Life as new parents is full of ups and downs and you will do everything in your power to keep your baby safe and pain-free. Unfortunately, one of the things you go through as new parents are the difficult time of teething.
Below we have tried to answer all your questions or link to resources for all your questions. We do however stress that you should see a doctor at any sign that your baby is in discomfort. What you may think is teething could be something a lot more serious so please seek medical attention, it is always better to be careful.
What is teething
Teething is the process when the first teeth, often called the milk teeth or baby teeth emerge through the gums. For a more detailed explanation please read this Wikipedia article on what is teething.
What are the first signs of teething?
Every baby is different, with some babies not showing any symptoms while others have a difficult and painful experience. Below are some signs to identify a teething baby.
Some of the early signs can be as simple as your baby pulling on their ears or chewing on their fingers. More common signs can be mood changes where your baby becomes more irritable and cranky. They may also have swollen gums and an increase in chewing. You may find your baby is dribbling and drooling more and may have a mild fever. One unfortunate side effect is that it can interrupt their sleep patterns causing restless and sleepless nights for both babies and parents alike.
When should I give my baby teethers
The age when teething starts will vary from baby to baby. Your babies first tooth can start coming through from as early as 3 months while most babies have a full set of their first teeth by 30 months.
Wooden Natural Teething Products
All parents have a different preference for what they choose to give their baby for relief. As a parent myself I decided early on that where possible I would give my daughter natural or organic teething rings. We liked the idea of our newborn baby putting natural products in their mouth rather than a plastic toy which is made up of who knows what. Therefore when I started my online baby shop it was only natural to start making and including our teethers. We make two types of wooden natural teethers. These are the bunny and love heart styles. Both of which have been tested and approved to Australia standards.
Bunny Teether Toy
The bunny teether toy is a stylish and natural option made up of a wooden ring and fabric. The fabric is cut, sewn, and presented in a bunny ears shape. The ears help the baby grip while they chew onto the wooden ring.
Love Heart Teether Toy
The Love Heart style uses the same wooden ring as the bunny style complete with a cotton fabric shape heart. This shape also helps the baby hold onto the teether.
Materials used in our wooden teethers
These are made from several parts including;
Wooden Ring- The wooden ring we use is a 65mm beach hardwood ring that is designed for teething and is coated with Australian beeswax.
Bunny Ears- The bunny ears are made with a cotton fabric front and cotton bamboo mix backing. It is sewn together using cotton thread.
Love Heart – The love heart is made with two cotton pieces cut into a love heart shape. This also has a wadding material inserted to keep the shape. Once again a cotton thread is used to close up the heart shape.
There is a range of other non-wooden baby teething toys on the market. Below is a sample of just a few;
Natursutten Teether- As a stockist of Natursutten dummies we are a huge believer in this range. Although we don’t stock the Natusutten teether the fact that it is made from 100% natural rubber is a huge advantage in our eyes.
Sophie la giraffe – One of the most recognised products on the market, Sophie the giraffe is made in France and made up of 100% natural rubber. The paint used is also a 100% natural rubber and uses natural pigments for color. Due to its huge success, they have released a variety of different versions.
Panadol ring – This is a very popular remedy as it comes free in the bounty bag you received at the hospital.
Oil and Carol Natural Teethers – Oli and carol handmake a range of teethers from natural rubber. These are in the shape of fruits and vegetables. They are 100% organic and also double as a bath toy.
Plastic Teethers – Not one of our preferred methods as we prefer natural and organic options.
Teething glove and mitten – You may wish to try this specifically designed glove. These are normally a cotton glove with a silicone shape on the bottom designed for the baby to chew on.
Banana teether and toothbrush – A novel idea is a banana-shaped toothbrush. A toothbrush and teether in one.
Other items to assist during teething
For those parents that don’t want to use the options above, we have some other suggestions. Once again please consult a doctor or dentist if you think your baby is teething, it is extremely important to receive proper medical advice.
Organic Washcloth – Some natural remedies for your baby can include items you already have around the house like the organic baby washcloth. Make sure this has been washed thoroughly first. Then wet and place in the fridge or freezer to cool and let your baby chew. Once your baby has finished this period the washcloth can be used again in the shower.
Massage – Personally I love the idea of massaging your baby’s gums when they are teething. Make sure your hands are washed thoroughly and gently massage the sore gums of your baby.
Popsicle – If you are feeling inspired how about making your own popsicle. This can let your baby teeth and eat at the same time. This is a great way for you to experiment with various foods to see what your baby likes.
Mesh Feeders- another natural way for babies to teeth is with a mesh feeder. Think of it as a net which the baby can suck juices through. This is ideal for a baby who hasn’t started on solids and can be filled with breast milk, formula, or frozen fruits.
Biscuits- A teether biscuit is a great idea as it is something you can make at home and know exactly what ingredients are being used. When baked they create a hard rusk which the baby can chew on. This aids in the development of both teeth and gums.
Teething options to stay away from
Recently it has come to light that some options are not as good as they seem. Two popular options that we personally would stay away from is the gel and amber necklace.
Teething Gel — Although this has been a favourite among parents it is no longer recommended to use certain types of gel’s. We think it is best to be safe and not use any of the gels.
Amber Necklaces — Another product we suggest you stay away from is the amber teething necklaces. Potentially this could be a choking hazard so this is the main reason why we don’t stock this item.
Are wood teething rings for babies safe
Yes, wooden teething rings are safe provided they meet or exceed the relevant safety standards. In Australia, the mandatory standard for teethers is AS/NZ ISO 8124.1.2002
Safety of teether toys
There is a range of devices on the market so the first thing you should check is if it’s been tested and approved to AS/NZS ISO 8124.1.2002 the Mandatory Australian safety standards for toys.
This standard goes into depth on the various requirements, testing methods, age, and labeling guidelines.
As this is a mandatory standard for baby teethers in Australia they must be tested and certified to be compliant. If in doubt ask the retailer or manufacture for a copy of their certification.
Why do babies drool when teething?
One of the most notable side effects is that your baby may dribble more than usual. This is because the babies’ teeth get ready to push through the gums.
There is a lot more saliva and bacteria around the mouth, neck chin, and cheeks. So try to keep the area as clean as possible. It also helps to keep your baby dry. This is when the organic dribble bibs come in handy. Make sure the bib you choose is an absorbent and soft type. We use a bamboo cotton mix on the backing of our bibs which are both soft and super absorbent. This material is also an eco-friendly and sustainable material. The front of the dribble bib is made from cotton material and has pleats on the front to capture as much of the drool as possible, keeping the baby and clothes dry.
We hope this has been helpful in learning about baby chew toys and teethers in general. Please see your doctor or dentist at the first sign that your baby is teething. In addition, any toy used should be under strict adult supervision. The baby should not be left alone while using any of the above items.
Luisa Figueroa – Designer Profile
Owner, designer and maker of the My Little Love Heart range of baby products. I have been working within the fashion industry for over 15 years and specialising in baby accessories for the last 5. My love of fashion has enabled me to work and study around the world.