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When teething is painful, the right toy can distract a fussy baby and provide relief. We look at safe and effective options.
Once teething starts, the teeth emerge on a regular basis for the first 2 years of life. A suitable toy can help manage the painful symptoms of teething.
When choosing a teething toy, it is important to prioritize safety. Here are some tips:
- Avoid necklaces, bracelets, and jewelry. They can break apart, presenting a choking hazard. A baby can also wrap them around their neck. Specifically, there is no evidence that amber teething necklaces relieve pain.
- Avoid teething products that contain batteries. The batteries, battery caps, or their screws can pop off and present a choking risk.
- Never let a baby play with any toy in bed or alone. This includes in the back of the car.
- Avoid liquid-filled teething toys. They can pop when the baby bites down, exposing the baby to potentially unsafe liquid.
- Look into the contents. Try to find BPA-free toys, and check for any allergens and irritants. Because many people are allergic to latex, consider avoiding products that contain latex, for example.
Babies develop attachments to a range of objects, and different teethers work for different babies.
If possible, try to provide a variety of teethers. Many babies prefer a range of surfaces, bright colors, and easy-to-grip toys.
Please note that the statements below are based only on research. No one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tried these products.
This toy features nipple-shaped attachments for sucking, which helps babies gain better tongue control while soothing the pain of teething.
It is freezer- and refrigerator-safe and does not become dangerously hard when cold, according to the manufacturer. They also note that the toy may help wane babies from breastfeeding.
This toy is made from safe, hypoallergenic silicone, according to its makers.
A person can fill it with cold water for a soft, soothing teething toy. Alternatively, fill it with juice or tiny pieces of food. However, never give this toy to an unattended or sleeping baby, especially if there is food in it.
Sophie the giraffe
Its makers advertise this toy as safe for very young babies.
They note that it is made from all-natural rubber and food-grade dye. The company also highlight that it is a single-piece toy, with no parts that could break off.
Nuby Silicone Teethe-eez
This simple silicone toy is a single piece, reducing the risk of choking. It has a bristly end for stimulation and a variety of other surfaces.
The makers highlight that it is freezer- and refrigerator-safe, that it remains soft even when cold, and that it is BPA-free.
Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew
This is part bib, part teething toy. A baby can pull the soft silicone tip of the bib up and chew on it. It is available in a wide range of colors and patterns.
As with anything else that goes around the neck, a person should never leave this on a sleeping or unattended baby.
This toy is a large ring with several legs. It is easy to grab and hold, and provides a variety of teething points.
It is also safe to put in the refrigerator or freezer, the makers claim, and will not become dangerously hard when cold.
Dress Me Up Organic Teething Bon Bon
Before teething toys were widely used, an alternative was a frozen washcloth. This is still a safe, cost-effective option.
The Bon Bon is similar, but it contains thin pieces of fabric surrounding a thick center, providing a variety of surfaces. It is likewise suitable for freezing.
Mombella Dancing Elephant
This bright teething toy looks a little like a toothbrush on legs, making it an easy-to-hold option for babies who want to pretend to brush their teeth.
It also has bumps and multiple surfaces, providing plenty of stimulation and variety.
The company highlight that their toy is made from safe silicone and that it doubles as a pacifier.
This teething toy is a single piece that will not break or disintegrate, and it squeaks when squeezed. A baby can use it as a teething toy and also as a distraction from the pain.
It has a variety of surfaces, including bumps and ridges, and its makers highlight the toy’s natural rubber.
The right teething toy can make teething less painful and provide needed distraction.
If teething pain seems severe or if a baby seems very distressed for any reason, contact a pediatrician. Other teething remedies, including over-the-counter medications, may help, but speak with a doctor beforehand.