teething favorites

Thursday, February 27, 2022

Today I wanted to share a short post highlighting a few of our favorite teething items. Now, in all fairness, Olivia is 9 months old and I honestly feel like she has been "teething" (showing all the classic signs of teething) since 3 months old. The funny part about it? She still doesn't have a single tooth! I didn't get my first tooth until I was 11 months so I guess I'm not surprised. Multiple resources that we have spoken to have reassured us that the later they get their teeth, the better. I'm trying to be patient, I'm just so excited & anxious to finally see her first little tooth! 

In the last month, however, Olivia's teething behavior has definitely stepped up a notch, so I know we're on the verge of a tooth breakthrough (pun totally intended).

Chew Beads
Created in 2009 by a mom herself, Chewbeads are 100% silicone + free of BPA, phthalates and all other chemicals; they are dishwasher safe and soft on babies gums and emerging teeth //
These provide Olivia with relief when she really wants to gnaw on something; I don't really "wear" them (like a necklace) as I thought I would when I was initially given them at my baby shower, but rather I hold them for Olivia or sit with her and she plays with them and chews on them, moving the beads around her mouth for relief; two neat features are that the beads can be moved along the string (so you can string them tight next to one another or space them out) and they have a breakaway clasp (although we do not rely on that and therefore do not leave her alone with them)

Sophie the Giraffe 
Sophie wins the award for being Olivia's "most consistent" teether -- she can chew on her head or her legs (or both!) and she is able to hold her easily due to her size and shape. A lot of people initially think Sophie is an overpriced trendy toy but V absolutely adores her and she has come in very handy over the past 6 months and especially the past few weeks. Ours was given to us as a gift but I would highly recommend her for any and every baby. Not only is she great for chewing on but she squeaks -- something that always makes Olivia smile. Olivia also loves the mini soft Sophie teether (not pictured) -- available here.

Cold Washcloths 
Within the past month, these have become a lifesaver! I have heard and read mixed reviews about gel teethers that you actually put in the freezer (that they end up too cold, can freeze burn baby gums, etc.) so we passed on those and instead tried our own method. I just use baby washcloths and pour cold filtered water over them from the fridge, wringing it out slightly but still leaving enough water that she has something to suck and chew on. Olivia will sit for 20-30 minutes just chewing on a cold washcloth, totally content as can be. You can see it in her face and mood that it just brings such relief to her sore gums. After 10-15 minutes, I rewet it with more cold filtered water and give it back to her. This is so quick and simple and for us, it has worked wonders!

We have so many of these -- I keep them in almost every room of the house! They are the perfect way to catch the never-ending drool that comes from a teething baby yet still have a comfortable and stylish babe. Plus, it protects clothes from always being covered in drool and thereby protects skin from excess moisture. We have them from various shops but my favorites are always ones with double-thickness for extra absorbency, designed with 2 snaps to adjust the size, and those that are padded with minky, chenille or flannel on one side so they are soft against Olivia's skin. I'll be doing a big bibdana review coming up in a few weeks comparing all the ones we have and the pros and cons of each and what our experience has been. Overall, they are a great way to ensure drool doesn't end up all over your babe and their clothes, but instead is caught on the most adorable patterned accessory!

MN Wooden Teether
This was a gift from Olivia's grandparents (my parents) when she was Dedicated back in September. It was purchased at a local baby boutique but I've seen wooden maple teethers everywhere (in state shapes, animals, etc). I like that this is thick wood that she can chew on and the hole in the center makes it easy for her little hands to hold. Obviously, ours is in the shape of our home state, and I love the different sides and angles it provides. Wood is so much better for your baby and more environmentally friendly than plastic, so this was a no-brainer. To be honest, at first during my pregnancy the thought of giving a baby a piece of wood to chew on was so bizarre to me, but wooden teethers are extremely popular right now and for good reason! They also make great gifts, and I know this one will be something we treasure forever because of the wonderful sentiment behind it.

Other Teething Tips
I'm by no means an expert on teething and these are all mere suggestions based on my own experiences. 

In the past month especially, I've noticed that Olivia's face gets very dry from drool and teething in general, so one of our favorite things to use is California Baby Calendula Cream on her cheeks and chin. It takes the redness away and soothes her face within a matter of hours. I absolutely swear by this stuff -- for so many reasons, but especially for the dryness and redness that accompanies teething.

I also have found that for Olivia, one of the biggest tricks we have is the art of distraction. When she is playing on her own, she tends to cry/fuss more, pull her ears, chew on her hands or a toy, etc., probably because she is focusing on how she feels and not what she is doing. When I have a way of distracting her - whether with music, dancing, a book, a more interactive toy, pat-a-cake, etc., she goes from fussy to calm in a matter of seconds, even though her teething pain is still present. Independent play is so important for babies but on days where she is really having a tough time, I give her lots of extra love and attention and I devote more of my energy toward playing with her with the aim of distracting her so that instead of sitting in pain, she can laugh and play to get through it. 

Because Olivia doesn't have any teeth yet, there is a possibility she will get 2-3 at once within a span of a few days or a week or two. We pray over Olivia's teeth/mouth/gums every day and we are believing that she will continue to be easy-going and happy despite new teeth coming in. So far, she has done an excellent job. Who knows when that first pearly white will arrive but believe me, I will be over the moon that she has reached another exciting milestone.

If you have tips & tricks or any favorite products that have been helpful for you, I would love to hear about them! Please leave a comment sharing your experiences with teething, what got you through it and what you wish you would've known when you were in the midst of it that you know now that you've experienced it! Thanks!

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