Sophie the Giraffe), this giraffe has taken the teething world by storm! First, she is French, ooh la la! Celebrity babies, including Nicole Richie’s daughter and Kate Hudson’s son, have used her. Sophie is made with natural ingredients that are prominently called out, even down to her giraffe spots that are food-paint (so if your child sucks one off, he’s perfectly safe). Nevertheless, Sophie is cute and makes it easy to fall in love with her. She is squeezable and makes a happy sound, so once again, you have a toy and a teether in one. The bottom line, whether you “bite off” on the status and the price, is that Sophie has been around helping babies and Moms for over forty years – and from the looks of this giraffe, she is not going anywhere soon!
- Gummy Sticks, Teething Toothbrushes, Gum Massagers, Oh My! The shapes, sizes and colors may vary but the point of these teethers is the same. They are soft, bendable and with nubby ends or soft bristles, these teethers relieve your child’s pain while also starting the motions and habits of good teeth brushing. Zoli has several products including the Gummy Masssager, Stick Massager and Chubby Teethers. Or look into the Nuby Gum Massager, the Baby Banana Toothbrush or Razbaby Raspberry. Regardless of the brand, there are numerous safe, friendly choices out there – and it’s never too soon to start healthy hygiene habits!
- Homemade Alternatives: The above options come with brand names and customer reviews, but if you’re looking for something less expensive and well, frankly, something you don’t have to purchase, you’re in luck! Back before there were BPA-free and non-phthalate products, there were Moms and Dads. If you’re looking to give your little one a bit of teething relief, some baby gum massage can definitely do the trick, especially in the early days before your baby has a mouthful of choppers. All you need is a clean finger and your infant curled up in your arms as you just gently rub your finger over those sore gums. If this type of simplicity is your style, try a wet, cold, rolled washcloth – you can even put it in the freezer for a few moments to soothe your child’s gums with the cold relief. On that note, a chilled spoon or snack (like yogurt, cucumbers or chilled banana) can be delicious, comforting choice. Keep in mind that the key word is “chilled,” not frozen solid as that may be too harsh and hard for your little cherub. If you’re feeling creative, Google “popsicle teething recipes” and you’ll have plenty of choices to keep you and your baby busy! Nursing – or channeling your MOM Power – can also do the trick and feed tummies as well as soothe teething. So despite this age of online shopping and immediate gratification, your home contains many teething solutions already!
Ahhh, teething. Like many other stages of motherhood, the days can seem endless and the nights even longer. Here’s hoping that these solutions bring your little one – and you –relief, comfort and yes, even sleep. And, when all else fails, just remember these words from writer, blogger, Mom and all around tired person, Bunmi Laditan, “If you’re completely exhausted and don’t know how you’re going to keep giving this much of yourself day after day, you’re probably a good parent.”
The Baby Pibu Team