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Last updated: 06/10/2020

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Babies begin teething when they reach about six months of age, but the symptoms can appear up to three months earlier than that. The symptoms can include unrest, crying, discomfort and rashes. A teether toy can help relieve the symptoms caused by teething.

During teething, babies can experience a lot of pain, and it can be quite tiring for their parents as well. Teether toys are a great way to ease the discomfort, and may even make it go away entirely. That’s why they have become an essential item for new parents. If you want to get your baby a new teether, there is some important information to know, since a wide range of models exist on the market.

Key Facts

  • Teether toys are used to relieve the soreness and pain that can be induced by the early growth of teeth.
  • There are many teethers out there, but the one you pick should meet specific safety and quality standards. Be sure to check that it doesn’t contain any harmful materials, and don’t forget to look for an age-appropriate teether; otherwise, it may not be very effective for your baby.
  • You’ll find everything from basic teethers to elaborate toys with accessories. Designed to offer other stimuli, some models come with rattles or gel, and in different textures and colors.

Our Selection of the Best Teether Toys on the U.S. Market

We’re going to help you pick out the best teether for your baby. In this section, we’ve put together the top 5 teether toys available on the American market. You’ll see that they include some classics as well as new innovations in the world of teething. These options offer both quality and good value for your money.

The Best Training Teether Toy and Toothbrush

What better way to help your baby get used to their new teeth than a banana-themed toothbrush? This fun teether toy is made from 100% food-grade silicone, and it’s BPA, latex and phthalate free. It’s also dishwasher and freezer friendly.

The soft bristles will massage small teeth and gums, soothing pain and teaching good oral hygiene habits at the same time. This product is recommended for ages 3-12 months, and you can pick from a variety of colors and styles to suit your baby’s preferences.

The Best Ice Gel Teether Toy

Amazon’s Choice in this category, the Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys are a fantastic, affordable choice that any baby will love. This multi-surface, colorful toy combines exercises for hands, gums and teeth while also providing fun visual stimulation. It’s easy to grip, which is perfect for small hands.

This product is suitable for babys who are three months or older, to help get them through the difficult teething stage. You can put this product in the fridge to give it a gentle cooling impact. Pick from a handful of colors to fit your needs.

The Best Silicone Teether Toy

This exciting teether toy is shaped like a mitt and comes in six fun styles including cactus, fox, pineapple and llama. It’s made of textured silicone to provide relief for sore gums and new teeth. It’s non-toxic and free of BPA and PVC.

The Itzy Ritzy mitt also makes a crinkle sound that baby’s will enjoy, and it comes with an adjustable strap to make sure it’ll fit on even the smallest hands. It’s great for a baby who can’t yet grip a teether toy on their own. Wash this mitt in the machine and air dry to keep it clean.

The Best Sensory Teether Toy

This mesmerizing classic teether from Manhattan Toy will keep your baby entertained while giving ample opportunity to soothe sore gums and teeth. The colorful toy promotes clutching and two-handed play, while the spotted cube in the center rattles to produce a fun sound.

This toy is great for ages 0-24 months, and is made from safe plastic loops that are BPA free. Be careful only to hand wash this product so that it will last a while. Manhattan Toy has been making award-winning, high quality toys for babies and kids since 1979, so you know it’s a brand to trust.

The Best Textured Teether Toy

If you’re hoping your baby will grow up to love their fruits and vegetables, why not start with a carrot-shaped teether like this one from Infantino? Made of soft, silicone tether, this toy is perfect for relieving painful teeth and tender gums. It features easy-to-hold handles and textures that your baby will thoroughly enjoy.

This product is BPA-free and easy to clean right in the dishwasher. The material is also non-stick so it won’t get covered in dirt and hair like others.

Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Teether Toys

Truly indispensable for babies and their parents, teether toys may be the only thing that will soothe the discomfort associated with growing teething. This section will provide you with all of the tools needed to purchase the best product, but first, let’s go over some basic information about teether toys.

laying baby girl using teether

Teether toys stimulate the growth of new teeth.
(Source: Kuzmina: 32492168/ 123rf.com)

What exactly are teether toys?

As we’ve already mentioned, teether toys are made to relieve the pain and discomfort that is caused by growing teeth, a phenomenon that usually takes place around the age of 6 months. The soreness and gum pain can cause babies to feel the urge to put their hands in their mouths for relief. That’s where a teether toy comes in.

You’ll find a wide variety of teether toys in various shapes, colors and sizes, so it can be overwhelming when you try to pick the right one. Although some parents don’t want their baby to use teethers, others are strong supporters because of their amazing results.

Jaime FriedmanBoard-Certified Pediatrician in San Diego, California

“Because teething is not the prolonged excruciatingly painful process it was once felt to be, the best options to relieve discomfort are the least dangerous.”

What are teether toys made from?

These days, there are many different kinds of teethers on the market, and they come with a range of different materials. Your child’s wellbeing is always the top priority, so be sure to look for models that are safe to use. That means that they should be made of natural elements and be BPA-free and hypoallergenic. Besides safety, you’ll also want to look for ease of use and effectiveness, and, of course, good value!

