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Being a mom is really hard!
Motherhood is one of the most challenging feats a woman can embark upon. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a mom for three months or 13 years; motherhood is a lifelong learning experience. After you figure out breastfeeding, you have to learn how to potty train.
Then comes teaching the kids how to swim. Then showing them how to wipe their own butts, how to drive, and so on. Motherhood is a calling that sticks with you for eternity because being a mom is the biggest commitment a woman can make. (Other than having an Amazon Prime account and a Target REDcard.)
Even the most seasoned moms question their skills and abilities, asking themselves, Am I doing this wrong? Will my child be traumatized by this? Should I feel guilty for doing it this way? Do I need to call the pediatrician?
As if navigating the world of motherhood isn't bad enough, there’s also the question of which brands and products are best for our babies and children. The methods and tools that our mothers and grandmothers used aren’t necessarily the best ones for us, and what’s right for one modern mom might not work for another.
There are so many different types of bottles, car seats, strollers, diapers, you name it. It can be overwhelming just creating a baby registry.
However, this vast availability of products is actually a good thing. It means there’s something out there that fits each mom’s personal preference and lifestyle.
For example, when it comes to teethers, there are several kinds. If you’re a newbie mom and you aren’t that familiar with baby teethers, they are used when babies start teething, usually around four to 10 months old. When those teeth start breaking through baby’s gums, it can be quite painful.
Symptoms associated with teething include:
Loss of appetite
Teething is painful for babies, which is why teethers and teething rings were invented. Here are a few reasons to use them when your baby is teething:
- Pain relief. Babies suck on anything they can get their hands on (including their hands) in order to relieve pain. Teethers allow babies to soothe the pain by putting pressure on the gums when they chew and suck on them.
- Entertainment. While teethers are primarily meant to assist babies during teething, babies also enjoy playing with teethers. Some come in fun shapes and colors, which entertain babies as they teethe.
- Cognitive skills. When babies use teethers and have to learn how to lift them to their mouths, they are strengthening their cognitive abilities.
Teethers have come a long way since they were first invented. Now, there are even teethers that are attached to necklaces or bracelets that moms can wear. In should be noted, however, that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration advises against wearing teething jewelry, as it can lead to serious injuries or choking, since most teething jewelry has small parts that babies can unintentionally consume.
While teething jewelry might not be the best choice for soothing baby’s teeth and gums, teethers and teething rings on their own are usually just fine. Wooden teethers in particular have become increasingly popular, and with good reason. The benefits of wooden teethers and teething rings seem to far outweigh the benefits of other types of teething products.
Before we get into the reasons for choosing wooden teething products, let’s first compare teethers to teething rings so you can determine which one to snag for your teething baby. Both work the same and are functional; it’s mostly a matter of personal preference when it comes to choosing which type to use.
Teethers vs. Teething Rings
The difference between teethers and teething rings is quite simple: teethers come in many shapes, while teething rings are circular. Some teething rings have a simple design with additional materials like silicone or cloth. These are meant to aid in the soothing process and provide a stylish, textural option that babies (and moms, let’s be honest) love.
It can be tempting to want to freeze teethers, since cool objects help soothe sore gums. However, teething products should not be frozen. Because they are so firm already, freezing teethers can actually cause them to bruise baby’s delicate gums or lead to frostbite. Instead, try refrigerating the teether so it’s cold enough to soothe but not too cold to be harmful.
Also, as mentioned before, teething rings that have small parts like beads, rattles or other embellishments are not safe for babies and can create a choking hazard. The small parts can become lodged in your baby’s throat, so it’s better to use teethers and teething rings with no small parts. Even teething products with large pieces made from yarn or other fabrics aren’t a good idea if baby can potentially swallow or choke on the materials while chewing on them.
When it comes to teethers and teething rings, less is more. Bigger parts and hard to swallow pieces are what you want to look for.
You also want to make sure that the teethers you give your baby are safe to use and are free from toxic ingredients such as:
Wooden Teething Rings Are A Safer Option
Many silicone and plastic teethers have gel or water inside, making them less safe due to the probability of containing harmful chemicals. According to one study, some teethers that are labeled as “non-toxic” or “BPA free” are not completely free of chemicals. Even teething rings, which are often made from plastic or rubber, can have toxic ingredients. The ingredients might not be on the outside where baby is chewing, but can easily leak out if the teether is punctured or enough pressure is applied to let the ingredients out.
Teething biscuits (like dog biscuits for babies) are also a thing, but they don’t work as well as other teethers. In fact, they are a choking hazard as well, because they can snap in half right in your baby’s mouth. And if baby doesn’t have teeth yet, or only has a couple, they won’t be able to process the biscuit pieces.
Wooden teething rings, however, are 100% natural and chemical free.
They are solid and free of small parts, making them safer than other teething products. Some research indicates that wood is not as prone to housing bacteria as materials like plastic or stainless steel. Just like wooden cutting boards protect us from bacteria like E. coli and salmonella, wooden teethers protect babies from being exposed to harmful toxins.
Wooden Teething Rings Are Better For the Planet
Because untreated wooden teethers and wooden teething rings are made from all-natural materials, they are also biodegradable, which is better for both baby and the environment. Some have the added benefit of being polished with olive oil and beeswax. This keeps the teether in good shape while maintaining a healthy way for baby to manage teething pain.
With wooden teethers, you don’t have to worry about tossing them in the trash, just to have them end up in a landfill. The plastic and silicone alternatives will contribute to the toxic waste piles around our planet, and could potentially harm your baby. By choosing a wooden teether, baby and the planet are in better hands.
Before choosing a teether for your baby, consider all of the pros and cons of the different types of teethers. There may be non-wooden options available that are perfectly safe for your baby to use. Checking with your baby’s pediatrician might be a good idea as well, as they can probably recommend specific teethers that they know are safe to use.
Convinced that wooden teething products are the best choice for your baby? Here are a few that we think are worth purchasing. They are safe, cute and not toxic to babies or the environment.
Teething ain’t fun, mamas. Not for us or our babies. That’s why choosing a teether that makes the experience less painful is crucial. It’s also important to give our babies products that are good for them and won’t create additional reasons to cry.
Wooden teethers seem to be the way to go. They make mommy, baby and Mother Earth happy, while promoting good health and reducing the pain that comes with this challenging time.
Do you have experience with wooden teethers? Share your thoughts below in a comment.