Does it seem like all your baby does is try to chew on things and fuss? Grab one of these excellent teethers so they can gnaw safely while soothing their poor gums.
During the first year and a half or so of a baby’s life, it often seems like the only thing they ever do is try to find something to stick in their mouth. A baby can begin teething as young as three months old (some are even younger!), and once it starts, it doesn’t stop for at least a year. In that time, you need to stock up on teething toys to help your baby ease the pain of their sore gums.
Teething toys are definitely not one of those baby items you don’t really need. Without a proper item to teethe on, babies will stick literally anything else in their mouth for relief, especially the things that shouldn’t be anywhere near their mouth. Granted, they’ll do that even if they own a plethora of teething toys, but at least you can swap things out quickly when needed.
Tons of options are out there, and while you really just need a toy that’s safe for baby to get the job done, there are still some that are better than others. As someone with an 11-month-old who is teething like crazy, I have tried numerous different teething toys, and I can attest that the following are some of the best:
Best Overall: Sophie la Girafe
Before I gave birth to my daughter, several seasoned parents gave me the same piece of advice: buy Sophie the giraffe. Or, actually, maybe buy two. I finally looked it up and realized that this $25 teething toy is easily the trendiest teething toy out there, with articles online proclaiming how wonderful it is and parents raving about it. I didn’t get it, but I bought one, and when my daughter began gnawing away on her toys, I handed her Sophie.
Let’s be clear: babies will chew on anything you hand over, and my daughter is no different. But, usually, she gets bored after a bit and tosses that teething toy away, only to grab another one. Not with Sophie la Girafe. She chews the entire thing for a very long time. Her eyes light up when she sees her. She clutches that thing in her car seat like a security blanket. She loves it.
I’m not sure what it is about this teether that makes it so wildly popular, but here are some ideas: for one thing, it’s made of a soft natural rubber that, I would imagine, feels nice on the gums—not too hard and not too soft. It’s designed to engage all five senses, so it keeps baby entertained and pain-free. It’s easy to hold and is large enough that it won’t quickly fall out of their hands, and also, it’s cute and fun to play with. It seems pricey, but trust me: it’s worth it.
Best For Traveling: Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys
I learned pretty early on that it is always a good idea to bring a teething toy with you no matter where you’re going. While you can obviously grab anything, I love to bring the Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys with us when we’re leaving the house. This imitation keyring is easy for baby to hold and latch onto, and I find that it doesn’t fall out of the hands or out of a stroller quite as easily as some other toys do.
The other great thing about this one is that it’s fun for baby to play with: my daughter plays with it for entire car rides without even putting it in her mouth sometimes. It’s colorful and bright and entertaining. You can also stick it in the fridge so it gets nice and cold, which has a soothing effect on their sore gums.
I love this two-pack option—I keep one in the fridge or in our diaper bag at all times, and the other one in the fridge or in the house for her.
Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys (2 Pack Pink)
The Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys are colorful, entertaining, and soothing.
Best Toothbrush: Nuby Nananubs Banana Massaging Toothbrush
Another kind of surface that feels great for baby to chew on is something that massages their gums and new teeth, ideally something with a textured surface. The Nuby Nananubs Banana Massaging Toothbrush is excellent for that. Made of super soft silicone, the banana part has soft bristles that not only feel nice on their gums, but also provide a gentle cleansing for those little teeth coming through.
The banana handles on either side make it easy for baby to hold onto this and really chew, and it’s a pretty small item that is easy to tote around when needed. It’s a great two-in-one teether for optimal gum health.
Best Wooden: Loulou Lollipop Bubble Silicone and Wooden Teether
While wood doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable thing to chew on, babies actually love it—and it’s good for them. They’re not made of plastic or any chemicals, which is a relief for parents, and the hard surface feels good against aching gums. And don’t worry about them getting a splinter or anything like that: wooden teethers are treated with an oil coating to make them nice and smooth.
That said, this Loulou Lollipop Bubble Silicone and Wooden Teether is an excellent option. (My daughter likes it almost as much as she likes Sophie.) This three-ring teether features two wooden rings and one silicone bubble ring, so baby gets the best of both worlds and can easily switch from wood to silicone when they want. The wood is conditioned with organic olive oil and beeswax and is super smooth. It’s easy for them to grab and hold onto, and my daughter loves shaking it around as well.
Best Mitt: Itzy Ritzy Silicone Teething Mitt
A teething mitt, like the Itzy Ritzy Silicone Teething Mitt, is the perfect teether for really young babies who have yet to perfect the art of holding or picking up something (babies can start feeling the need to teeth months before a tooth even comes in). It’s a mitt, so it goes on babies hand, and that way they put the mitt in their mouth instead of their fingers.
