Somewhere around the 6-month mark, you’ll find that your baby drools a little bit more, that he or she is a little fussier, and that sleep comes a little less easily both at nap times and at night. Your baby is teething, which is why the symptoms are emerging — which makes many parents wonder what to give a teething baby to chew on.
When you hit this challenging point in the first year, it’s important to find products that take care of the pesky symptoms outlined above. To give you a head start, here’s a look at important teething information as well as recommendations for teething products that a proven to provide relief.
Why Do Teething Babies Chew?
Why do teething babies chew in the first place? When a baby starts teething, new teeth are popping through their gums — which is painful, of course. They chew because the chewing action helps to alleviate that pain.
The goal of any parent is to find the perfect object to alleviate pain from chewing. You’ll find that a teething baby will chew on anything within reach, testing out different objects to see if they can make him or her feel better. Once babies find the perfect soother for teething pain, they won’t let it go.
Naturally, makes of baby products have tried to capitalize on teething pain by offering all sorts of toys designed to soothe. See below for a list of the most popular teething products.
7 Ideas: What Can Babies Chew on When Teething?
As noted above, there’s no guarantee that a single teething product will soothe your baby. All you can do is try some of the most popular option, which you’ll find in the list below.
1. Frozen Washcloth
Let’s start with something that’s free: a frozen washcloth. Simply place a washcloth inside your freezer and let it sit for a few hours. Then, when your baby is fussing or drooling, let him or her hold and chew on the frozen washcloth.
The coolness of a frozen washcloth is one of the most soothing things for your child. You’ll note below that other products are designed to go in the freezer, but it’s always best to try something you already have around the house — like a washcloth.
Don’t have good washcloths for teething? You can get an inexpensive bundle for a low price, and then you’ll always have washcloths on call when your baby starts fussing.
2. Sophie the Giraffe
Vulli’s Sophie the Giraffe has become one of the most beloved toys for babies. You may have gotten one at a baby shower, but, if not, you can get your own for between $20 and $25.
Sophie the Giraffe is a miracle worker for some babies (and those babies’ parents). But you’ll see two common complaints about Sophie: 1) Some parents complain that Sophie is WAY overpriced, and 2) Some parents complain that Sophie simply doesn’t work for their babies.
Both complaints are perfectly understandable. Keep in mind also that parents are going to be much more likely to complain about cost if something also proves ineffective.
3. Other Animals
If you don’t like the price on Sophie, look for another teething animal. I really like this Raccoon Teether by Tulamama, or you can search for teething animal toys online. Better yet, if your baby likes a particular kind of animal, find a teething version of it. For example, you baby loves elephants? Find an elephant teether.
You’ll notice that other teething animals are more affordable, but they can be just as hit-and-miss as Sophie. You’ll pay less, but you may still find that a certain teething product isn’t what your baby is looking for.
Ah, the Munch Mitt. This is a really popular teething solution, but I can attest (from personal experience) that not all babies love it. For whatever reason, both of my kids refused to wear the Munch Mitt when they were little and going through the teething stage.
The Munch Mitt does come in lots of different colors and styles, which is nice. It’s also about half as much as investing in Sophie, so you might find the lower price point attractive as you search for the perfect teething solution.
5. Beaded Necklaces
I like this Teething Necklace from SMH, but, again, there’s no shortage of options out there. A lot of teething necklaces feature amber beads for reasons that are based on sketchy science. So, find a teething necklace with beads that work for you, and you’ll be glad to have an effective teething solution.
Of course, products like the Nuby Garden Fresh Fruitsicle Tray can get a little messy at times, but that mess is a small price to pay if the fruitsicle soothes a fussy baby. The price is right, too, and you can search all sorts of different fruitsicle options online.
7. Teething Keys
Here’s another classic teething toy option — Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys. The keys go in the fridge so that they are nice and cool for your baby. As an added bonus, simply fiddling with the keys can keep your baby occupied for the long-term.
This might be the most cost-effective teething product on the market. We’re talking just a few bucks for what could be the ideal teething solution for your baby. If you’re looking for a next step if and when a frozen washcloth doesn’t work, go with teething keys.
Bonus: How to Keep Teething Baby From Chewing on Crib Rail
There’s an easy solution for this, though. To keep a teething baby from chewing a crib rail, simply buy and install a crib rail guard. These rail guards are designed to prevent chewing, and they also prevent your baby from accidentally bonking his or her head on the crib’s railing (once your baby starts pulling up and standing inside the crib).
There are countless options when you’re searching for the right rail guard. Look for one that’s easy to install, easy to clean and hard for your baby to thwart — like the TILLYOU Crib Rail Cover pictured here.
Final Thoughts on What to Give a Teething Baby to Chew On
Are you considering over-the-counter medications for your teething baby? The U.S. Food & Drug Administration offers some helpful tips and important warnings as you look at medicinal solutions.
It’s always the best idea to talk to your pediatrician first. Your child’s doctor has seen countless teething babies come through the office, and he or she will be able to recommend the best course of action.
Of course, the teething products listed above are perfectly safe to use. And, if you find the right one, it will save you that trip to the pediatrician’s office.
Have you found a teething solution that’s not listed above? Let us know if the comments section below, or you can always send a message via our contact form.