Teethers - Baby Teething

If An Adult Had to Experience Teething...

They say that if adults had to endure the pain many babies go through during the two years they spend cutting teeth, most would think they were going to lose their minds. It's a good thing that teething happens when we're infants - we really do forget the pain. That is, until our wisdom teeth come in - then we get a small glimpse into the world of teething that our babies experience.

When Do a Baby Teethe?

Although there is no set pattern for when, exactly, a baby will begin teething, there are signs that the process is underway. Teething follows hereditary patterns, which means that if you and the baby's father cut teeth early, your baby likely will as well. On average, the first teeth arrive between four and seven months of age, although some babies cut teeth even earlier and some are late teethers. At around 10 to 14 months, your baby will begin to cut the first molars, which are double teeth used for chewing. The second set of molar comes in between ages two and three.

If your baby hasn't cut teeth by 14 months, it's probably a good idea to have a dental checkup done. Late teething is usually nothing to worry about, especially if the parents were late in cutting teeth. Otherwise, late teething can be due to poor nutrition or a physical condition. However, this would be discovered through other symptoms along with the late teething and addressed by the pediatrician.

Teething Symptoms

Teething symptoms vary from child to child, but there are some things that seem to be consistent for most babies. Irritability, drooling, diarrhea, rashes around the chin and neck, coughing, runny nose, low grade fever, and rubbing and pulling at the ears are all commonly associated with teething. But, the real give-away is biting and gnawing. A teething baby will gnaw and gum down on anything that fits in the mouth - your finger included. The counter pressure from biting on something helps relieve the pressure from under the gums. It's at this point that parents recognize the need for a teething toy to help their baby through this period. You can learn a lot about teething and how to deal with it by checking out some of the good parenting videos available expressly for this purpose.

The Hunt is On

Once your baby begins teething, you will probably mount a search for the best teether you can find. What you don't know for sure is whether your baby will love it as much as you do. Spending a lot of money on a teether that your baby refuses to put near his or her mouth can be upsetting. The Vulli teethers, designed to appeal to all of the baby's senses tends to be on the expensive side, but it is made of natural rubber and has food-grade, non-toxic paints, so it's free of chemicals that may be present in plastic teething toys. Vulli's Sophie Giraffe Teething Toy has a lot of pluses for a little teether, such as it's easy handling and many places for a baby to chew on. The downside is that the long legs and neck can be crammed right down a baby's throat causing gagging and choking. If you choose the giraffe by Vulli, it is probably a good idea to keep a keen eye on things in the event the animal is stuffed down far enough to choke the baby.

Organic teethers are one of the best ways to ease your baby's teething pain without exposing the baby to harmful toxins. There are beautiful wooden rings made from untreated maple wood with a body made of organic cotton. Maple has natural anti-bacterial properties, and cotton washes to keep it clean. Check out Ringley Natural Teething Toys for these beauties. Under the Nile Corn Teething Toy is made of organic cotton and is like a mini plush toy that's suitable for gnawing. It's reasonably priced, goes into the washer and the dryer, and provides a fine surface for teething. There are teethers that go into the freezer and others, made with stainless steel, that can be cooled off in front of an air conditioner.

What Will They Think of Next?

A vibrating teething ring takes managing teething pain naturally to a whole new level. The teether is generally made of two rings, an inner, self-contained ring that holds the vibrating mechanism, and an outer ring covered in child-appropriate plastic. Some vibrating teething rings have a handle that attaches to the main vibrating part of the ring for something different for the baby to grab. The vibration is child-activated, which means that it doesn't vibrate until the baby bites down on it, so the battery (which cannot be replaced) usually lasts the duration of the teething period. The idea is to massage the gums, which is a doctor-recommended method to ease teething pain. Parents are advised to massage their baby's gums with a thumb. Many babies love the sensation of the vibration and laugh as they enjoy some freedom from discomfort. Other babies don't like it at all.

As we mentioned earlier, the best little teether is the one your baby loves to chew on - the rest may be great, but not great enough.

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