Your Guide to the Best Teething Toys for Babies

The Path to Happy Gums and Bright Smiles


Teething is one of the major milestones in your little one’s early life. In this article, I want to help you understand what’s going on for them during this challenging time and show you how you can make their journey as discomfort free as possible with the very best teething toys for babies.

I can’t wait to unveil my 18 top teethers and assist you in choosing the perfect design for your precious baby from the hundreds available.


best teething toys for babiesSoothing relief for sore gums


The 6 Stages of Teething


Teething is a natural process that marks the emergence of your baby's first set of teeth, also known as primary teeth or baby teeth.

The whole teething process occurs over a span of many months, but the exact timing varies from baby to baby.

Here are the typical stages of teething:


1. Pre-Teething – This stage starts around 3 to 4 months of age, although some babies might show early signs as early as 2 months. During this phase, your baby's gums might become more sensitive, and they might drool more than usual. They may also start putting their hands or objects in their mouth to soothe their gums.


2. Eruption of First Teeth – Around 6 months of age, you'll likely see the first tooth start to break through the gumline. The lower front teeth, also known as the central incisors, are usually the first to appear. This is an exciting milestone, but it can also be accompanied by discomfort and irritability.


3. Front Teeth Eruption – Over the next few months, the rest of the front teeth will start to emerge. The upper central incisors usually follow the lower ones, and then the lateral incisors appear on both the upper and lower jaws.


4. First Molars – Around 12 to 16 months, the first set of molars will begin to come through. These teeth are larger and flatter than the incisors and are located at the back of the mouth.


5. Canine Teeth – Between 16 to 20 months, the canines will start to emerge. These pointed teeth are situated next to the incisors.


6. Second Molars – Between 23 to 31 months, the second set of molars will typically begin to erupt at the back of the mouth. These molars complete the set of primary teeth, which usually totals 20 by the time your child is around 2 to 3 years old.


During each stage of teething, your baby may exhibit a range of symptoms, including:


  • gum sensitivity
  • increased drooling
  • irritability
  • disrupted sleep patterns
  • chewing on objects
  • a low-grade fever


Not all babies experience all of these symptoms, with some having an easier time with teething than others.

Whether your baby’s discomfort is mild or more severe, you can provide comfort and relief for them with teething toys.

There’s an overwhelming variety to choose from both in respect of design and the materials they’re made from. Read on to see my review of the 18 best teething toys for babies to help you choose the perfect teethers for your little one. They’ve all been tried and tested by a dedicated team of chompers and chewers.

First, I want to explain exactly how these thing toys work to ease your baby's teething discomfort to help you choose the ideal toy for each stage of your baby’s teething process.


best baby teething toysTeething toys come in a wide range of designs





How Teething Toys Ease Teething Discomfort


1. Counter-Pressure

Teething toys are designed with varying textures and surfaces that babies can chew on. Chewing on these toys provides counter-pressure to their sore and swollen gums, which helps alleviate the discomfort caused by the emerging teeth.


2. Gum Massage

The textures on teething toys, such as ridges, bumps, and grooves, mimic the sensation of a gentle gum massage. This massage action stimulates blood flow to the gums, reducing inflammation and providing relief.


3. Distraction and Focus

Teething toys offer an engaging distraction for babies. The act of chewing and manipulating the toy diverts their attention away from the discomfort, helping them focus on something enjoyable instead.


4. Cooling Sensation

Many teething toys can be cooled in the refrigerator before use. The cold sensation provides an added layer of relief by temporarily numbing the sensitive gums.


5. Sensory Stimulation

The shapes and textures of teething toys offer sensory stimulation for your baby, helping them explore new sensations and providing a sensory diversion from teething discomfort.


6. Release of Natural Endorphins

Chewing and gnawing on teething toys can trigger the release of natural endorphins in your baby's body. Endorphins are feel-good hormones that can help alleviate pain and improve their overall mood at a time when they are understandably irritable.


7. Safe Chewing Outlet

Babies naturally explore their world through their mouths. Teething toys provide a safe and hygienic outlet for oral exploration, preventing them from putting potentially harmful objects or their fingers in their mouths.


We’ve almost come to my list of the 18 best teething toys for babies. Click here to jump straight down to it if you’re ready to start exploring right now. Or carry on reading for a quick introduction to the different types of teethers available.


18 best baby teethersTeethers also make great learning toys





Different Types of Teething Toys For Babies


When it comes to teething toys, the options, in respect of materials and design, are diverse, catering to varying preferences and developmental needs. Here are some different types for you to consider:


Materials


Silicone Teethers – These soft and flexible teethers are made from food-grade silicone, providing a safe and soothing surface for your baby to chew on.


Rubber Teethers – Natural rubber teethers, made from materials like latex, are soft and easy to grip. They can be cooled in the fridge for added comfort.


Plastic Teethers – BPA-free plastic teethers are commonly shaped like rings, keys, or animals. They're durable, easy to clean, and are designed with different textures to massage gums effectively.


Wooden Teethers – These teethers are made from natural wood so perfect if sustainability is a priority for you.


