Teethers, which ones are safe for my baby?

Updated: Jul 10, 2020



Teethers, something all parents have to buy at some point to soothe their teething baby. Whether you choose to use natural wood teethers, silicone teethers, or a simple wet cloth, we all need something to soothe our little one through this painful time.


With recent shocking reports on South China Morning Post and HK01.com about unsafe teethers out on the market, it got me thinking, which teethers are safe to use? It is scary to read that teether, such as the popular Banana teether by Edison Mama, which Joshua loved, are actually unsafe or even have cancer-causing materials! After I read it, the first thing I did was to throw it away and look up the other teethers I have for Joshua. Luckily the others seem safe to use.


It is worrying to know there are baby products that are so readily available on the market that are unsafe for babies. So I decided to do a bit of my own research to see what is actually safe for my baby to use.




Wooden Teethers


I love wooden toys! Not only do they look more stylish, but the fact that I know it is made from all-natural material already put my mind at ease. The problem with plastic toys is, you do worry about harmful chemicals. Of course, there are a lot of safe options out there, but you just have to be more careful about which brands and products you buy. Hence why I always prefer wooden teethers over the other options.



Here are the benefits of wooden teether


  • 100% natural beech wood is non-toxic and does not support the growth of mold and bacteria.    

  • Bio-degradable, so better for our environment.

  • They never go out of style.



Things to look out for:


  • Discard at the first sign of deterioration.

  • Look for good quality wooden teethers. They don't have to be expensive. Just make sure they are NOT made out of Plywood or cheap wood because some Plywoods are full of toxic glues and leach formaldehyde.   




Brands that I love for wooden teethers:



Ole Ole


They have a great collection of wooden teethers with silicon beads, from pastel colour teething rattles to cute animal ones. They make great gifts and baby's first teethers because of their personalization option. Not only can they engrave the teether in English, but they can engrave in Chinese too.


Why I love Ole Ole


I love products that are handmade, it just gives that extra special touch of care and attentiveness that you don't always find nowadays. From the packaging to the product, you can tell a lot of thought has gone into it.


The Ole Ole giraffe teether is Joshua's first teether, and he absolutely loved it. So much so that he has used it to death, the giraffe has now been retired and put in the memory box because it has been used pretty much every day since he was 3 months old. This teether has lasted him 7 months, which I thought is pretty good going.


Raph & Remy


If you love pastel colours then you will love Raph & Remy BubbleGummy Teethers.


A chic and stylish baby brand from Singapore for parents who are looking for premium quality essentials. They concentrate on having a very strong minimal collection, with a modern classic look.


Why I love Raph & Remy


I am always a fan of other Mum Boss. Raising two kids while running your own business is not an easy accomplishment. I love their style, and their packaging is chic and timeless. I also found that out of all the wooden teethers I have, their's seem to be the smoothest.




The Wee Bean


A sweet collection of natural wooden teethers in minimalistic shaped animals, perfect for the modern-day Nordic style mama. Their teethers are designed to be slightly smaller than the other brands, making it perfect for younger babies who have a smaller grip.


Why I love The Wee Bean


A company that is all about giving back. I love it when a brand donates part of their profit to charity, it really shows that they care not only for themselves but for the world as well. They also have great customer service, which is one thing I always appreciate as a customer.




Silicone Teethers



Food grade silicone has been one of the most popular materials to replace conventional plastic in baby products because it is safer, high resistance, lightweight, and flexible. They can be molded into different shapes with a variety of colours.


So what is silicone? Long story short, silicone is made of silica. Silica is the raw material used to make silicone resins. Beach sands and quartz are made out of silica and in its natural form. Silicone is made from heating up the silica at a very high temperature with carbon to form the backbone of silicone resin.  (You can read more about it in the links at the end of the blog.)


There are, however, different grades and quality of silicone. So make sure the teeters you choose are Food Grade Silicon.


Why I choose to use Silicone teethers:


  • Food grade silicone is used in bottle nipples and pacifiers as well. So it is safe to use.  

  • It can have bright colours and different shapes and designs.  

  • Squidgy and flexible, so a great texture for your little one to bite on.

