I’ve been slowly packing away some toys that Dominik no longer uses and have come across quite a number of teething toys. These were once in constant use for him, and not just because they provided teething relief. They were also fun to look at and practice manipulating with his hands.
Dominik started teething really young. We noticed teething symptoms around 3 months and, sure enough, around 4 months a tooth popped out. Then it just kept going. One tooth after another poked through, and of course each one felt like it took forever and a day. We got a lot of well meaning advice, mostly that we should use pain relievers. I was never comfortable giving medicine for teething, mostly because that would mean I was medicating him several times a week or more. There were lots of natural ways that we helped Dominik with the uncomfortable feeling of new teeth coming in.
- Rubber teething toys. Three words: Sophie the Giraffe. This was probably the most used teether. When I was pregnant, I remember seeing this and thinking that it looked like an overpriced dog toy. But seriously, this was the perfect toy. It was cute and pleasing to look at, the limbs were perfect for manipulating and developing motor skills, it gave a fun little “squeak” when squeezed, and most importantly it’s made from all natural rubber and finished with safe dyes.
- Wood teething toys. There are a few great companies that sell unfinished wood teethers (Maple Landmark and Grimm’s Spiel and Holz are our two favorite). They are all really well made and very smooth. Wood is naturally antimicrobial and when it is unfinished there are no chemicals to worry about. It’s a great manipulator as well.
- Silicone teething toys. Silicone makes a great teether for little ones because it’s a non-leeching substance that’s soft and easy to care for. We always had a bunch in our diaper bag.
- Frozen wet washcloth. An organic washcloth that has been frozen is one of the best ways to soothe cranky teething babies. The cold numbs the gums and the soft cloth feels nice to chew on. I used to also freeze washcloths soaked in breastmilk and, when he was older, in frozen pureed food. Camomile tea also works great and helps with sleep.
- Mesh food feeder. These were fantastic. I used them by putting cubes of frozen breastmilk, ice, or frozen food inside the mesh and letting Dominik gnaw away. But I also found it to be great to use with foods like grapes and blueberries when we were doing baby led weaning. I didn’t want to risk choking with these small, round foods, so the mesh feeder let him explore the texture and flavor without the risk.
- Amber necklace. This is something that we only tried as a bracelet. We also didn’t use it very often, but I did see a bit of a difference. Many moms swear by it, just be sure to get one from a reputable seller.
- A clean finger. This is the most time-honored teething remedy. The *clean* finger of a loving parent makes a super safe teething toy. You can also give those sore gums a little massage for some extra relief.