Friday, August 3, 2012

Our Favorite Natural Baby Teethers

I used to have lots of plastic baby toys.  First I got rid of all the soft plastic toys (in case they were made of vinyl and contained phthalates), then I got rid of all the plastic toys except those that I knew were made of "safe" plastics. But in the end, I decided to banish all the plastic baby toys. I found that when I had plastic as well as natural toys, I often had to watch my baby favor the plastic ones.  But for my babies who never got to suck on plastic, I've found they like the natural toys plenty.

Since babies spend so much time with their hands and their toys in their mouths, and since babies are especially vulnerable to synthetic chemicals, why mess around with plastics? These days there are tons of awesome teethers, rattles, stuffed animals, blocks and other toys for babies made of cotton, wool, bamboo, wood and other natural materials. Here are some of my third baby's favorite teethers:

10 Natural Teethers for Baby

Cold celery. My baby is still toothless. We'll have to play it by ear once she gets teeth. I got this one from my sister who got it from her mother-in-law. A real favorite.

Cold carrot stick. I give her a 3 or 4 inch piece, either a smaller-size carrot, or a big one cut in half or fourths lengthwise.

Bone. Use with discretion. I have a South American husband who will lick a bone clean, and then I feel it's safe to give to the baby. I'm guessing that a bone was the original teether. Also gives your baby a taste for meat, if, in fact, this is a plus for you. If you cannot get absolutely every piece of gristle off the bone, don't try this one. Other hard foods to try: a very hard piece of bread. I've read that the Italians give babies the rind of a wedge of Parmesan cheese, which is, indeed, very hard.

My finger. In a pinch, a finger works well. I try to make sure my hand is pretty clean before letting her stick it in her mouth.

Sophie the Giraffe. This is the toy most like a plastic toy because it's soft rubber. It also has a squeaker. My kids have liked this one, but probably not enough to justify the steep price tag.

Wood ring. I have purchased a number of wood rings off Etsy unfinished or finished with natural finishes like beeswax, including this one and these ones which you can wear as a necklace, which is handy in a public place where you don't want your kid sucking on a toy that fell on the floor. They are inexpensive and lovely and could be used for many things when the baby stage is over.

Wood keys. Love these wooden keys I purchased from Etsy shop Mama Made Them. My older kids are always trying to steal the baby's wooden keys for their own pretend play.

Wet washcloth. It's nice if she's sucking on one I purposely got damp with filtered water instead of the dirty one I used to clean her siblings' faces.

Cotton stuffed animals. I found some cute 100% organic stuffed animals from Sckoon that are not too expensive. My babies have enjoyed sucking on the ears and hands.

Metal or wood spoon. Use with caution, as the baby can gag herself. This did happen with my baby a couple of times, but now at 8 months, she hasn't done it in months. And she's learning dexterity with a spoon!

What are your favorite baby teethers?

Photo credit: TheDeliciousLife

This post is part of
Top Ten Tuesday


mamabyrd said...

What do you think of amber necklaces for teething?

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

Yeah, I've read about those. I thought the idea was for the baby to just wear it though, right? And some substance is supposed to be absorbed through the skin? Not really scientific enough for me, but whatever -- I'm cool with folk remedies even if it's just the placebo effect. If my baby were miserable teething, I'm sure I'd try anything once. If your baby likes to wear it or play with it, I say go for it. As long as it's supervised. My baby loves to play with my teething necklace (wood ring on a string) -- likes to play with/ suck on the string. I let her, I just make sure I can see her.

mamabyrd said...

Yeah, it's just to be worn. My 3 month old babies already have two teeth each. They are fussy and uncomfortable and aren't old enough yet to hold anything to chew on. The only thing that comforts them is nursing and since I barely have enough time as it is to shower and pee, I'm looking for other options. The necklace seemed like a good one. We'll see if it helps. I love the celery idea though when they're a bit older. It's nice not to worry about how much it cost when it inevitably gets lost.

Christy said...

Wow, what a great idea for a post! Thanks for these ideas; I'm baby-sitting a six-month-old and she's been pretty fussy because of teething. Will definitely suggest these to her mom!


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