  • Lightweight and soft, so you don't have to worry about your little one hurting themselves with it.

  • Does not absorb or support the growth of mold and bacteria


Things to look out for:


  • Best not to put them in the dishwasher, as it will wear out the silicone faster.

  • If they get cloudy or worn out, throw them out. (This goes for bottle nipples as well)

  • Test the teether for fillers. Pinch and twist a flat surface, if any white shows through a filler have likely been used. The problem is, you don't know what the filler is made out of.



Brands I love for Silicone Teethers:




Ole Ole


Cute, colourful and fun, there are lots to love about Ole Ole silicone teethers. One of Joshua's favorite is their Piggy teether. I actually attach it to his SnoofyBee changing pad, which helps me keep him still during his diaper change.


Why I love Ole Ole


I had great experiences with Ole Ole, their customer service is great, and their products never disappoint. (Hence why they are on this list twice.) Their products make great gifts, as their packaging is really lovely.




Lou Lou Lollipop


Their collection is full of fun and colourful teethers. From fun food shaped teethers to cute animal ones, I love them all. If you are a foodie mama, you will love their collection.


Why I love Lou Lou Lollipop


I am a great supporter of women entrepreneurs, and even more so if they are mompreneurs. So when I found out that Lou Lou Lollipop is founded by twin sisters Eleanor and Angel, (Who are both mums) I loved it even more.


I have always loved their designs because it is a good mix between the East and the West. They have elements of both cultures, the style, and sophistication of Western designs mixed with the essence of Asian cuteness. So when I found out Eleanor and Angel are Asian Canadians, it made a lot of sense. Probably also why I was so drawn to their products because they bring out the best elements of both cultures and mixing them into one.





Matchstick Monkey


This award-winning teether is fast becoming one of Joshua's go-to teether. Another brand founded by Mompreneur, Katie Windridge. Inspired by her daughter and her love for monkeys, this teether was designed because Katie wasn't able to find a teether on the market that could ease her daughter's teething pain.


Why I love Matchstick Monkey


I really like their pre-training toothbrush design, because this helps him get used to the idea of brushing his teeth. This Matchstick Monkey comes in a huge range of different colours, so you can have your pick.





Natural Rubber Teethers



Natural rubber teethers are also a great choice because it is 100% natural. Even though Food Grade Silicone teethers are safe to use, for those who prefer something that is 100% natural, rubber teeters are a great alternative to wooden teethers.



Why natural rubber teethers are a good choice:


  • It is lightweight and squidgy like silicone teethers.

  • They are 100% natural

  • Biodegradable and eco-friendly



Things to look out for:


  • Some babies are allergic to latex, so just keep an eye when your baby is using it for the first few times.

  • Natural rubber can mold, so make sure the teether is wiped clean once your baby has finished using it.  

  • They tend to be more expensive.



Brands I love for Natural Rubber Teethers:




Sophie the Giraffe by Vulli


This teether is by far one of the most famous teethers around. Hand-made in France, it is made out of 100% natural rubber and food-grade dye. The only thing you need to remember is not to submerge it in water and get water trapped inside. Research has shown if water is trapped inside, it will start to mold.  Apart from that, this is a great teether.



Why I love Sophie the Giraffe


Sophie the Giraffe is a classic, after all, it has been around for 55 years now, and it is still one of the most popular teethers around. Which really speaks about how good design is timeless. Because of how it has been shaped, Joshua has lots of different surfaces and angles to bite on. I also love that it is nice and light, so I can safely leave it in the playpen with him, and he can through it to his heart content and I don't have to worry about him breaking the TV.







Oli & Carol


Realistic looking vegetable shaped teethers. A great way for your baby to familiarise themselves with vegetables in the future. Unlike Sophie, they do not have holes, so they can go in the water. These teethers make great bath toys as well as chew toys for your Little Ones.


I haven't actually tried this teether myself, so I cannot say why I love it. However a few mums in the mum's group chat highly recommends this, so I thought I will include it in this list if you would like to give them a try.






Meiya And Alvin Rubber Cube Set


This natural rubber cube set is great for stacking, chewing and one or Joshua's favorite activity at the moment - throwing. The muted colour is stylish and chic, where every cube has a slightly different texture for your baby to develop their senses.