This one is made of food-grade non-toxic silicone for a soothing bite, but there’s also a pleasant crinkling noise in there that baby will absolutely love. An adjustable strap keeps the mitt in place, which is ideal for young babies, and it’s machine washable, so it’s really easy to clean.
Itzy Ritzy Silicone Teething Mitt – Soothing Infant Teething Mitten with Adjustable Strap, Crinkle Sound and Textured Silicone to Soothe Sore and Swollen Gums, Fox
The Itzy Ritzy Silicone Teething Mitt is entertaining and great for young babies.
Most Versatile: Nuby Teeth-eez
I love the Nuby Teeth-ezz because it has it all: it’s a fish-shaped teether that is easy for baby to hold, and it’s small and lightweight enough for it to feel comfortable in their little hand. You can stick it in the fridge to make it cold and extra soothing, but my daughter seems to love it just as much when it’s not cold.
It has multiple teething surfaces, with a textured section that massages gums, and one section with tiny bristles to clean gums as well. It also comes with a hygienic carrying case that makes it so easy to take it on the go. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Nuby Silicone TeeThe-EEZ Teether with Bristles, Includes Hygienic Case, Pink (Count of 2)
The Nuby Teeth-ezz does it all: massages, cleans, and gets cold.
Best Toy: Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy
It’s always great to have multitasking toys for a baby, and that’s what makes the Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy so great. It’s both a sensory toy that will keep baby entertained for hours (or as long as a baby can be kept entertained), and it’s an effective teether.
It’s shaped like a bright and colorful maze full of soft tubes that baby can chew on one after the other. It’s easy for baby to hold and grab onto, and they’ll have fun turning it around in their hands and shaking it a lot—the middle cube has a twinkling rattle sound they love. This one is consistently rated as one of the top toys and teethers for babies.
Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy Blue/Green/Orange, 5 Inch x 4 Inch x 3.5 Inch
The Manhattan Toy teether is a rattle, toy, and teether all in one.
Best Silicone: Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether
Babies love to put their fingers (and everyone else’s fingers) in their mouth and chew on them. It’s not exactly the most hygienic thing in the world, and that’s why the Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether is so great. It’s a little looking, but the prongs sticking out are meant to mimic a baby’s fingers: they’ll feel like they have fingers in their mouth, but it’s really safe soft silicone.
The prongs are long enough to reach back to baby’s back molars without choking or harming them, and it’s perfectly safe. It’s also small and easy to tote around, and the bright color will catch baby’s eye.
Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether, Orange
The Comotomo Silicone Teether is meant to mimic a baby's fingers.
Best Pacifier: Ryan and Rose Cutie PAT Pacifier
After a few months, I noticed that when my daughter was cutting a tooth, she would start pulling her pacifier out of her mouth to chew on it. I got her one of these Ryan and Rose Cutie PAT Pacifiers, and it quickly became her favorite pacifier to chew on. Made with safe and soft silicone, these pacifiers can easily be used as, well, a pacifier … but the shape and material make them perfect for soothing gums.
You can also choose to tuck the nipple away if you notice baby is really chewing on it. This allows them to really chomp down and hold it a little easier. It’s dishwasher safe and is easy to clean, and it’s a one-piece design that is meant to avoid dirt and bacteria from collecting.
Ryan and Rose Cutie PAT Pacifier Blue Stage 2
The Ryan and Rose Cutie PAT Pacifier is a soothing option.
Best Freezable: Mombella Dancing Elephant Teether
When baby’s gums are really aching and sore, something cold can feel better than something warm. It’s great to have a teether that can be stuck in the freezer, like the Mombella Dancing Elephant Teether. It’s made of soft silicone and is safe to put in the freezer to make it pleasantly cold for baby.
The unique shape makes it easy for baby to hold this and move it around, and it’s very lightweight. The top features a nice texture that will massage baby’s gums, but they’ll love chewing on any part of this. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and comes with a pacifier clip so that baby won’t drop it all day long.
Mombella Dancing Elephant Teething Toy/Christmas Gift for 3M+ Babies, BPA free Chewing Toy with a Clip, Blue
The Mombella Dancing Elephant Teether can be frozen for extra soothing effects.
Cutest: Loulou Lollipop Llama Teether Set
Sometimes, you just want to get your baby a really adorable teether, because babies are adorable. And while every teether on this list is pretty cute, this Loulou Lollipop Llama Teether Set is easily the cutest. Just look at it!
It’s also nice for teething, of course, with a slightly textured silicone surface, fun colors, and an easy shape to go in baby’s mouth. The clip attached to it ensures baby won’t drop this often, which is extra convenient.