Welcoming a new member to the family is a joyful occasion, but choosing the best teether can be challenging for both infants and parents. Finding the right baby and best teethers for infants and teethers for a 3-month-old is crucial for soothing discomfort and promoting healthy oral development of infants. This article further serves as a guide and explores the various aspects of selecting the best teethers to make this journey smoother for parents.
Understanding Baby Teething
Teething is a natural process during which an infant's primary teeth emerge through the gums. Although beginning at six months, this process can vary from infant to infant. Common signs of teething include increased drooling, irritability, and a tendency to chew on objects. It is significant for parents to understand these signs to select the right teethers for infants.
Types of Baby Teethers
Teethers for babies come in various forms to cater to different preferences and phases of teething. You should know your baby's preferences and consider their teething stage while choosing teethers. Let's root deeper into the various types of baby teethers to understand this better:
1. Freezable Teethers
These teethers are specifically designed to be frozen. The cold temperature of these teethers not only eases gum soreness but also acts as a numbing agent. These teethers often have gel or water that retains the cold for an extended period and provides prolonged relief.
2. Rubber Teethers
These are the best teething toys for early teethers who have extremely sensitive and soft gums. These teethers are gentle and comforting and designed in simple shapes, such as rings or animal figures, and are easy for infants to grasp.
3. Textured Teethers
Babies may seek more relief from textured teethers as they have ridges, bumps, or other raised patterns as the teething journey progresses. These teethers massage the gums and provide a counter-pressure, soothing the discomfort. These are suitable for later teething stages when the infant is around 18 months old or more, as the gums are tougher and require more stimulation by then.
4. Silicone Teethers
Silicone teethers are a popular choice due to their durability and flexibility. They are easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, and come in various shapes and textures. These are usually non-toxic and are designed to withstand the rigors of teething. They are an excellent choice of teethers from 5-month-old to 18-month-old babies.
5. Teething Jewelry
These are accessories made from food-grade silicone and can be worn by parents or infants, providing babies with a safe item to chew on. These are the best teething toys for early teethers and are non-toxic.
6. Wooden Teethers
As a baby's teeth start to show up, harder teethers made from wood can be introduced. These provide suitable pressure and are considered the best non-toxic teethers as they are the best natural teethers and additionally act as one of the best teethers for 6-month-old infants.
Safety should be the top priority when opting for the right teethers. The points that need to be noted are elaborated further:
1. Material Safety
Always opt for teethers crafted from non-toxic materials such as food-grade silicone, natural rubber, or BPA-free plastics. These materials ensure that the baby's exposure to harmful substances is minimized.
2. Size and Choking Hazards
It should be ensured that the teether doesn't have small parts that could break off, creating a risk to the baby. The teether should be large enough not to be swallowed or stuck in the baby's throat.
3. Cooling Agents Safety
Filled or freezable teethers containing cooling agents should be verified for safety and ensure the content is leak-proof. You should follow the provided guidelines for the teether for cooling, ensuring that the teether is chilled in the refrigerator, not the freezer, to prevent extreme cold that may harm the baby's delicate gums.
Consider the age recommendations for the teether. Different teethers are designed for various stages of teething. Using an age-appropriate teether ensures that it meets the baby's developmental needs and reduces the risk of potential hazards.
5. Regular Inspection And Supervision
You should regularly inspect the teether for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any damage, such as cracks, holes, or parts becoming loose, discontinue its use immediately. Regularly cleaning and inspecting the teethers contributes to their longevity and safety.
Features to Look for in Baby Teethers
Selecting a teether with a combination of the features given below ensures that you provide your baby with a versatile and engaging tool for teething relief. It also allows you to adapt to your baby's preferences as they undergo the teething process:
1. Textural Variety
You can opt for teethers with varied textures that can massage different areas of the baby's gums. Some babies may prefer smoother surfaces, while others find relief from teethers with raised ridges or bumps.
2. Easy-to-Grip Handles
It is better to choose teethers with well-designed handles that are easy for tiny hands to grasp. A teether with a comfortable grip helps babies develop their motor skills as they learn to hold objects.
3. Freezable Options
You can go for teethers safely chilled in the refrigerator to offer a soothing, cooling effect on the baby's gums.
4. Multi-Sensory Feature
Several teethers in the market come with additional sensory features such as crinkly material, squeakers, or vibrant colors. These features can engage a baby's senses, providing teething relief and entertainment. Multi-sensory teethers can be especially useful during times when distraction is needed.
5. Safety Certification
It is best to look for teethers that have been safety-certified by relevant authorities. Certification ensures that the product meets specific safety standards and regulations and is safe for use.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Hygiene is the most important aspect when it comes to babies, and while choosing the best teethers, parents need to be extra cautious. Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene for baby teethers is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of your little one. Here are detailed considerations for cleaning and maintaining infant teethers:
1. Material Compatibility
You should check and abide by the provided guidelines for the teether's material and cleaning recommendations. Some teethers can withstand dishwasher cleaning, while others may require gentle handwashing. Following these instructions ensures that the teether remains in good condition.
2. Frequent Cleaning
Babies usually explore the world around them by putting objects into their mouths. It, therefore, becomes crucial to clean their teethers regularly. Washing the teether after each use is important to remove saliva, food residues, and any potential contaminants. It is advised that teethers should be sanitized regularly and washed periodically.
3. Boiling and Sterilization
Teethers can be boiled and cleaned through sterilization. This method helps eliminate bacteria and germs that may accumulate over time. However, this feature applies to selected materials such as silicone.
4. Inspect for Wear and Tear
Teethers should also be regularly inspected for signs of wear and tear and replaced if any parts are broken or risky for the baby.
5. Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Do not use harsh chemicals or cleaning agents that may harm the baby since they can be toxic if ingested. Stick to mild, baby-safe detergents or follow the teether's specific cleaning instructions to maintain its safety for your child.
6. Storage Practices
Store the teether in a clean and dry place when not in use. You should avoid leaving it exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, as sunlight and heat can degrade certain materials. Proper storage helps maintain the teether's quality and ensures a safe teething experience.
Tips for Soothing a Teething Baby
There are other strategies to ease a teething baby's discomfort besides using teethers. Chilled but not frozen, teethers can provide additional relief. Massaging the baby's gums with a clean finger can also be soothing. Distraction through gentle play or a comforting lullaby can better help take their mind off the discomfort. You can also provide the baby with soft foods such as yogurt and fruits.
While choosing the best baby teether, it is important to consider the baby's stage of teething, safety features, and ease of maintenance. By understanding the teething process and considering these factors, parents can select a teether that not only provides relief to the baby but also contributes to their oral health. As parents embarkset on this exciting yet challenging phase, a well-chosen teether can be a valuable companion, making teething a more manageable experience for both baby and family.