The Complete Guide To Teethers For Your Baby
Any new parent would understand both the thrill and nervousness when bringing their precious newborn home from the hospital. It's only natural for you to have many unanswered questions since, well, your bub’s is completely in your hands.
But it doesn’t have to be too overbearing. There are several things you can help you prepare for your baby’s arrival, such as shopping for nursery furniture and stocking up all the essentials like nappies and stuff for bathtime.
It’s also important to pay attention to what your baby needs as they grow, such as when bub starts teething.
In this complete guide to teethers, you’ll learn all about the purpose of using teethers and when they can be given to your baby. You’ll also discover some of the best soothers and teethers available and even a few additional ways for you to give bub some comfort while they’re teething as well.
Why do babies need teethers?
Although not every baby will end up needing a teether, there are many that do. This is because the teething process is one of the stages of bub’s growth that provides the most discomfort – and it’s focused solely on their poor little gums.
It’s unlikely that they will experience the same amount of discomfort for every single one of their teeth that comes through, but at least the first few are going to make them unhappy.
As babies, they’re already prone to putting almost everything into their mouths as a part of their exploratory nature. Once their first few teeth start to break through their gums, they’ll begin chewing on things to help relieve some of the pain caused by that. In addition, it’s important to provide your baby with something safe and the right consistency, so they don’t hurt themselves since they don’t have any true concept of different things.
The best is to provide them with a specially-designed and manufactured soother or teether. The best teethers and soothers are made using baby-safe materials and come without any small pieces that they might end up choking on.
When should I give my baby teethers?
One of the most important milestones in a baby’s development is teething. And if they could understand us, telling them this might be enough to alleviate some of the pain that they’re going through during this stage.
Alas, they cannot, so soothers and teethers come to the rescue instead. So when should you give them one? Sure, the general guide is that teething will begin at around the six-month mark, but it all comes down to genetics, so yours might start at the third, fourth, or ninth month, or even earlier or later than that!
Thankfully, there are quite a few signs you can look out for that’ll tell you that bub is starting to grow out one or two of their little milk teeth:
- An increased amount of chewing on various objects
- Crying more frequently
- Flushed cheeks
- Having issues sleeping
- Mildly increased temperature
- Crankier or more irritable than normal
- Tugging on their ears
If you notice one or more of the above symptoms, there’s a great chance to introduce them to a teether. Though, if you want to prepare them earlier, you might even consider a newborn pacifier before they begin teething. It helps to get them used to the sensation beforehand.
What are the best teethers and soothers for babies?
Like every other baby product, there are plenty of different choices when it comes to teethers. So how do you decide what the best soothers and teethers are for your baby? There are a few factors you need to look at when you’re shopping for bub’s teethers.
You want to make sure the material you choose is nice and safe, so one without any toxic elements is your best bet. Avoid teethers with BPAs, phthalates, and any harsh paints on them, and steer clear of PVC while you’re at it. Look for something hypoallergenic and made of BPA-free rubber, silicone, or plastic.
Tomme Tippee Closer to Nature Night Time Soother is a great one to start with – it’s BPA-free and comes with a hygiene cover, so you can store them safely without worrying about germs and whatnot.
There are lots of different interesting textures out there, such as wavy and bumpy patterns, which will be highly entertaining for bub. However, while these textures are somewhat stimulating for them, they can be an issue if they dig into bub’s gums while chewing on them. You should ensure the overall surface is nice and smooth to avoid any unwanted discomfort.
If you’re looking for soothers or teethers with textured surfaces, MAM’s Orthodontic Pacifier will be the best choice. Designed by dentists to promote bub’s healthy dental development, the teat is silky smooth, while textured and anti-slip, and has a symmetrical nipple made to support their jaws.
At the end of the day, a teether will be tested day-to-day. They’ll be chewed, pulled, dropped, sucked, and thrown, so it’s important to choose one that’s going to stand up to the tests your baby puts it through and doesn’t become splintery or a choking hazard as a result. Get a good feel for the quality of manufacture, and for peace of mind, you might want to go with a well-known brand such as the MAM Cooler Teether. It comes with various surface structures to make teething easier, and its unique shape even makes it easy to reach the molars.
You’re also advised to keep an eye on bub when they’re using a teether and that it’s a great idea to inspect the teether regularly to make sure it’s free of any damage.