Silicone, rubber and plastic are among the most frequently used materials in teether toys, since they’re hygienic and safe for your baby. Some teethers are filled, usually with purified water or gel.

baby child lying on belly weared diaper with teether

The different kinds of teethers include necklaces, toothbrushes and other fun plastic or silicone shapes.
(Source: Kuzmina: 54270483/ 123rf.com)

What kinds of teether toys are available?

By now you’re familiar with a few kinds, but there are more. Teethers range from the most traditional, simple products to the newest, most advanced models. Teether toys are often categorized by the manufacturing materials: rubber, silicone or plastic. The teething rattle is also very popular because it offers a pleasant sound along with pain relief.

Still, one particularly common way to identify teether toys is whether they include cooling gel. Although both kinds are suitable for your baby, toys with gel can be cooled, which offers almost immediate relief for a baby’s gums. You could always try both and see which one your baby likes more!

Child girl weared costue biting a toy lying on a carpet at home

Teether toys are made to appeal to babies.
(Source: Kuzmina: 86528154/ 123rf.com)

For what ages are teether toys recommended?

As we mentioned earlier, teethers are designed for when teeth begin to grow. Although this happens around 6 months of age, the symptoms tied to teeth growth often appear earlier. Some babies will begin chewing on their fists as early as 3 months of age, but this varies from one baby to the next. Each product should come with a specific age recommendation.

Some teethers are appropriate for the very first months of life, while others are made for use starting at 6 months. Always check the age range before giving your baby a teether. Safety always comes first, and some toys may be a risk if they aren’t used properly.

Rachel Y. MoonPediatrician, author of Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know

“Many [parents] are unhappy or frustrated because their child isn’t sleeping how, when, or where the parents want. What I usually find is that the sleep problem is often one that could have been avoided.”

What are the benefits of teether toys?

There are different views and research on the impact of teether toys for babies. The many benefits they can offer for babies means that most pediatricians support their use. Here are some of these advantages:

  • They are designed specifically for babies, so they are the safest option.
  • They efficiently relieve pain and soreness.
  • The size is tailored to the baby’s, and can also help strengthen their hands and fingers.
  • The natural materials won’t pose any risk to a baby’s health.
  • Their bright and bold colors make them attractive to a baby.
  • Teething rattles can also stimulate a baby’s sense of hearing.
  • Pressing the gum contributes to new teeth growth.
  • They are fun.

Shopping Criteria

There are a handful of key factors to consider if you want the very best teether toy for your baby. These factors will help you pick a safe product that provides the best quality and positive results.

Toxic Substances

The materials used to make teether toys are particularly important, since they concern the safety of your baby. Toys should contain natural materials, and they should be hypoallergenic; otherwise, they could be harmful to your baby’s health. Packaging should clearly state that the product is suitable for small children.

As we mentioned before, the most common materials used are rubber, silicone and plastic. Some models are also filled with a water-based gel. We don’t recommend electric teether toys, or any that feature vibration. These kinds of toys can be dangerous for babies.

cute little baby girl nibble a silicone doughnut teether

Teether toys are especially useful because babies have the tendency to put everything in their mouth.
(Source: Bilkei: 117436099/ 123rf.com)

Choosing a product that is tailored to your baby’s is critical. You will need to buy a teether toy for each stage of your baby’s first years, to avoid any risks. Keep in mind that gel-filled toys can be punctured and the liquid could leak, while younger babies may not be able to hold certain products.

Some toys may be suitable from birth, while others are designed for babies who are several months old. Be sure to check this criteria before purchasing. That way, you’ll get a safe and efficient model that will provide you with the results you seek.

Ease of Use

The look isn’t the only thing to consider when purchasing a teether toy, and its unique shape plays a key role in its effectiveness. If the design isn’t good, your baby may not be able to use it properly, and it won’t serve its basic purpose, which is to relieve gum pain.

As you saw in the ranking above, you can find toys of all shapes and sizes; the first thing to consider, however, is ease of use. This is why we advise you to look for a product that features handles or other parts that are easy to hold; the size should also be appropriate for your baby’s hand. Unique shapes can be useful for children to experience new sensations.

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Other Stimuli

The various types of teether toys available come in various sizes, shapes and materials. You may want to check out models that offer additional features, such as sounds or lights. Your baby may enjoy a a specific stimulus, and that’s for you to find out!

For example, the sound made by teething rattles can be very attractive for children, while bright colors and fun shapes are also well-received. If you would like to develop your baby’s sense of touch, you can look for models that have different textures.

Summary

When your baby first shows symptoms of teething, you’ll need to find an efficient way to ease their pain. Teether toys quickly help alleviate your child’s pain, while also providing other stimuli for entertainment.

From plastic to silicone toys, from teething necklaces to gel-filled models: finding the right product for your baby can be a true endeavor. Always keep in mind that the product you buy needs to be age-suitable, regardless of whether your baby is a newborn or 6 months old.

We hope that you found this article helpful as you seek out the very best teether toy for all your baby’s needs. Feel free to share this guide via social media, and leave us a comment in the section below with your thoughts!

(Source of featured image: Kuzmina: 54270483/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Ester is a midwife by profession, but due to an allergic reaction she no longer does her job full time. She now gives advice to parents. Her job motivated her to write articles. Her wish is to be able to reach even more parents and answer important questions.