Somewhere in her third month, V2 was extremely fussy three evenings in a row. Now, as a second time mum, I’m much more relaxed and accepting of scenarios like this. But something seemed uneasily familiar about this and I checked her gums. Sure enough, those whitish shadows greeted me. V2 was teething!
Here were some simple signs that I looked out for.
1. She was fussier than usual and it was not because of temperature, hunger, sleep, etc
2. V2 kept sticking her fist into her mouth all the time.
3. Drool all over the place, it looked like there was a tap open somewhere.
4. Difficulty sleeping- she would take longer to sleep, and keep waking more often than usual.
Obviously, giving V2 food sticks to calm her was out of question. I started scouting for teethers.
We prefer natural materials to avoid the risk of BPA and other chemicals. I also wanted that V2 should be able to hold it in her hands and soothe her gums on her own comfortably. ( as opposed to it staying propped in her mouth or us helping her with it)
Here is a roundup of our favourite teethers. I prefer putting a couple in a teething basket and giving V2 the choice to pick.
1. Wooden Teethers
V2 almost always reaches out for our unprocessed neem-wood teethers from Ariro. I prefered neem wood simply because of the hygiene, immunity and smell aspects.
We also enjoy our circular wooden rattle from MyLittleBookshop. You can also DIY a bunny ears onto the rattle for the extra sensory stimulus.
Some days we prefer our crochet teethers. These are easy to clean and give a nice grip to hold as well. We custom made our little elf from MadeWithLove and picked the circular ring crochet rattle from the collection at Little Canvas.
But some times, the wooden teethers are a little difficult for a baby to manipulate, especially on the premolars and molars. V2 loves her Sophie la girafe and chomps away on Sophie’s legs, mouth, ears and neck. It is made of natural rubber, and is latex and BPA free.
4. Teething cloth
And on some days, V2 picks out our humble muslin cloth or scarf. She has been enjoying peekaboo with our playscarf this month and the washcloth doubles up as a game too. I knot a corner of the cloth for a better grip and on extremely difficult days, pop the cloth into the freezer for a few minutes before offering it to her.
Care for teethers
Although teethers, like rattles, help in hand eye coordination, the primary purpose is to be in the mouth and soothe gums. It goes without saying, that, care and maintenance is important. This is also why I avoid the beaded ringed teethers.
We wash the cloth and crochet based teethers alog with other laundry by just popping them into a cloth bag.
Our Sophie is wiped down everyday. It should not be dunked in water to prevent growth of mould inside.
Wooden materials require a little more commitment, especially since we live in a super humid space. We wipe them down regularly (again,no dunking in water), and sun them every week. Too much sun can cause fading, for which we use a coat of coconut oil (or beeswax) overnight.
Lastly, teething can be an exhausting period for care-givers. The patient adult is as important as any of the materials described above, to help a teething baby. I ensure to be kind to myself on these long days and nights.