Teethers come in all shapes and sizes these days, and there are endless designs to pick from. While the overall design is most certainly a personal preference, we recommend that you look for one that has something like a handle that your baby can hold onto themselves. It’s also a huge bonus if there’s a clip or something similar that prevents it from falling on the floor (as much as possible, anyway!). Snapkis 2-in-1 Pacifier and Teether Clip is a handy essential to have on you that’ll fit with any pacifier, teether, or soother.
Having said that though, avoid teethers with a necklace design as these come with a risk of choking.
How else can I help bub through their teething discomfort?
Teethers are a fantastic way to help soothe your baby’s gum discomfort. In addition, though, there are a few things you can do to further alleviate their pain.
1. Start with cold food
If your baby is on solids when their teeth start to come through, they might find some relief by eating cold food such as yoghurt that’s straight out of the refrigerator.
2. Apply soothing pressure
You can also try to rub your finger on your baby’s gums as the pressure you apply can ease some of their discomforts. But be sure to wash your hands thoroughly first.
3. Move about with them
They might also soothe if you pick them up, give them a nice cuddle, and go for a walk around the house. You can even put them in the stroller and head outside for some fresh air!
4. Avoid over-the-counter treatments
Steer clear of over-the-counter treatments like topical gels and teething tablets, though. And of course, if you’re worried about bub or you feel something isn’t quite right with them, you should take them to their doctor immediately.
5. Include additional essentials
While the teether toys are captivating – such as the rattles these teethers can come with, you can help distract your little one from the pain by enticing them with other toys. For instance, a mobile attachment toy can keep them entertained – the Mothercare Bedtime Bear Musical Pull will be incredibly helpful. You may even put them on a playmat and let them dive into a phase of exploration.
And while at it, you may want to have bub wear a bib to catch all that drool, so you won’t have to change their clothes as often.
Frequently Asked Questions about teething new parents may have
1. How long does teething last?
For each tooth that’s growing, there will be a few days’ worth of discomfort. However, for some babies, this may be a little bit longer. The whole process of teething will end when they reach two or three years of age.
2. Is teething always painful?
Most of the time, there is at least some level of discomfort or pain when teething is happening. Younger babies who begin teething earlier may find the process more painful because they have yet to experience much discomfort in general.
3. Do teething symptoms worsen at night?
It might become apparent that bub is more unsettled or upset in the evening due to teething. This simply may be because there aren’t as many things happening around them to keep their minds off it. You can follow our tips above to help soothe them.
4. Will my baby’s teeth come in a particular order?
Usually, teeth will come through in pairs, and most often, the first that come through are the lower front two central incisors, shortly followed by the upper two central incisors. The surrounding teeth will then come through over the next few months, and then the molars when bub turns one or two years old.
However, not all children are the same, and as such, your baby’s teeth might grow out in a completely different order altogether!
5. When do I need to start brushing my baby’s teeth?
If you want to make sure you’re properly protecting your baby’s teeth from decay, it’s important to start caring for their teeth as soon as they appear. In the initial stages, you don’t need to use toothpaste; just put some water on a brush and give them a gentle brush. They can then start to use a small amount of toothpaste at around three years old.
A full range of the best soothers, teethers, and other baby items in one place
Whether you’ve been doing this parenting thing for a while or are soon to become one for the very first time, you’re undoubtedly aware of how busy life gets when you have children. And we understand this too well, so we’ve made sure to stock the biggest variety of kids’ products as possible.
Forget having to visit lots of different shops to get everything you need; you’ll find it all right here – and more – on Mothercare. We have everything, whether you need orthodontic pacifiers like those from MAM or Tommee Tippee pacifiers that are perfect for your newborn before they reach the teething stage. Your search for the best soothers to provide your gorgeous little one some much-needed relief ends with us.
You’ll also find boys’ and girls’ clothing from newborns all the way up to 10 years old, car seats and strollers, baby and toddler learning toys, and so much more. We’re your ultra-convenient one-stop kids’ shop.
So take a look around and pick up everything you could need right here at Mothercare’s online shop. Sign up for our parenting privilege membership programme for more offers.
Need some assistance with choosing the right products for your child? Get in touch with your nearest store’s Digital Nursery Advisor.