Why I love Meiya and Alvin


These cubes can be played with for a long time because they are not just teethers but they can be used as stackable toys too. As they are not shaped completely flat, it is actually quite challenging to stack, so I can see Joshua playing with them for the next year or so.




Other alternatives

If your baby isn't into teethers, there are plenty of other alternatives on the market now. Here are some that I have tried:

Cheeky Chompers Teething Bibs



I was given a teething bib as a present for Joshua, and ever since then, I have been converted and have bought 3 more. I love the Cheeky Chompers Teething Bibs because I don't have to worry about losing the teether.


Now that Joshua is older and stronger, he keeps throwing his teethers whenever he has a chance, even when I have attached it to a pacifier clip. Making it a bit of a nightmare when I am out and about with him, as I worry that he might pull it off and drop it on the floor. The good thing about the teething bib is, it stays on, and it is the perfect bite-size. Joshua always knows where to find it, so he doesn't get frustrated because the teether has fallen off somewhere, or he has thrown it across the room.


Another great function of the Cheeky Chomper Teething Bib is, that the bib is double layers, so it is super absorbent for your little drooler.

Munch Mitt Teething mittens





I love the concept of the Munch Mitt, but unfortunately, it didn't really work for us. When I first saw the Munch Mitt, I thought, this is genius! I first introduced it to Joshua when he started to suck his thumbs. I wanted him to suck on the Munch Mitt instead so he won't pick up this habit.


However, Joshua very quickly figured out how to get the Munch Mitt off, so it didn't stay on his hand for very long. He really didn't like that his hand movement was restricted, so it was also a challenge to get it on him. In the end I just gave up.


I am not saying this is a bad product, but it just wasn't suited for Joshua. I am sure for other babies this works well.


Wet Cloth


I know some mums find a simple wet cloth works wonder. All you have to do is soak a wet flannel or muslin cloth in water, rinse it, and give it to your little one to chew. Some mums even put it in the freezer, so it is nice and cold to ease the teething pain.


I did try this a few times with Joshua, yet again, it wasn't for him. He doesn't seem to enjoy chewing on a wet cloth, and even less when it was cold.


Steamed Vegetable


If you want to go down a natural route, I know some mums use steamed vegetables, such as the root of broccoli or Chinese Kale.


This one also didn't work for Joshua as he just keeps throwing them on the floor. Sometimes, he will just look at it, and throw it straight on the floor without even biting it. Unlike the other teethers, as it is food, I don't wipe it down and give it back to him. If it ended up on the floor, I just threw it out straight away, resulting in a lot of wasted food. (Which I simply cannot bare.)




Things to look out for when buying teethers



Learn from my mistakes - as I have a trusting nature, I just presumed all products on the market are safe to use. Unfortunately, it is not, so for the safety of your children and for your own peace of mind, it is good to do your own research as well.


Here are things to look out for and what they mean:


  • Certified approvals - whether it is the FDA, ASTM, CE, JFSL, GB, LFGB, SGS or any other certifications (As there are so many out there) If the company is confident enough to list the product down as certified and tested under a reputable company, then it is safe to buy. At least you can look up what standard it has to uphold.

  • Use your own judgment - Even when something is certified and approved, sometimes products still get recall because they found a problem with it afterward.  

  • Make sure it is BPA Free. There have been different debates on how harmful BPA is to the body. The way I see it, if there is any evidence that it is harmful to the body, it is best to avoid it completely, especially in baby products.

  • Make sure it is PVC Free.



Thank you for reading my post today. I hope you find the above information useful and helpful. If you have any other questions, please message me and I will answer them as soon as I can.


Sending you Love & Positive Thoughts,


Christine xxx




Apendix:


https://lifewithoutplastic.com/silicone/

https://seedsprout.com.au/pages/what-is-silicone

https://www.tomsofmaine.com/good-matters/healthy-feeling/why-simple-wooden-toys-are-the-best-for-your-child

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-bpa#risk

https://www.justsmartkitchenware.com/Blog/the-difference-between-fda-lfgb-certified-silicone-products/





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