If you follow me on IG or Facebook, you’ve probably seen a lot of #teething status’. Basically, teething started “early” for Jack and has since taken over our lives. For some, the teeth just magically appear. No tears. No Tylenol. For others, the teeth come with a few days of pain. A little feverish. A few extra snuggles. But for Jack, his first tooth popped through after five months of restless sleep, empty bottles of Tylenol, and a small fortune in teethers.
Every kid is different. One thing I’ve learned with all certainty is that just because so and so’s kids had this experience does NOT mean your kid will have the same. Just learn to listen to other Mama’s stories with a grain of salt and save yourself the pain.
We’re certainly not experts. But we’ve had some time to get creative and experiment with all the teething methods. From meds to oils to breast milk popsicles. I don’t know about you but I get to googling/texting for any fellow Mama’s advice when I encounter unknown territory. So even though what works for Jack might be different from what works for your babe, I thought it might be helpful to list our favorite teethers. Believe it or not, Sophie the famous teething giraffe did not make our list. I hope this gives you some effective, creative, affordable, lesser known alternatives for pain relief when nothing else seems to be working. Good luck, Mama!
Like I said, Jack started young. And the big problem with this is that most of your standard teethers are too big for babe’s mouth. Not to mention, most 2-3-month olds haven’t quite mastered holding an item, let alone holding it to their mouth long enough to chew on. So, we had to get creative and find the tiniest of teethers.
LAVENDER + COPAIBA
I’m an oil lover, you know dis. When I can tell that Jack is uncomfortable, distressed, chewing on all the things I whip this up + it usually soothes him in minutes. For babes 0-1, I put 7-8 drops of carrier oil (coconut | almond | jojoba, etc.) in the palm of my hand + add 1-2 drops of Lavender. Rub your hands together and massage into baby’s feet + apply to back of neck. I usually let Jack inhale it from the bottle as well. Then do the same mixture with Copaiba and apply to jawline, you can also directly to gum–but I don’t think it tastes great so I prefer to keep it to the jawline. Lavender relaxes a stressed babe + Copaiba soothes aches + is a comforting smell.
If you want about to learn more about oils + how they work, click here.
If you’re curious about the YL Starter Kit (which include both of these oils), click here.
HYLAND’S TEETHING TABLETS
Tylenol has been our go-to when things get really rough. I try to avoid using it more often than I have to. Enter Hyland’s Teething Tablets…the perfect middle ground. It’s made with natural ingredients + works effectively. The tablets are made to melt in babe’s mouth upon impact and therefore, works quickly. I like to use the nighttime variety to help Jack sleep since it seems that teething is always worse at night when they’re paying attention to it. But there is also a non-drowsy version.
BEADED PACIFIER CLIPS
I already had several pacifier clips on hand just because they make a super cute, baby accessory…I mean, because it’s totally practical and attaches the binky to the babe so you’re less likely to lose it. Obviously. But I didn’t realize just how much Jack would love chewing on the beads. So basically, I got an awesome two-fer. I have a few pretty clips from GettingSewCrafty on Etsy with various colored, silicone/wooden beads and I have this super affordable, wooden bead set from Amazon. Both do the job and look great while they’re at it. And if your baby isn’t into a binky, just attach something else to the end…like a cactus teether!
PICKLE + OLIVE CACTUS TEETHER
Speaking of. This teether is the perfect size for the littlest teething babes. It’s similar to the banana toothbrush—but it’s a cactus, so way better. I like that this has a variety of textures and can be easily held by tiny hands. Each branch has a different edge: brush, circles, and lines. Plus, it has a hole in the end so that it can be attached to babe, stroller, high chair, car seat—you know, just in case they decide to chuck it.
WOODEN CACTUS TEETHER WITH LOVIE
This was one of my first purchases for Jack from BinkyBeadsCo on Etsy because CACTUS and MUSTARD YELLOW. It was a match made in heaven for me. But it’s also one of Jack’s favorite teethers to hold on to. It’s petite, easy to grab and the lovie naturally absorbs all the drool—even though I’d like to think it’s more comforting and sweeter than drool absorption. I’m all about supporting small businesses + artists on Etsy so this is definitely a favorite.
These are a huge hit in our house. The beads are made of light, flexible silicone plus it’s small + bumpy enough that babe can easily hold on to it. I’m not sure if it’s just feels better to chew on in comparison to other teethers, but it’s one of Jack’s top three teethers and it always comes along for the ride. I love that it comes with a hook on the end for the stroller or highchair so that it doesn’t just fall on the floor when babe inevitably drops it. Chewbeads also produce links and bracelets in a variety of Mama-pleasing colors so that you can customize your teether any way you like.
NUBY ICE GEL FREEZER KEYS
I originally bought the usual, ice gel, teething ring to throw in the freezer when the time came. But the time came and his little mouth couldn’t comfortably fit around the now, massive looking ring. I did an Amazon search and found these keys instead. Same concept. You freeze them like an ice pack, giving the babe a somewhat solid, numbing gel to gnaw on. The keys are narrow + thin so that even a 3-month-old can chew on them comfortably.
