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Posted 14 January 2018
A Parent’s Guide to Safe Baby Teething Toys
When your baby is teething it can be hard to know what to do. You’re trying to find the best solution to make it better because the thought of your child being in pain is horrible, especially when you can’t even explain to them why it hurts.
As well as being uncomfortable for them, it can be a hard time for the parents too! Sleeplessness and irritability might be symptoms of teething children, but they can also be symptoms of parents with teething children!
This is a guide to safe baby teething toys, designed to take any confusion away when considering what’s best for your baby...
Choosing a Safe Material
If your baby is going to be chewing something on a regular basis, you will want to ensure it’s not made of a toxic or potentially harmful material. Lots of cheap teething toys, or toys that don’t state the exact materials used can be made with chemicals that don’t belong in babies mouths.
Look for teething toys made from a BPA free, FDA and CE certified food grade, silicone. This way your baby can chew away to their heart's content with no worry that they’re ingesting anything they shouldn’t be.
Likewise, if your baby chews on material of any kind, using natural fibres is the ideal solution. Organic, naturally dyed cotton or bamboo fibres that can be washed and dried easily are our first choice!
Getting thrown on the floor, under the sofa and around worktops can mean that occasionally bacteria can pass onto teething toys and cause sickness. If your child is constantly using an object to suck or chew, being able to clean it regularly is important. A non-washable teething toy means that bacteria can build up on the outside, or inside...
Look for teething toys that don’t have any hidden holes, nooks or crannies where saliva could get in but not out! Sometimes, hollow teething toys can have small holes which saliva can get into. This can result in bacteria developing inside the toy (even if you wash it regularly, you won’t be able to properly wash inside it) which makes its way back into your babies mouth. To prevent this from happening, look for solid teething toys that are dishwasher friendly and easy to wipe, rinse and clean whenever you need to.
Teething Gel Applicators
When my little ones were teething, I’d regularly get bitten when trying to apply teething gel. That doesn’t sound too painful, but if you’ve ever been bitten by a freshly cut tooth you’ll know it is!
As well as being painful, it can be hard to get teething gel onto the gum in the first place. It can easily slide off your finger and just get swallowed, or smeared everywhere except the bit you were aiming for.
When I designed Matchstick Monkey, one was one of my primary goals was to find a way to apply teething medication properly, safely and accurately - so, without using my finger! This is why the head of our Matchstick Monkey has little nodules that teething gel can adhere to easily, staying in place until it reaches the direct source of the pain.
Shape and Size
The shape of a teething toy is really important. Making sure your baby can’t swallow and choke on any part of the toy, whilst also finding one that reaches the painful spots at the back of the mouth can be challenging!
Many teething toys are round with holes in the middle. This means that although they’re easy to grip and can’t be swallowed, they can’t quite reach all those painful areas in a baby’s mouth.
Matchstick Monkey was designed to be the perfect shape for teething. It’s easy to grip in one or both hands and direct towards the mouth, helping to develop motor skills. The unique shape also means that it can reach even the back molar area safely, making it practical as well as cute.
The texture is firm but flexible, giving the gums enough resistance to chew against without making them sore.
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Whichever teething toy you choose, this guide should help you find the perfect one for your baby...