Buying Guide for Teething Toys for Babies
Why buy teething toys for babies?
Teething toys are essentials that parents love to have on hand. Babies all develop at different times and at different rates, so there’s no predicting when a tooth may cut the gums. Teething is an uncomfortable and often painful process (remember your wisdom teeth?), and babies can’t tell you how they feel except by crying. Teethers soothe the gums and can often be chilled or partially frozen to soothe the gumline even more effectively.
What should you consider in teething toys for babies?
- Shapes and Colors: While teething toys were created for function, they can also be cute and fun for your baby to play with. Teething toys come in various bright colors and fun shapes that babies can’t get enough of, like keys, fruits and veggies, adorable animals, basic shapes, and even little people.
- Materials: It’s best to choose a teether made from food-safe materials that are BPA-free and easy to wash. Food-grade silicone is a popular choice as it’s top-rack dishwasher safe, safe to put into a bottle sanitizer, and freezer safe for rough, sore gums. Others are made with gel inside to stay cooler, but they must be thoroughly hand-washed and sanitized between uses. Others are made from food-safe plastics without harmful chemicals.
- Grips: Another thing to consider when looking for a teething toy for your baby is the handles or grips. Some teethers are presented on a ring that’s easy for your baby to handle. Others, like the popular banana or the cute carrot, have little handles. Some can even be worn so your baby won’t lose them.
How can you tell when your baby is teething?
It depends on the baby, but usual signs include rash, mild fever, rubbing of the cheeks or ears, increased irritability, and increased drooling. A good way to check is to get your finger inside the baby’s mouth and feel around for a bit of sharp tooth penetrating or nearly penetrating the gums.
Our Picks for the Best Teething Toys for Babies
Infantino Lil' Nibble Teethers Carrot
With soft, ergonomic handles, this carrot-shaped teething toy is perfect for little hands.
Pros: This teether is as perfectly designed as it is cute. It’s right-sized for little hands, with built-in handles and textures to help with developmental growth while satisfying your baby’s need to soothe her tender gums. You don’t have to worry about germs or mold because this teether is made with BPA-free, easy-to-clean food-grade silicone. It’s a soft yet strong biting surface for little teethers. The end of the carrot has a rippled texture that helps to massage gums while creating a fun surface for your baby to explore.
Cons: It’s on the large side, so it’s better for babies ages six months and up.
Bottom Line: Adorable and functional, this is a safe and fun teether for older babies. It’s made with silicone, so you can put it in the fridge to cool it and clean it easily with soap and water.
Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys
Made with PurICE, this teething toy stays cold for soothing your baby's inflamed gums.
Pros: This isn’t just a comforting teether; it’s a colorful and stimulating toy that allows your child to use his imagination during playtime. Multiple surfaces on this teether allow your baby to explore different textures. The nontoxic PurICE gel technology allows you to pop the teether into the fridge, providing gentle cooling while the cool resilient bottom soothes and stimulates safely. This teething toy is perfect for ages three months and up, and it comes in different colors to match your baby’s nursery theme. It’s BPA-, phthalate-, PVC-, and latex-free.
Cons: While this teething toy is easy to clean, it’s not recommended to boil this product or put it in a steam sanitizer.
Bottom Line: The classic key-shaped teether is a favorite for many babies. The ring is easy for most babies to hold once their little hands get used to the grip while providing soothing and fun stimulation.
Smily Mia Penguin Buddy Baby Teething Toy
Made like a mitten, this teething toy is easy and comfortable for babies to hold onto.
Pros: This adorable teething toy has a bar grip that’s easy for young babies to hold. Plus, it is made like a mitten to fit over your baby’s wrist to keep it from falling off. While many teethers aren’t made for younger babies, the nubs on this one are the perfect size for little ones younger than six months. It mimics the feeling of sucking the thumb, so it’s also a great substitute for thumb-sucking or finger-sucking babies. It’s a great pacifier substitute, especially if your baby doesn’t take to a traditional pacifier. This toy is easy to clean and can be put in a sterilizer.
Cons: Pet hair may stick to this toy. Also, younger babies should only use this toy when supervised since their little hands can slip through the holes.
Bottom Line: This is a good option for those who need a teething toy for younger babies. The nubs are small enough for little mouths, and it’s easier to hold onto for babies with less motor function.
Nuby Three-Step Soothing Teether Set
With varying textured surfaces, this set is made to soothe every nook of your baby's mouth.
Pros: This multipack of baby teething toys comes in three different colors and styles to keep your baby entertained while soothing his sore gums. These brand-name teethers have varying textured surfaces to stimulate the gums and the senses. They’re the perfect sizes and shapes for little hands to hold onto. They’re BPA-free, easy to clean, and refrigerator safe for a soothing, cooling surface for sore little mouths. The little hand-shaped teething toy has a safe and enjoyable natural vanilla scent.
Cons: These teethers are harder than some other brands.
Bottom Line: This pack of name-brand teethers is great for busy babies. With the three handheld options, your baby will have more variety to play with while comforted.
Vulli Sophie The Giraffe
This teething toy has a super soft texture designed to be gentle on your baby's sore gums.
Pros: A favorite for many years, this teething toy features an adorable giraffe that babies can’t get enough of. It’s made of 100% natural rubber from the hevea tree, so it’s BPA-, phthalate-, latex-, and lead-free. This toy comes with an individual authentication code and its own story for loads of storytime fun. Plus, the soft texture, food-safe color, and numerous chewable parts (ears, horns, legs) make it perfect for soothing your baby’s sore gums during teething.
Cons: This toy can collect mold inside. A way to avoid this would be to plug up the hole. If you plug up the hole, however, the squeaking function will cease to work. Otherwise, you must avoid any moisture getting inside this toy, whether it’s saliva, water, or condensation. Also, this teething toy is pricier than many other options.
Bottom Line: If you love the trend, tradition, and storytime fun with a special toy, you’ll love this little teething giraffe. You must keep it clean and dry to avoid mold. But if you do, your baby will enjoy this teething toy’s soft texture, easy grip, and soothing feel.
Babies love to soothe their sore gums with colorful, stimulating teethers. Teething toys are also great to use as substitutes for pacifiers if you’re trying to break the habit or your little one doesn’t love the feeling of a traditional binky. Overall, they’re great toys for little ones to chew, hold, discover, and play with.