GUM-EEZ TEETHER + NUBY TEETHING GEL
A teether for pacifier loving babes! First, an aside on teething gel. Everyone has their own opinions on numbing gel like Orajel + Nuby. We’ve used a few different numbing gels to ease the pain until the Tylenol kicks in. But if you feel that gel is unsafe, then skip right over it. You know best for your own babe. We’ve used the Gum-EEZ Teether in this set mostly without the gel—it provides a pacifier like mouthpiece for babe to chew on. At first, we had to hold it in for him because he didn’t understand chewing on it vs sucking on it. But now he just holds it himself and chews on the side, etc.
I get a lot of weird looks on this one but I recently figured this out and it’s been the greatest revelation of our teething career. This is one of those things that I’ve had on hand and never realized how perfectly it would work as a teether. It’s silicone, it’s soft, it’s colorful, and it’s skinny so that wee babe hands can hold on to it. So now we have a bunch of smoothie straws laying around the house but no smoothies. 😉 Trust me, it works.
NATURSUTTEN NATURAL RUBBER TEETHER
There are tons of natural rubber teethers but this one stood out to me because it has smaller, rounded ends to fit into babe’s mouth. Also, it has a ring cut out in the middle so that he can easily hang on to it or you can clip it onto another surface. It’s almost like this teether is hollow in the middle so that it’s softer to chew on but durable because…rubber. I like that I can just toss this in with bottle nipples + binks for sanitizing. The only downside is that this is a hair, fuzz magnet. Which is the same problem I have with Jack’s binky but a quick rinse does the trick.
CHILLED, WET CLOTH (or spoon)
This was recommended to me by a teething-seasoned parent friend and though it didn’t work for Jack (he just didn’t like the cold in his mouth, I think?) I thought it was a super creative idea. You can soak a clean cloth with water or breastmilk, shape it into whatever shape you need, toss it in the freezer for a bit, and wa-lah, custom teether. Obviously, melting liquid can make for a mess. But you don’t really care when your babe is inconsolably crying on your shoulder. If you’re trying to keep a tight budget for teethers, try this first. If not the rag, try a spoon (chilled or room temp).
ITZY RITZY SILICONE TEETHING MIT
This is one more creative teether that didn’t necessarily work the best for us—mostly because I just never got around to strapping it on Jack’s hand—but I think it’s an excellent idea for wee teethers. For the record, we used it accurately about three times and it worked great. Think about it, babies are always putting hands in the mouth, so if babe can tolerate something strapped to his hand—this works perfectly. I love that babe doesn’t have to know how to hold anything—they just do what they naturally do and chew on the mit instead of their little fingers. The glove itself is made of the crunchy material that babes are so mesmerized by and its light + flexible and most importantly, CUTE! 😉
A fun, affordable + sensory stimulating option is “bunny ears.” You can find these everywhere and there are several super cute options available on Amazon. The ears are made of crinkly fabric that have this insane ability to captivate baby’s attention, attached to a wooden ring for baby to chew on. I love that it’s small, lightweight + easy to stash for on the go use. It’s a teether I don’t mind storing in his “day care diaper bag” because it’s so affordable AND it’s easy to wash on the regular.
Once babes learn how to hold things and are putting anything and everything in their mouths, a whole new world of teething options open up. Here are some of our favorites that have worked really well once Jack was a bit older…I mean, besides leftover safety bumpers and TV remotes.
MONTESSORI SENSORY TEETHER
I snagged this teether from FeltmanAndCo on Etsy and it’s become one of the three teethers/toys that go with us everywhere. This is actually the teether that Jack popped his first tooth on in the Walmart parking lot and it’s all he’s wanted to chew on since. It’s well-made, durable, colorful, and easy for babe to hang on to/chew on. The beads are soft, BPA free and the rings are coated with baby-safe beeswax so you don’t have to worry about splintering wood. There are TONS of color options available and you can opt for a break-away clasp as well. HIGHLY recommend.
NUBY FROZEN POP TRAY
I love to use this when we’re at home and it’s ok to be a bit messy. I’ve been making breastmilk pops but you can easily do pureed fruit, water, or even Pedialyte. I like that this is something I can continue to use for a while, beyond teething. At first Jack wasn’t so sure about chewing on something so cold. But he’s gotten used to it and just yesterday we went through two while he sat in his highchair, happily gnawing on the pop. His lips were all red and his hands were cold, but he had a great time and it numbed his swollen gums. The mold makes the perfect size for babe with a little handle that chubby, baby hands can hold.
B. TOYS LIGHT UP CLOUD RATTLE + NUBY BUG-A-LOOP TEETHER
I didn’t buy this toy with the intention of it being a teether. But Jack ended up using it primarily for that reason and he’s reached for it time and time again for teething—so I thought it was worth a mention. The beads are the perfect size to chew on and it’s easy for him to hold. Plus it’s a fun toy, so two birds with one stone. Something similar + even cheaper is the Nuby Bug-A-Loop Teether with a variety of colorful beads/textures to gnaw on.
ITZY RITZY SILICONE BABY TEETHER
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the Starbucks themed teether that I found on Amazon. This is definitely a heavier, chunkier teether so it just didn’t work for newborn Jack. But now that he’s older and his bite is like a vice, this gives him a little more to work on. It has lots of ridges and bumps that feel good and are interesting sensory-wise. Plus, who doesn’t want their kid chewing on some Starbucks?
That’s it for our list—do you have any favorites you’d add to the list? Happy Teething! 😊