Soft Fabric Teethers – Fabric teethers combine plush materials with a teething element, often a silicone or rubber piece. Babies can chew on the teething element while cuddling the soft fabric.


Water and Gel-Filled Teethers – These teethers can be placed in the refrigerator to cool down before giving them to your baby. The cold sensation provides additional relief for teething discomfort.


Design


Some of the best teething toys for babies have an interactive element. This not only provides a distraction from their teething discomfort but can also aid your little one’s development in other ways. For example:


Rattle Teethers – Rattle teethers serve a dual purpose by providing both teething relief and entertainment through the rattling sound they produce. They also teach your baby the concept of cause and effect – they shake the rattle and it makes a sound.

Stacking Teethers – These teethers come in the form of stacking rings or blocks. They provide gum massage while engaging your baby in play that develops their fine motor skills.

Other Interactive Teethers –  Some teethers feature elements that move, twist, or spin, engaging your little one’s curiosity and enhancing their cognitive development.

Musical Teethers –  Musical teethers combine sensory stimulation with sound, activating your baby’s auditory senses while providing teething relief.


Remember that each baby is unique, so what works best for one might not be ideal for another. It's a good idea to have a variety of teething toys on hand to see which ones resonate most with your baby's preferences and needs.

Always prioritize safety by choosing teethers made from non-toxic materials and ensuring they're age-appropriate for your little one.




18 Best Teething Toys For Babies


Now that you have all the information you need to enable you to choose the ideal teether for your little one’s preferences and needs, it’s time for me to reveal my top picks of the best teething toys for babies.


1. Nuby Silicone Teethe-eez Teether with Bristles

A great basic silicon teether and the ideal size and shape for little hands to hold. The Nuby Teethe-eez is super soft for gentle massaging of the gums, and the multiple teething surfaces will give your baby several different sensory chewing options.


2. Infantino Lil' Nibbles Teether

This fun carrot design teether has two easy-to-grip handles to help your little one hold it steady and guide it towards their mouth, quite a challenging feat for very young babies. There are different shapes and textures to explore for sensory stimulation in addition to the teething relief it offers.


3. Vulli Sophie The Giraffe Teether

Sophie the Giraffe has been a best-loved teether toy for over 55 years and has soothed generations of babies through their teething experience. Her soft texture and numerous chewable parts, including ears, legs, and horns, make her perfect for soothing your baby's sore gums. The fact that she’s ultra cute no doubt adds to Sophie’s enduring popularity. Definitely one of the very best teething toys for babies.


4. Frida Baby Not-Too-Cold-to-Hold Silicone Teether

This cleverly designed teether has a chew-safe silicone handle that stays at room temp so your baby's hands don't get chilly as they hold it. There are two double-sided inserts, which can be chilled in the refrigerator, providing four different shapes and textures to cool and soothe your little one’s gums.



5. Baby Teething Toys – 6 Pack

This is a great value for money set of colorful teething toys. Each toy is soft and bendable but tough enough to last right through teething. With six designs to choose from, all different in shape and texture, you little one can chop and change depending on their preference and which they find the most soothing on any particular day. They are easy hold for even the smallest of hands.


6. Fu Store Hollow Teether Tube – 6 Pack

Sometimes, something simple is all that’s needed to solve a problem and many babies in the midst of teething will choose a hollow teether straw over toys we might deem to be more appealing. These tubes, made of 100% food-grade silicon, are easy grip, and bend and squish when chewed. They have textured surfaces at each end and come with a tube brush for easy cleaning.


7. Smily Mia Reindeer Never Drop Hand Held Baby Teether

The innovative mitten design of this cute reindeer teether toy makes it super easy for your toddler to keep hold of which means it’s less likely to be dropped than with conventional designs. It’s also ideal for babies who like to digit suck or finger bite as the positioning of the textured protruding chew elements mimics a finger or thumb presenting themselves to be nibbled.


8. Miraloop Jellydog Rocking Teether

This fun rocking toy will have your baby reaching out to play with it. Jellydog can be grasped in one hand, held in two, or wrapped over the wrist for an extra secure hold with little chance of being dropped. Designed with multiple "points", there is a part perfectly positioned for chewing no matter which way your little one holds the toy. This factor alone makes it one of the best teething toys for babies.


9. Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

With its intricate network of continuous tubes in vibrant colors, this teether will immediately engage and maintain your baby's focus. The captivating loop pattern and its featherlight build render it effortlessly graspable and shakeable by tiny hands. Your little one will also love the gentle rattling sounds it makes. The soft and supple teething loops offer relief from teething discomfort and are ideal for any baby that enjoys gumming sensations.


10. Infantino Water Teethers – 3 Pack

The circular design of this set of three water-filled teethers makes them easy for a tiny hand to grasp securely at an age when your baby’s fine motor skills are only just beginning to develop. They are soft, textured and make a fun crinkle sound for your little one to explore. This auditory element is also great for holding their attention and as a distraction from teething discomfort. Chill the teether in the fridge for extra effectiveness.


