As a parent, seeing your little ones in pain is the worst thing imaginable. Unfortunately, it’s part of the job. Another part of a parent’s job is recognizing the signs that children are in pain and having the tools and knowledge to help them.
Teething is one of the first major struggles new parents will experience with their baby. As new teeth begin to emerge, babies experience discomfort and irritability. To alleviate this pain, parents often turn to teethers.
Teethers come in many different materials, shapes, and sizes. It’s important to consider your baby’s individual needs. Each type of teether has its own benefits and can provide relief for different teething symptoms.
How Will I Know When My Baby Needs a Teether?
Most little ones begin teething between four and six months, but don’t worry if your baby doesn’t exactly fit this timeline. First and foremost, it’s important to recognize the signs of teething to know when to begin purchasing teething toys and which types may be best for your baby.
Some little ones don’t have many issues with teething, and you suddenly notice teeth popping up, but others aren’t so lucky.
3 signs that your baby may be ready for a teether are:
- Drooling more than usual
- Fussy mood
- Chewing and biting unusual items
One day you will wake up, and your baby will be a drooling machine, much more than usual! If this starts within that four-to-six-month range, it’s likely due to impending teething. Using a bib is a great way to combat all the extra drool and keep clothes dry.
Certain teethers are best for extra drooly babies, like silicone-based teethers. Silicone-based teethers are waterproof and easy to clean, making them perfect for even the most severe droolers.
There are tons of reasons why your baby might be fussy, but teething is a surefire cause for a grumpy mood! If your usual comfort measures like rocking and feeding don’t seem to help, there’s something else at play.
With these extra fussy episodes, your baby might want to be held much more than normal. While it can be hard to make this adjustment, try to be patient and think of it as extra cuddle time!
Chewing and Biting Everything
This is the easiest and most obvious way to know if your baby needs a teether! Your baby will start putting just about everything in their mouth, often biting down very hard and chewing a bit.
Have some teethers on hand when your baby is around this age so you can give them something safe to chew when this behavior starts. If you don’t have one handy, a great alternative to a teether is a baby toothbrush. This will help your baby get used to brushing their teeth since that will happen next!
Our Favorite Types of Teethers
There are a few different categories of teethers, all of which have their own merits and strengths! With some trial and error, you will eventually find the teether that your baby likes the best.
The 3 types of teethers we love the most are:
- Teething toys
- Teething bracelets
- Wooden Teethers
Benefits of Teething Toys
Teething toys are just what they sound like – toys that double as teethers! We love teething toys because they are multifunctional and give you more bang for your buck. Teething toys are available in various materials, giving lots of sensory options for your baby.
One of our favorite teething toys is this Crinkle Teether. This teething toy is outfitted with both fabric pieces and wood, giving your baby different options. The crinkle fabric is a great sensory tool for baby, too!
Another multifunctional teething toy that we love is this Silicone Ball Teether. This helps baby practice their fine motor skills, like grasping. This is a great teething toy to give your baby early on in their teething journey!
How to Use Teething Bracelets
Another great product is teething bracelets! Teething bracelets benefit both the parent and the baby. Teething bracelets can be worn as regular bracelets but have the added benefit of being safe for baby to chew on. Teething bracelets are also convenient; you never have to dig in the diaper bag to find them!
The Pearl Teething Bracelets are the perfect baby-friendly accessory. These teething bracelets come in a variety of colors, so you can spice up any outfit. No one will even know you’re wearing a teething bracelet; they will just compliment you on your new arm candy!
Teething bracelets can also be used as keychains or hooked to your purse or diaper bag. The silicone-based teething bracelets above are dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to worry about germs!
Wooden Teethers vs. Plastic
We love wooden teethers for so many reasons! Wooden teethers offer an extremely firm material for your baby to bite, which some little ones crave when they are teething. Wooden teethers, like wooden toys, are generally regarded as much safer than their plastic counterparts.
Wooden teethers are the perfect options for parents looking for a more natural solution to teething pain. Wooden teethers are free from harmful chemicals that could be present in plastic teethers. Wooden teethers are also less likely to break than plastic options and can be cleaned very easily.
Some of our favorite wooden teethers are combined with other materials, like this Silicone and Wood Bubble Teether. This wooden teether is perfect for newer teething babies because it has several textures for soothing irritated gums.
Freezing Teethers to Alleviate Tooth Pain
A tried-and-true method to alleviate gum pain is to apply cold or frozen teethers and foods. Any of the above teethers can be placed in the freezer to provide that icy relief. Another idea is to fill the tip of a pacifier with water and freeze it. You won’t believe how quickly little ones respond to this method!
What Else Can I Do to Comfort my Teething Baby?
During this difficult time, extra comfort measures may be needed to support your little one. Try things like contact napping and babywearing to comfort your baby and make sure they feel close to you.
When things get tough, remember that, just like any other phase, teething cannot last forever. Try to be patient and know that you are equipped to handle this; you are just the person your baby needs to get through this!