Updated July 2018
See also Intro to Teething and Teething Remedies.
Best Teethers: because biting stuff is fun!
It’s definitely possible to prepare homemade teething implements at home (aka cold stuff to chew on), but it’s not always the most practical option.
Here are our favorite teethers you can buy off the shelf, in order of price (lowest to highest).
This teether is cheap and effective for various stages of teething. It’s soft enough for sore gums, yet sturdy enough to hold up to a baby’s forceful chomping.
- Reviewers say – “it’s easy to grasp – even for the smallest, least coordinated hands” – and “I love that it can reach all the way back to the molars”
- Refrigerator/Freezer safe
This teether is a two-in-one: it’s part gum massager, part toothbrush (because it’s never too early to get them into the habit). This one also reaches those back molars that teething rings often miss. It has a carry case to keep it clean during travel (read: when it’s shoved in the bottom of your diaper bag, between spit-up saturated burp cloths and stale puffs). Note: some reviewers found it too big for their baby’s mouth.
- One mom recommended putting the toothbrush head in a cup of ice water so that the handle doesn’t become cold.
This twisty teether is a parent-favorite; it has four teething surfaces, each with a different texture. It can soothe sore gums AND helps promote motor and sensory development: winning!!
- Fridge safe
My kids LOVED their bananas! This teether was a serious winner in our house – so much that I bought several extras in case any got lost (truth!). The banana peel “handles” are easy to grab. The wide silicone bristles act as a toothbrush (of sorts) while also providing relief to sore gums. Comes in packs of one or two.
- Fridge/Freezer safe
Chewbeads ~ $29
As a mother whose youngest child broke EVERY NECKLACE I OWNED (which isn’t many), Chewbeads have a special place in my heart. This is a cute accessory for a mom who needs a little splash of color, but is really entertainment/teething relief for baby (two birds, one stone). (Note: this is for mama to wear; not baby.)
Munch Mitt ~ $14 and Nuby Happy Hands ~ $9
There are few things as satisfying as watching a baby chomp down on his or her own hand. My daughter Alice used to make vampire-like sounds when wearing this thing. Best part about this ingenious glove-teether: they can’t really drop it (over and over again).
Gramercy Stroller Toy (Most re-ordered item) ~ $15
Let’s hope it’s not the most re-ordered item because it keeps getting lost, because that would suck (there’s a double entendre there, get it?). This is a more portable version of the Chewbead necklace. It attaches to baby’s car seat or stroller for easy, on-the-go use. Note that some parents say their babies can easily detach it with just a simple tug…and then chuck it, so watch out for that…
Molars are this teether’s specialty. Your toddler can hold onto the round part while gnawing on the textured “bunny ears,” which reach all the way to the back of the gumline. Reviewers love how it allows babies to soothe both sides of their mouth simultaneously, and many parents note it’s their kiddo’s favorite teether.
Ike & Leo Teething Toys ~ $16
Unlike the others reviewed here, this is a set that includes four teethers (each with different textures) and a pacifier clip to keep them handy (read: attached). The material is soft, yet durable enough so babies can’t chew through them. Makes a great gift. 🙂
- Fridge/Freezer safe
Sophie La giraffe ~ $23
If you haven’t heard of this, you’ve been hiding under a rock. The ever-present Sophie is a favorite in Europe and America – I even saw chocolate versions of it while traveling in France (that one’s for MOM, yo).
This giraffe is not cheap, so don’t lose it! Also, try not to let water get up in the little hole (hard for a toy that goes in the mouth!), as this has been cited for some serious mildew incidences recently. Don’t make it worse by submerging it in water, as there’s no very good way for it to dry out. Still, parents and babies love this soft, adorable giraffe.
To sum up, it seems best to avoid teething medications and substances marketed to alleviate teething pain in favor of the cheaper, safer options you probably already have at home: something you can throw in the fridge and give to Junior to gnaw away on. See also: home teething remedies.