11. RaZbaby RaZberry Berrybumps Teether Toy

I particularly recommend the Berrybumps teether toy for babies who are a bit fussy about teethers but love their pacifiers which will be of similar basic design. It can be held by the multi-textured handles or used hands free like a normal pacifier. The bumps on the silicon fruit soothe sore, swollen gums when chewed and the toy can also be put in the fridge or frozen for 10 minutes for cooling relief.


12. Dr. Brown’s Ridgees Giraffe Massaging Teether

If you’re looking for a teething toy that can easily be tied to your baby’s stroller for teething relief on the go, this will be a great choice for your little one. The closed grasp loop helps with secure grasping and the pediatric dentist who designed it has incorporated multiple chew points for massaging sore gums. It’s pretty cute as well.



13. Itzy Ritzy Teething Mitt

What a clever idea this teething mitt is. The adjustable strap ensures a secure fit, helping the mitt stay in place whilst being chewed. This makes it perfect for babies who can’t yet hold a teether or who have a tendency to drop or throw their toys. The textured mitt has a built-in crinkle sound to stimulate your little one and keep them entertained. It definitely earns its place amongst the best teething toys for babies.



14. Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys

Teether keys have been around for a long time and remain a very popular teething toy. This set is gel-filled and designed for refrigeration to provide gentle cooling on your baby’s sore, swollen gums. The bright colors make the keys visually stimulating and playing with them will provide fine motor skill development as an added bonus.


15. Moonjax Natural Rubber Teething Toy

Here’s another teether with a very simple design. It fits neatly into any little hand and, no matter which way it’s held, it presents a soft but firm “point” just waiting to be chewed. All the chew points are short, eliminating any risk of your little one gagging. Simple but effective which is sometimes all you need. It’s designed by a mom and moms know best!




16. Sinpedex Sensory Teething Toy

In complete contrast to the Moonjax teether is this rattling teething toy comprised of 12 brightly colored gnawing balls in two textures. The balls are easy for your baby to grip as they manipulate the toy to make the rings rattle and position the different balls for chewing. The two halves of the spheres also twist as an extra dimension to this excellent all-round sensory toy.


17. Nuby Super Soft Silicone Teether with Suction Base

A lot of thought has gone into the design of this fun, wobbly, alien-like character which, at first glance, isn’t obviously a teething toy. It is though, and including a suction base that secures the toy in place on most flat surfaces is an inspired idea. It will stay in place as your little one bats it, grabs it, pulls it and, of course, chews it to soothe their aching gums when teething. A wonderful little toy for interactive play as well as teething relief.


18. Baby Einstein Stack & Teethe 5 Piece Teether Toy

A stacking toy and teether are a great combination. They have been popular for a long time and remain so in the face of stiff competition from the many modern design teethers on the market. The five bright pieces are ideal for introducing your baby to classic colors and, with each piece having a different surface pattern, there’s lots of sensory exploration to be done by fingers as well as mouths, plus the fun of fitting the rings together in a stack. This is a definite recommendation for the slightly older baby.


Have you picked out some favorites from my list of the best teething toys for babies?

Don’t forget to stock up on cooling teething gel for extra pain relief for your little one. Here’s a brand I recommend:


Orajel Baby Daytime & Nighttime Teething Cooling Gels

For your baby’s safety and your peace of mind, these gels are free from benzocaine, belladonna, eugenol, sugar, menthol, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sulfate, dairy, and artificial colors, dyes, and sweeteners. Rub the gel on your baby’s gums to relax, calm and soothe your little one when teething discomfort makes them upset and cranky day or night. They come pediatrician recommended.


Or try these highly effective teething drops:


Boiron Camilia Teething Drops for Daytime & Nighttime Relief

Boiron Camilia Teething Drops are plant-based and also free from the above mentioned nasties that could cause your baby harm. Each contains a pre-measured amount of liquid for consistent dosing. Just snap off a dose, twist the cap, and squeeze into your child’s mouth where the liquid is absorbed for the swift relief of teething pain and discomfort. The vials are small enough to easily carry with you wherever you and your little one go, slipped into your purse or diaper bag. The drops also help to alleviate minor digestive disorders often associated with teething.


Final Words

Teething is that milestone time when those adorable gummy grins start to give way to budding teeth, signaling your baby’s transition into the world of solid foods, and a new stage in their development.

Unfortunately, this transition comes with discomfort that can leave your little one upset and irritable. Rushing to the rescue are the magical little companions we’ve just been investigating – teething toys.

In my review of the best 18 teething toys for babies, I’ve tried to introduce you to as many different types of teethers as possible. If you’re lucky, your baby will happily take to any one of them, but you may have to try a few before gaining their approval.

Persevere, and remember that your little one, even at a very young age, will have preferences, just like you and I do.

I hope your baby passes through their teething period with minimal discomfort and challenges and wish you also a stress free time.


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About Jacky Spear

Jacky Spear passionately promotes learning toys for child development. With 30+ years of teaching experience, she understands the power of play in engaging and nurturing children, including those with special needs. Drawing from personal experience in both the school and home environment, Jacky helps parents to select the best learning toys to unlock their children's potential and create a lifelong love for learning. Learn more about Jacky >>


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